Kagadi gets shs6 Billion for Two Seed Secondary Schools
The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports and Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers (UgIFT) Program has commenced construction of two seed secondary schools in Kagadi District to enhance quality secondary education in Uganda.
The two seed secondary schools are Kitegwa Community Seed Secondary in Ruteete Town Council Buyaga West and King Solomon Seed Secondary school in Kagadi Sub County Buyaga East County all valued to cost shs3 billion each.
The project estimated to take a period of 2 years, is going to be undertaken by Bana Enterprises Limited at a cost of shs6 billion from the government of Uganda.
Robert Bukenya, the Acting Kagadi District Engineer said though the launching of the two mega projects is done in November, the real construction work by the contractor is set to commence December, 1st and that as a district they expect to be commissioning the projects in December 2024.
Bukenya said the project will cater for construction of 3 blocks consisting of 2 classrooms each, a science Laboratory, Administration block, Teachers’ houses, Latrines, a playground, water tanks among others.
“I am therefore requesting the local communities of Kitegwa and Kagadi to provide adequate support to the contractor in terms of skilled and unskilled manpower but also ensure that gender is considered during the employment process,” Bukenya Said.
Bukenya also said that in most projects, girls and women are left out and they do not benefit in terms of employment and this creates gender imbalance.
“Make sure that all girls and women above the age of 18 have benefited directly from these projects. They should be employed as workers so that they also earn,” Bukenya added.
Mukiza Ruvende, the Kitegwa Seed Community Secondary School said the school that started in 2007 has been making requests to be considered by the government for a long time and that they have been having infrastructural constraints while handling the students.
Ruvende said during time for National Examinations, other classes would be shifted to under trees and makeshifts to provide space for candidates doing their final exams.
“For the past 15 years, we have been running up and down to make sure that the government considers us as a government aided school but we have been failing. We even reached the office of the former Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda but still we didn’t achieve it despite us being situated on Prime Minister’s Office land,” Ruvende told New Vision.
Yosia Ndibwami, the Kagadi District Chairman, tasked the contractor to do everything possible to deliver quality work and according to the set Bills of Quantities.
Ndibwami said Kagadi has had a tendency where contractors work and don’t finish within the set period of time and this has always had financial implications on the district account.
“Money has been coming and going to the center because some of our contractors do not work within the agreed time. This has been affecting us and especially we the politicians have been criticized that we are letting their money go back yet this money has procedures and conditions,” Ndibwami said.
Nicholas Kamukama, the Kagadi Resident District Commissioner who officiated the launch of the two seed secondary schools said the government of NRM has released huge sums of money only to be invested in two seed schools in Kagadi and that this means education sector in the district has to improve and also increase the enrolment.
Kamukama tasked parents to back up government efforts by providing scholastic materials to their children but also as they wait for the government to fully own the school, they should be supporting the school with the missing items like food and some little school fees in what he called adding value to the school.
Mathias Ndifuna, the Kagadi Chief Administrative Officer tasked the parents and the community to monitor the projects to ensure quality.
Didas Hitimaana, a parent at Kitegwa Community Seed Secondary School said that they have been getting several complaints from their children that rain has been disrupting their learning processes and that this has resulted in many children dropping out of school.
“We want to thank Museveni because our children have really been suffering with makeshifts and temporary classrooms; this has resulted in most of the children dropping out of school. But now that we have got classrooms and other infrastructure here, we are optimistic that our children will continue to study and finish without any disturbance arising from poor infrastructure,” Hitimaana said.
Rhoda Atuhuura, an ICT teacher at Kitegwa Community Seed Secondary School said as teachers they have been having few classrooms and that candidates doing ICT have been facing challenges during exams since they have been borrowing computers during time for exams.
Both Seed secondary schools of Kitegwa and King Solomon were started by the communities in 2007 and have been managed by the parents for the past 15 years.
John Chrisestom Mikisa, the Chairperson Board King Solomon Seed Secondary School said that they got relief when the government introduced Universal Secondary Education in private secondary schools but things turned sour when it withdrew its support.
Mikisa said most of the students dropped out because they could no longer afford the requirements of the school and this affected their enrolment from 420 to nearly 200 students.
The Education Ministry has set a target of 77,700 learners of which 51% will be female in the Seed Secondary Schools under the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers (UgIFT) Program.
The Ministry conducted a comprehensive mapping exercise in 2015 which revealed that 385 sub-counties did not have secondary schools.
The UgIFT program, which has seen the government build 117 Seed Secondary Schools, is covering only 259 of these sub-counties.
The launch of the Seed schools is also aimed at reducing the school drop-out rate in Uganda.
Statistics show that out of 10.9million children at the primary school level, only about two million join higher levels of education while the rest don’t progress.
Kagadi district will also launch construction of two primary schools of MerryLand and Buhumuriro Primary schools to enhance quality primary education.