Leaders close 200 illegal schools

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MUKONO. In a bid to enhance education standards, leaders in Mukono District have closed down 208 schools that have been operating illegally.
This follows the State Minister for Primary Education, Ms Rosemary Sseninde’s directive urging all education officials not to allow schools operating illegally to open for the first term.
Mukono District education officer Vincent Baraza yesterday said the closed schools were operating outside the minimum standards set by the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Among the closed schools are two secondary ones.
He explained that the closed schools were neither registered nor licensed by the Ministry of Education, many were operating in makeshifts while others were operating under trees.
Mr Baraza added that many of the affected schools had no qualified head teachers and some of the classroom teachers they were employing, are Senior Four dropouts.
“We have for long warned school owners to comply with the requirements but these ones refused to take heed and we had no option but to shut the schools,” he said.
He said the affected schools are in the sub-counties of Nnama, Kyampisi, Kasawo, Namuganga, Ntunda, Nagojje, Nakisunga and Nabbaale.
“We have summoned proprietors of the closed schools this Thursday [tomorrow] to warn them not to risk and open for the new term that begins on Monday,” Mr Baraza said.
“We shall enforce the law in case any closed school goes ahead to open for the new term that begins on February 6.”

Victims speak out
Meanwhile, school managers on Monday pleaded with the authorities to re-open their schools and complained that they were not given enough time to put in place all the requirements.
“Some of us were trying hard to meet the requirements, but we were shocked to learn that our schools had been closed,” a school proprietor said.

Standards
The Education Basic Requirements and Minimum Education Standards also require every school dormitory to have an emergency exit door, smoke detectors or fire-fighting equipment.
Schools must also have incinerators, well separated sanitary facilities for girls, boys and teachers of opposite sex as well as a security guard manning the premises.

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