Muyingo tasked to explain school closures
Parliament today asked the Minister of State for Higher Education Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo, to explain the criteria used while closing schools that failed to meet basic requirements.
Early this year, Dr Muyingo alongside other officials from the ministry trekked around the country closing schools that lacked a minimum number of teachers, better learning facilities among others.
Dr Muyingo told Parliament, that the decision to close all affected schools was never abrupt since there was an earlier warning.
“We sent out a message to all schools in the country that all those schools without basic minimum standards shall be closed, we have been moving to all school,” Dr Muyingo said.
Meanwhile, lawmakers, among them; Medard Lubega Segona of Busiro East in Wakiso district and Jackson Kafuuzi and NRM member from Kyaka South criticized the minister of selective application of the exercise. Mr Segona further blamed the ministry for acting unfairly by leaving no room for appeal by disgruntled managements.
“These private schools they are closing have no appeal recourse in accordance with the law because the minister has never constituted the appeals tribunal as required by the law,’ Said Segona.
Mr Kafuuzi said that rather than forceful closures government needs to offer a grace period in which unregistered private schools should comply.
“These schools are created to cover the gap caused by government and my prayer is that at least give us a grace period of two years,” said Kafuuzi.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza asked government to give special attention to the educations sector and improve first, its schools before moving out to close those that are privately owned.
“The Ugandans are not willing to rush to those public schools including those that are closer to them but are instead going to private schools where they are charged, have we tried to find out why?’ she asked.
Dr Muyingo, however maintained that only schools that lacked basic minimum standards were affected. He also dismissed claims that only private schools were being targeted.
“All schools without the minimum requirements will be closed, and we have a duty as a government and as parliament to protect the quality of education in this country,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah sent the matter to the committee of education and sports chaired by Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, the Mbale district Woman representative.