Namirembe Hillside boy’s dormitory burns down

By Robert Segawa

Police is Investigating the circumstances under which a fire gutted a boys dormitory at Namirembe Hill side high school in Kitetika along Gayaza road Wakiso district left property worth unspecified amount of money going up in flames.

The fire that broke out today at the school started in the senior two dormitory but has been managed by police fire brigade personnel .

According to Joseph Mugisa the Director fire and rescue services Property on 3 floors was saved while property on the other two upper floors where it’s alleged the fire started from couldn’t be saved by police.

He further says the exact cause of the fire is still being investigated and police will inform the public about the outcomes.

Mugisa adds that the fire that caught Boys dormitory is believed to have started at around 10 am on the last floor of the building during the time when students a attending classes.

He however says no deaths or casualties have been reported since they were attending classes at that time.

Some of the students were seen at school compound weeping for the loss of their belongings like suit cases, books, clothes.

Teachers industrial action still on

By Daudi Zirimala

The Teachers under UNATU say their industrial action is still on course despite intimidation from government officials until government finds money for their salary increment.

According to UNATU General Secretary Baguma Filbert Bates, teachers in all education sub sectors in the country will not report to school in 27th Monday at the opening of the second term and not participate in teaching until government honors the salary increment commitment in the collective bargaining agreement.

Baguma notes government should not expect teachers to settle and concentrate on class without a positive consideration to their genuine concern of the promised salary enhancement next financial year which is just intend to meet their basic needs.

He says government should find money for them in all conditions rather turning their back on the teachers and indirectly assured that they do not matter.

KCCA to imprison parents forcing their children unto streets

By Moses Kidandi
Kampala Capital City Authority has embarked on a man hunt and prosecution of parents and individuals who nurture young children into street begging,consuming weed and sniffing fuel among other habits.

The tough exercise involves prosecution and imprisonment of the perpetrators.

This was disclosed by the deputy director in charge of children at Kampala Capital City Authority Josephine Lubwama as street children selected from 5 Primary and 4 Secondary schools within Kampala, including children with disabilities converged at sharing youth center Nsambya to participate and attend the children’s parliament.

The children’s parliament is an event organized by dwelling places a Christian NGO helping to provide holistic care services to street-connected children, high-risk slum families and abandoned babies is aimed at giving 100 girls and young women a platform to lobby for policy change on issues affecting them.

This includes survivors of child trafficking and street connectedness, sharing the pull and push factors to give a clear perspective to the decision makers.

Josephine Lubwama says as KCCA they are hunting down perpetrators in order to reduce the cases of child trafficking into the city.

NGOs partner to help girls stay in school

By Deo Wasswa
Non Governmental Organizations including, Economic, social empowerment for local communities (ESLA) Uganda, Kids Club Kampala and the US based followings foundation have launched a new campaign dubbed “Community girl parliament ” striving at keeping girl child in schools and handling issues affecting them.

Studies have shown that 25% of Ugandan girls become mothers before they celebrate 18th birthday and cases of school dropouts have rampantly increased in Uganda especially among adolescent girls.

While addressing a news conference at the Kids Club Kampala head offices in Kanyanya, Kawooya Aloziyous, the director of Esla Uganda, says child Marriages and unsafe abortions are on rampage in this nation Uganda which seeks for the interventions from the general public to stand against.

“It should be remembered that the Constitution of Uganda (1995), entails all children below the age of 18 be at school with or without fail”, adds Kawooya.

By enforcing this, Government implemented the U.P.E and U.S.E school for the parents who cannot afford school dues to be catered for never the less, the standard in some of these schools is very minimal.

Meanwhile, Sam Wambayo, the executive director Kids Club Kampala, the co-partner in the campaign, revealed that many Ugandan Women get engaged in sexual acts, at an early age as early as 14 years, meaning they are prone to being infected with diseases like STDs, HIV, Teenage pregnancy issues among others.

Esla’s director Aloysius Kawooya says they have had interventions with many places in the Eastern Uganda and they are now planning to extend to other places of the country since they have mainly focused in the Central due to capacity and affordability issues.

Statistics show that Central region has got 41 of such cases and south west (that is greater Masaka covers only 37% of the 41 and Kampala covers 21%). Eastern Uganda covers 52% of early marriages, Teenage pregnancy among others according to the UNFPA report.

It is also believed that in Uganda 39% of Women aged 20-49 give birth by age of 18 and more than half (63%) have had their first birth by age 20, 30.7% were currently pregnant.

Evidence shows that girls from the rural areas totaling to 24%, give birth earlier than girls from urban areas that stand at 21% but this is due to the positive relationships between poverty, women’s education and neglect the major cause of this.

However, Wambayo noted that all these issues shall be handled during the Gal Parliament campaign, where pupils, students and other members of the public shall be met to discuss on the way forward and how to handle the matter in communities through various interventions.

Stella Nyanzi mad at Government for failure to provide pads for girls

Stella Nyanzi expressed her disappointment in Minister of education’s confession that government cannot afford sanitary pads for the girl child.

The professor took to her Facebook to state her dissatisfaction with Janet Museveni’s utterance . In her words she posts,

 


I despise people who go around addressing the first wife as “Mama Janet,” “Mama Janet,” “Mama Janet!” That woman is no mother to the nation! I refuse to refer to Janet Kataaha Museveni as Mama anything. Let the children of her womb Mama-Mama her. Uganda’s poor children are motherless.

How can a whole mother go to parliament and ask legislators to understand the claim that there is no money in Uganda to provide sanitary pads to school-girls? What sort of mother allows her daughters to keep away from school because they are too poor to afford padding materials that would adequately protect them from the shame and ridicule that comes by staining their uniforms with menstrual blood? What malice plays in the heart of a woman who sleeps with a man who finds money for millions of bullets, billions of bribes, and uncountable ballots to stuff into boxes but she cannot ask him to prioritise sanitary pads for poor schoolgirls? She is no Mama! She is just Janet!

I started my periods when I was only nine years old. My mother introduced me to disposable Lilia sanitary towels. She also taught me how to fold layers of soft toilet tissue to use in case I lacked Lilia. She also talked to me about reusable cloth which is washed, hang to dry and folded for use. She talked about dry banana fibres (ebyaayi), plaited palm mats (obusansa obuluke), hay (essubi), and soft bark cloth (embugo) that were used in the past. My mother talked about tampons but said they were too expensive for us to buy at the time.

For my mother, it was important to arm her daughters with not only the best menstrual hygiene products but also with information about alternatives to use. Having an abundant supply of Lilia pads ensured that I was saved from the worst source of shame and indignity for adolescent girls at school. My mother provided in order to protect my dignity and hygiene. I excelled at school although I was a menstruating girl.

But Museveni’s wife does not care enough for the poor daughters of Uganda whose families cannot afford sanitary materials for menstruation. Her tongue is too thick to convince Museveni to either buy less bullets or pay less bribes, and instead buy the pads to protect the feminine dignity of Uganda’s young women. Her brain is too thick to think of alternative low-budget menstruation materials. She went to parliament to ask us to understand that our girls will keep away from school during their periods because the government has no money for sanitary materials.

She will never be Mama Janet to me. I should visit her without protection during my next menstruation period, sit in her spotless sofas and arise after staining her soul with my menstrual blood! That will be my peaceful demonstration in solidarity with Uganda’s poor adolescent girls. Aluta continua!~Stella Nyanzi


 

Minister declines to commission school siting to mediocre work

The Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo has refused to commission a school building that was constructed at Achaba Technical School in Oyam district over shoddy work.
Mbayo was on Wednesday invited by Oyam district authorities to commission the building that houses a multi-purpose hall, offices and school library which was constructed through a pledge by President Yoweri Museveni.

However, on inspecting the building, the Minister found that the work was incomplete and poorly done.
The floor of the building and some walls had cracks,the ceiling had not been fixed and all the six toilets are incomplete.
The minister was disappointed to learn that Multi-line Construction Uganda Limited, a Kampala-based construction firm that was sourced by the Ministry of Education and Sports had received all the money despite the poor work.

She wondered how and why the engineer who monitored and supervised the work would give the contractor the certificate for completion of the work. She blamed the district engineer and the school management Board for failing to supervise the work.
However, Oyam District Engineer explained that the work was directly supervised by the engineers from the Ministry of Education and Sports who he identified as Emmanuel Okello and Milly Okot.
Mbayo promised to appoint a committee of inquiry to investigate the manner in which the contractor was sourced and promised not to exonerate those implicated.
She suspects connivance by the members of the Board, the District Engineers, the school head teacher, engineers from the ministry of education and the contractor to swindle the money and that they must answer
The minister was on Wednesday in a fact finding visit of government initiated programs in Oyam district.

On May 5th 1999, President Museveni visited the school and found the community who had just returned from the Internally Displaced People’s camp struggling to put up the building when he pledged to support them with the completion of the building.

A budget was submitted to him and in the financial year 2011/2012 he gave 213 million shillings to complete the work. To date the work has not yet been completed.
Museveni’s support was part of his efforts to revamp the school that was vandalised by the rebels of the Lord Resistance Army in 1996. More than 20 students were abducted in the raid.
Five of them died in captivity including James Oming, Stella Aceng, Harriet Akuti, Christine Aou and one identified only as Okiye. Meanwhile, seven of the abductees returned home.
They include Okwir HP, Ketty Ayer, Betty Ejang, Martin Obel, Patrick Atim, James Adoko and Abong.

 

-URN

Private schools warned against closing before official term end

By Daudi Zirimala
The ministry of education and Sports has warned private school proprietors not to send students home before the official date as set by the ministry.
Patrick Muyinda the ministry spokesperson sounded the warning following reports that some schools are already sending students back home before the term ends officially.
Muyinda further advised parents to report to district inspectors schools which break off for holidays before the date that was approved by the ministry of education.

Masaka SSS school dormitory burns down due to suspected short circuit

Over 200 students were last night rescued from fire that gutted a boy’s dormitory at Masaka secondary schools in Masaka municipality.

The fire whose cause is still unknown started after midnight when majority of the students were back from preps and were sleeping.

Eyewitnesses say they had something like an explosion inside the dormitory sealing before fire spread and destroyed the entire block of the dormitory.

Survivors told Uganda Radio Network that they don’t know what the cause of the fire is. They say they were asleep when they had fellow students shouting. The students lost books, clothes, mattresses among other items.

One of the teachers at Masaka secondary school who declined to reveal his identities because the school management stopped them to disclose anything to the media said the affected dormitory accommodated over 200 students. He said they all escaped and survived being burnt in the fire.

One of the fire police officer who rushed to the scene says by the time they reached, the dormitory was nearly burnt down by fire. He suspects the school fidgeted with the fire before calling for fire tender to put it out.

Ibin Ssenkumbi, the greater Masaka region police spokesperson has confirmed the fire outbreak. He says they found most of the property within the dormitory destroyed but he says there was no casualty.

He says police suspects the fire was caused by short circuit although he cannot entirely rule out foul play.

The school management has however blocked Uganda Radio Network from visiting the scene of the fire saying it is not necessary.

Masaka secondary school has deployed guards at the school gate stopping unauthorized people from visiting the school after the fire.

Hajj Musoke Mpungu, the Masaka Secondary school head teacher has not yet commented on the fire outbreak.

Uganda Radio Network has seen students gathering at the school compound .
In 2007, students of Masaka secondary school set on fire a school staff room over Dstv.

They also set on fire the television sets accusing the school of poor meals and failure to show them premier League. Over 200 students were expelled from the school that year over the riot.

 

 

-URN