The First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports Janet Kataaha Museveni has commended World Bank in partnership with the Ministry, for implementing various interventions including establishment of seed secondary schools in the country.
The schools are constructed under the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfers Program that commenced in financial year 2018/2019.
A total of 259 schools are to be constructed in sub-counties without seed secondary schools.
“This is evidence more than ever that access to universal secondary education remains high on the agenda of Government. A good education foundation gives our young population the knowledge, skills and self confidence necessary for economic development of our country,” said the First Lady.
The remarks were contained in a speech presnted for her by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa while commissioning Mayanga Progressive Seed School in Mitooma district.
Construction of the seed school cost Shs2.3 billion.
The Minister urged the Ministry of Finance to provide funding to avail critical amenities like electricity and water in schools built in hard to reach areas.
The Deputy Speaker appreciated efforts by Ministry of Education to extend education services to hard to reach areas across the country, through the establishment of seed schools.
He also appreciated the Church of Uganda for availing land for the construction of Mayanga Progressive Seed School and urged religious leaders to promote poverty eradication in communities.
Tayebwa, however, poked holes in the execution of the building project citing irregularities with the classroom blocks, staff quarters, administration block, science laboratories and ICT laboratory.
He observed that the contractor – Khalisa Investments Ltd, constructed a school in Kigarama on the same budget as that of Mayanga which is better done than the latter, and tasked them to repair the defects in question.
“I engaged the IGG’s office to come and study the work the contractor did at this school and they have told me a team will come here within a week to investigate. I will return in three months to monitor the progress,” said Tayebwa.
He said plans to bring water to the area and the school in particular are underway, and added that he would lobby the Ministry of Education to improve on the number of teaching staff.
Tayebwa urged the students to aspire to be great leaders in society, and study and work hard to improve their communities in Mayanga in the future.
“Parents and leaders should ensure that students who dropped out school to get married or carry out odd jobs, return to school. You can return to school even when you are married,” he said.
Mitooma district RDC Addah Nasiima expressed optimism for the new seed school, and reiterated the need for the contractor to correct the irregularities in the school structures.
He also called for funds to be availed to improve the road network in the district.
“Let us write a project letter to the Minister for Works and Transport through the Deputy Speaker so that our roads can get special funding to be improved,” Nasiima said.
Mitooma district LC5 Chairperson Benon Karyaija called for more funding to promote development projects, and committed to ensure it is put to efficient use.
The school headteacher Samuel Ainebyoona also appreciated the Bishop of West Ankole Rt Rev. Johnson Twinomujuni for availing church land for the seed school to be established.
“The Bishop signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Government to build the school on Church land. The district leadership has done a good job to ensure that this seed school is built in Mayanga,” said Ainebyoona.