OLD Kampala Senior Secondary School has today Monday July 24, 2017 witnessed a change of leadership of the school following wrangles that had threatened to tire the school apart pitting some teachers and Old student’s association against the out-going head teacher Azida Ntegana Nsubuga.
The rivalry had culminated into a student strike last week that turned ugly when a police officer fired live bullets seriously inquiring one student leading the ministry to temporarily close the school as they investigate further.
The ministry has however, responded by appointing James Mulomi, the outgoing headteacher of Budiope SS, to run it with support from the Ministry and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) for unspecified period. The school is expected to re-open on Wednesday this week with parents coming along with their children as a condition for re-admission, according to recommendations of a probe committee in its final report.
Reports indicated that the students on July 13, 2017 staged a strike in the school protesting the transfer of their head teacher Ntegana .The students who gathered in the school compound with placards later became rowdy vandalizing school property before police was called in to quell the situation.
Following the closure of the school on July 14, Robinson Nsumba-Lyazi the director for basic and secondary education, set up a seven member probe committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the strike.
The committee members included; David Esuku from KCCA, John Kiwanuka (Internal Security Organisation), ASP Grace Nyangoma (Police), and Florence Anguzu. Others are Daniel Amanyire,Mary Ntete Gunteese and Frances Atima- all officials from the ministry of education.
According to the Observer Newspaper, a final investigation report compiled by the team, has implicated some teachers and Old Kampala Students Association (OKOSA) Leaders of working against each other in the affairs of the school.
The report says one teacher, Ivan Mbowa, who is also a warden at the boy’s hostel, mobilized students as early as 3am to demonstrate against the Minsitry of Education’s decision to transfer the school headteacher Azida Ntegana Nsubuga.
“Students from this hostel located outside the school moved towards the school in the wee hours carrying placards reading No Azida, No Rice, among others,” the report says.
The final report suggested that student leaders also accused some teachers of working in cohorts with some executive members of the Old Kampala Students Association (OKOSA) to undermine the outgoing head teacher.
The students further said deputy head teachers Godfrey Ssekandi and Juliet Nesakya played a key role in aggravating the strike.
“Students say their peaceful demonstration degenerated into a strike after Ssekandi and Nesakya started beating them indiscriminately,” the report reads in part.
However, a source at the school who spoke on condition of anonymity denied such allegations from the students.
“This report is largely wrong. These deputies have been fabricated. It’s sacrificing Mbowa whose role is clear but setting free the head teacher who ordered Mbowa to do what he did,” the source says.
The report also accuses Nesakya of casually stating that she did not care if the injured (striking) students died”.
The committee found out that the transfer of Ntegana was well received by the majority of the teachers although most students and support staff were unhappy with the ministry’s decision and timing of the transfer.
“Student leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the transfer being done in the middle of the term and they felt they had the right to know why she (Ntegana) was transferred,” the report further reads.
OKOSA, NTEGANA WOES
According to the report, Old Kampala has had leadership challenges since the transfer of the former headteacher and old student Emmanuel Mukasa who has resisted a move to Entebbe Comprehensive SS in 2015.
“The entry of Ms Ntegana was not welcomed by a section of old students and teachers right from the beginning,” noted the report.
“Later, disagreements emerged between old students and the board of governors which widened the gap between OKOSA and the head teacher.”
Efforts by the ministry and KCCA to address the disagreements on accountability, governance and proposed capital development projects at the school did not yield much, the Observer further notes.
OKOSA has an office in the school and is managed by a coordinator, who is not an employee of the school.The committee concluded that the office be closed immediately.
During the committee’s interaction with Ntegana, she alleged that OKOSA members; notably, Leonard Egesa and Patrick Musinguzi destabilized her top management.
“Although some teachers interviewed were in support of OKOSA office, students claimed they don’t receive any support from it (office) and instead, it is their money (10,000 imposed on every candidate) which supports the association,” says the report.
“The office lacks accountability and transparency for the student’s money”.
Some student leaders and a section of of teachers accused some OKOSA members of using social media to incite violence and blackmail teachers, students and old students who do not support them.
This also caused unrest among students, leading to the strike.
With time, Ntegana filed for a transfer but she was surprised when it came in the middle of the term. The committee didn’t hear from the OKOSA executive because they declined to appear before it on the scheduled date of July 19.
“They indicated that they can only meet the committee after receiving a formal invitation (today) Monday, July 24,” the report noted.
The probe committee in its conclusion of findings hence recommended that Mbowa’s role in the strike should further be investigated and an appropriate action be taken against him.
The committee also said the two deputies- Ssekandi and Nesakya –should be transferred before the school reopens on Wednesday.
“Students should be invited back at school in a phased manner starting with the candidate classes on the first day, S3 and S5 on the second day and finally S1 and S2 on the third day,” the Observer reports in its concluding article.