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{UAH} Students left in limbo as East High School closes

More than 300 students have been left stranded after East High School Ntinda in Kampala abruptly closed business. 
Mr Bosco Kalifa Khamis, the deputy head teacher, yesterday told Daily Monitor that the board of governors decided to turn the school into a girls' school. 

"When we sat to discuss how to better this school, we came up with the idea that we should have a girls' school that will start operating in 2023. It requires the infrastructure that supports the girl-child. It is on that ground that we want to use this academic year to develop that infrastructure without any interference from students on the campus."

A document signed by Mr Abdul Khadir, the director of the school, that Daily Monitor has seen reads: "As a result of the low turn up of students and the need to renovate the institution, on behalf of the board of directors, I regret to inform you that business at East High School Ntinda has been put on halt to facilitate the new developments..."
However, Mr Khamis said the closure of the school is not about the low turn-up since more than 120 students  had been received at school out of about 300 that attended the school before the lockdown.  He added that the staff were aware of what is happening. 

When our reporter visited the school's administration office, several parents had queued up to have their school fees disbursed. One particular mother sat quietly in one of the chairs.  She looked puzzled and tears rolled down her cheeks. 
"I am in shock. I do not know what to do, I have two children and I had just brought them from another school which also closed abruptly. I was not able to ask for a refund because they refused to speak to anyone of us," she said.
Ms Sofia Namwanje, another parent, said the school administration had sent her a text message a week before the term opened that they would be receiving students for term one. 

"My disappointment is that when they closed the school, we did not receive any communication on the current status. My daughter called me on Wednesday at 6pm claiming the school had closed. I told her to find where to sleep so that I would pick her up yesterday. Where can one get a vacancy at such a time when all schools are full?"
The school plans to refund fees. 
"We are refunding the money to all the parents who have already paid school fees for their children. Any small penny that had been paid for this term is being paid back," Mr Khamis said.

Mr Muhammad Kasirye, another parent, was unable to get his refund. 
"I paid Shs1,150,000 million on January 11, but the bursar has said the name of my son is not yet in the system, so I have to return here tomorrow and pick the money. My son is a Senior Six candidate," he said.
Asked why they had not communicated to the parents before the term started, Mr Khamis said: "We should have communicated earlier, but we apologise to the parents who got the information very late. We offer our apologies."

On rumours that a businessman bought the school, Mr Khamis  said: "I do not know about the person who bought the school, but what I know is that we have a new board of directors who were added on the previous board. The detail of the owners of the school is best known by the board members. I do not have much information about it."
In the document to parents, the director recommended that students enrol at Lowell Girls' School, Gombe High School, Buziga Islamic School, Mariam High School, St Mary's College Lugazi, Kawanda SS, Amitty Secondary School, and Muscra Education Services whose directors and head teachers have agreed to take on the students under the same terms of payment and that admissions were available at no cost.

Schools under KCCA
Ms Juliet Namuddu, the director of education and social services at Kampala City Council Authority, in a school inspection done about one and half months ago, indicated that of the 2,000 schools in Kampala, about 41 closed for other businesses or stopped working.

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

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