Education

Gov’t: Bridge International Schools to Remain Closed

Uganda's Education Minister, Janet Museveni

The Ugandan government has maintained its tough stance against Bridge International Academies in the country, here http://chesapeakebaydiningguide.com/wp-admin/includes/class-plugin-upgrader.php saying they will remain closed until they comply “with the basic requirements and minimum standards for schools in Uganda.”

Some media reports indicated that government had relaxed its instructions to allow the controversial string of schools to continue operating.

However, and in a statement on Friday, troche Education Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago reiterated government’s position to keep the schools shut.

“This is to state with clarity that the Ministry has NOT stopped authorities in Jinja District from closing Bridge International Schools,” reads Nassali’s statement seen by ChimpReports.

“The Ministry stands by its earlier position. Bridge International Schools shall remain closed with effect from the end of term II until they have complied with the Ministry’s requirements and the law.”

The Ugandan Minister of Education and Sports, Hon Janet Museveni, declared on August 9, 2016, during a parliament session, that the Government will close at the end of the term (September 2016) the schools operated by the largest and most controversial chain of commercial private schools worldwide, Bridge International Academies (BIA), which runs 63 nursery and primary schools in Uganda.

The Ministry’s decision was based on “non-respect of national standards by BIA, particularly in regards to health and safety,” according to Ms Museveni.

“Our Ministry found that most of the submissions about the schools were true and deserved attention. The schools started in 2013 and are located in 63 sites out of which only one was licensed by Kumi Municipal Council. The schools’ legal status was not established except in for the one in Kumi Municipal Council site. The schools never underwent the criteria for registering and licensing international schools,” said Ms Museveni.

“My Ministry has however been closely monitoring the schools prior to the time that matter was raised here in parliament. It was found out that the infrastructure of the schools is still in a bad shape, yet interim period required for schools to have permanent structures expired,” she added.

“The material used could not promote teacher pupil interaction. And most all, the report showed poor hygiene and sanitation which put the life and safety of the school children in danger.”

It was therefore agreed that the schools remain open until the end of this term, and thereafter the schools will be closed until the Ministry is satisfied that they have put in place what is required to operate a school as per Ministry’s guidelines.

The chief administrative officers and town clerks of the respective districts hosting Uganda Bridge International Academies were directed to lend support to parents as they arrange for the transfer of the pupils that will be affected, to the existing neighbouring UPE schools.

Response

Michael Kaddu, Head of Corporate and Public Affairs for Bridge International Academies in Uganda, was recently quoted in the media as saying Bridge was “working closely with the Ministry to put the needs of the children first and come to a speedy resolution of any issues made known to us.”

“In the meantime, our academies are running as usual as we continue to work with the relevant educational authorities to uphold our commitment to our parents and communities to provide a world-class education to their children.”

But government insists the schools need to do more to provide quality services in Uganda’s education sector if they are to operate in the country.

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