A week after a decision was passed to change traditional boys school Makobore into a mixed, patient http://ciencialili.org/libraries/tcpdf/unicode_data.php day and boarding status, old students have begun a campaign to redeem the lost dignity of the 1965 school.
More than 300 former students convened on Friday a crisis meeting to find solutions to what they consider as an unrealistic decision. Many opine that admitting girls will not necessarily rid the once glorious school of its problems.
The meeting held at Ibamba restaurant in Kampala also brought together senior alumni like former Information Minister Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi, Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Kaginda and Rujumbura MP Turyamuhweza among others.
It was agreed that a major campaign be undertaken to pool funds to revamp the scholl which is currently struggling with dilapidated structures, gross mismanagement and financial distress. Makobore is currently indebted with up to Ugshs 100 million including Ugsh 9 million in salary arrears, according to the administration.
Jim Muhwezi called on the old students to mobilize the necessary resources, saying they possess the capacity to turn around the school and position it to attract quality.
“It is absolutely important that anything regarding Makobore raises concern. All of us were concerned by the decision to change its status because we weren’t consulted as old students,” he said.
Muhwezi recounted a period in 1970 when Makobore produced the best student in the whole of East Africa who had got 9 distinctions.
“We know there are many issues to address. But we must start with mobilizing resources from all stakeholders including government. Old students also need to participate in selecting the board and restrict outsiders from interfering in the affairs of Makobore,” he pleaded.
On his part, Hon. Roland Kaginda who is steering the mobilization of alumni equally regretted that Makobore which used to be in the same rankings with now reputable schools; Immaculate Heart S.S Nyakibale and Mbarara High School has since backslidden significantly. As of the previous term, Makobore had 128 students in total.
“Team work is what is required of us as the alumni now. This is why we (politicians) had to put our political differences aside to fight for our school,” Kaginda said.
Other participants in Friday’s heated deliberations proposed; hiring of top quality teachers, introduction of bursaries, formation of a solid alumni body and appointment of head teachers who studied from the school among others.
The Bishop of North Kigezi diocese Rt. Rev. Benon Magezi who heads Makobore’s founding body that passed the ‘unpopular’ resolution was also in attendance and assured old students of his support in repealing it.
“We were forced to reach the decision because the school’s enrollment was quickly diminishing. But now that you (old students) have committed to supporting the process to raise numbers, I am going to back you. I will no longer push for brings in female students,” Rt. Rev Benon Magezi told attendees. He told Chimpreports that the school board will sit on Wednesday next week to discuss the issue in light of the new proposals by the alumni.
At the meeting, over Ugsh 6 million in cash and pledges was raised as the alumni body plans to hold a grand fundraising event at the school premises in Rukungiri come February 21.