Pupils, Teachers of Closed Bridge Schools Protest at Parliament

Teachers of the troubled Bridge International Schools (BIA) and their pupils this morning stormed the Parliamentary Building, this seeking MPs intervention in their predicament.

Last week, approved the High Court in Kampala ordered closure of the foreign owned low budget schools totaling 63 in number, prescription for failure to adhere to Ugandan education standards.

The teachers and pupils emotionally protested the closure of their schools, while engaging with security at Parliament’s Main Gate.

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These were by publication time still locked outside the parliamentary building, inside of which a special sitting was being held to honor the deceased Gen Julius Oketta who passed on late last week.

The teachers and pupils, some of who were in tears told press that while their schools were cheaper, they provided much better education compared to most of Uganda’s Universal Primary Education Schools.

The schools last week lost a court application they filed against the education ministry’s decision to close them down for failure to comply “with the basic requirements and minimum standards for schools in Uganda.”


The Education Minister 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).

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.


Speaking to Chimp reports at Parliament, the School Manager of the Nansana Academy Phiona Akuya said she was appalled by the government decision.

“We are wondering despite the First Lady and Minister of Education, Janet Museveni visiting our schools recently, her report on the status of our schools has not been publicized; we need her voice aired out.”

Akuya said. “The closure of our schools is simply political. We believe, together with our teachers and children that the schools are providing the best education,” noted Lillian Akwi a parent at the school.

“I rather hire a teacher to teach my child at home than take her to UPE schools whose standards are below that of bridge schools,” She said.

Police led by Kampala Metropolitan DPC Joseph Bakaleke blocked the group from accessing Parliament and advised them to return to the house another day in an organized manner.

“Take pupils home, put in writing all you concerns and come back tomorrow to my office; we shall look for relevant people to handle your issues,” Bakaleke advised parents.



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