Traditional Boys’ School Makobore to Admit Female, Day Students

Effective beginning of the new academic term in February, ailment Makobore High School, what is ed Kinyasano in Rukungiri District will change into a mixed school, accommodating girls and day students.

Makobore which was established 52 years ago has been among the few remaining boys’ schools in Western Uganda others including Mbarara High School, Ntare School, Kigezi College Butobere, Muntuyera High School Kitunga and Nyakasura School.

The unforeseen decision to overhaul the status of the school was reached on Saturday by the founding body, the Diocese of North Kigezi following the overwhelming reduction in the student enrollment in the recent past.

Makobore’s might began to get tainted in the early 1990s due to its perennial strikes and poor academic performance resulting from poor administration which consequently saw the school lose its popularity.

Numbers in annual admissions kept fluctuating drastically until the church decided to undertake a rebranding of the school a few years ago. The school admitted fresh students, adopted a new badge, motto, uniform and also overhauled the entire academic staff, however these reforms did not bring forth the required results.

In an interview with ChimpReports on Monday, the Chairperson of the Makobore High School Board of Governors who doubles as the Bishop North Kigezi Dioecese Rt. Rev. Benon Magezi said the decision to open the gates to female students was informed by the decline in enrolment.

“There’s no way you can create numbers without putting in place measures or opportunity for people to come in. So, we have opened it to day scholars, boys and girls and those that can’t afford boarding with the aim of getting more students,” he said.

ChimpReports has learnt that the school which used to accommodate as many as over 1,000 students in the late 1990s, had a total student population of 70 students as of the previous year.

“My sole role as the Board chair is to restore the glory of the school. The school structures are getting dilapidated, there’s no income to pay the teachers, non-teaching staff and other running costs,” the Bishop explained.

He blamed the rebranding process for intentionally reducing the student enrollment which made it difficult for the school to run efficiently.

“There’s no way you can run a school without students because then it ceases to become a school.”

Regarding the issue of the school having enough capacity to take in girls, the Board Chair said the administration had been instructed to plan for the necessary facilities.

“The girls will all be day scholars. Ofcourse they will take share the dining hall with the boys for meals. But we have asked that other facilities like the washrooms and human resource staff relevant for girls be put in place,” he said.

However, the reports about this development haven’t been received positively among the school’s old students. Many have expressed their disappointment towards the school management for making this ‘bizarre’ adjustment claiming it will further send the school into drains.

Majority of the alumni fraternity took to social media through their online platform interpreting the decision as one that will deprive their former school of its glory.

Bishop Magezi in response to these sentiments said; “The school has virtually lost its glory because it is no longer the school they used to know. If the Old students have a good heart for their school, then their wish should be to see it functioning again. What we are intending to do is to revamp the lost glory.”

He says all the other avenues have been explored and the new initiative to breathe new life into the school. The alumni are represented on the school’s board that passed this decision and according to Bishop Magezi, the resolution was reached unanimously.

“We invite the Old Boys to give us alternatives on how to raise the numbers again rather than just lamenting about the lost body.”

Asked about the possibility of reversing the decision in case the alumni offered alternative solutions, the Chairperson Board of Governors said; “It is very possible. Let them bring their views to the table and we consider them.”

Tumwebaze Khamutima, the CEO Young Farmers Champion Network who studied from Makobore from 2007 to 2008 in reaction to the development said that the urgent need is relieving the school of its financial distress.

“Turning the school into a mixed school itself is an assumption; it doesn’t guarantee that things will work. Given the record of the school, few parents will send their girls to Makobore,” he told ChimpReports.

Such a decision required intensive consultations with the old students fraternity, he adds.

Khamutima however considers it ‘a wake up call’ given that the alumni body itself has for long been disconnected from the affairs of the school.

“As old students we are going to engage the school administration to have this decision repealed and look into how we can improve academic quality and the issue of funding.”

He proposes that the Alumni embark on a massive campaign to raise funds that will run the school in the short term.

These funds, he said would facilitate 4-year bursaries for pupils that attain first grade at PLE in order to increase enrollment and at the same time address the issue of quality.


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