By Ismael Kasooha
KIBAALE - On the day when the school academic year officially opened, Kyengabi primary school saw only one pupil and one teacher report to school on Monday.
Just that was enough to worry the school authorities, who fear for the future of the school that is located in Mugarama sub-county, Kibaale district.
Gerald Irumba, the chairman of the school management committee, said: “I am almost shading tears because of Kyengabi primary school which has all the necessary structures but with no pupils.”
He said he was disheartened by the turn of events at the institution.
Kyengabi is a government-aided school with a Primary Seven status, and last year it enrolled about 300 pupils.
Irumba underlined that as a school committee, they had mobilized parents to bring their children to school on the first day but that their call was not heeded to.
The only pupil to show up at the school, John Brian, is Irumba’s son. Irumba said he was amazed to find the school empty on Monday. Ironically, the headteacher of the school did not show up either.
There is fear that some parents could have opted for other schools.
The chairperson of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) said a number of parents might have transferred their children to neighboring schools.
"We fear that our school may not get enough pupils due to competition," said PTA chairman, Firida Bikara.
Grace Nyangoma, the lone teacher who turned up on day one, is worried that the school may not take off this year. "What is our fate when the pupils do not turn up?" she wondered.
The district education officer of Kibaale, John Kyaboona, told New Vision he was not yet aware of the developments at Kyengabi primary school.
"I have instructed the inspectorate department to find out on the issue and report back immediately," he said.
Overall, he said, the general turn up in the whole district was poor, with just about 45% of the pupils reporting on the first day.
"The turn-up generally has been poor and we appeal to parents to send their children to school because this term is short.”
PLE 2013 results: SST, Science best subjects
Ranking of PLE schools per district
2012: Boys perform better, 1,603 withheld