“We have moved to complete fencing of the upper compound. What remains is the staff quarter ends and marshy lowlands."
PIC: The staff house Kighala mobilised funds to build
TEACHERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Every Wednesday and Thursday New Vision is profiling some of Uganda’s Teachers Making a Difference. The 12 most innovative teachers will share a cash prize of sh18m and the fi ve most outstanding will go for a week-long all-expenses paid study tour to Ireland courtesy of New Vision, Irish Embassy in Uganda, Trocaire and Simba Travelcare, one of Uganda’s leading tour and travel management companies. Today, we bring you the story of Faith Kighala of Nakavule Primary School in Iganga district
(This story first ran in the New Vision on May 30)
She went to Nakavule Primary School three years ago only to find it in the process of being taken over by an alleged land grabber.
However, the state of affairs never deterred Faith Kighala, the headteacher, from struggling and turn round the fortunes of this school in Iganga municipal council.
Joyce Tulyanabo, a management committee member, narrates that Kighala convinced parents in 2015 to contribute towards building a teacher’s house as well as fence off the hitherto open school field.
“The idea was to send a clear message to prospective encroachers who keep eyeing the open space. The building sent a signal that the school was not ready to bow to their machinations,” Tulyanabo says.
Kighala adds that the staff house boosts security as would-be land grabbers now have to think twice about entering the school premises.
“There are also remedial lessons which P7 candidates benefit from. These are easily given by members of staff who are currently stationed at the school,” she adds.
Faith Kighala, the headteacher of Nakavule Primary School
According to Hajji Yusuf Kisambira, the parents’ representative on the school management committee, Kighala mobilised parents to support co-curricular activities.
“The school was able to buy for the athletes uniforms and equipment using funds Kighala mobilsied. The sports field nowadays is a bee-hive of activity,” Kisambira adds.
He says the school sports fi eld is on the contentious territory which was once earmarked as target for an out-of-court settlement.
“The proposal was to have part of the sports fi eld so as to withdraw a court case filed by Saddi Wagoina, claiming part of the school area as his ancestral land. But Kighala refused the offer with the support of the management,” Iganga municipality MP Peter Mugema affirms.
Mugema argues that giving away the sports field would compromise the pupils’ co-curricular activities that go on after lessons.
Baker Kasadhakawo, the Iganga district education offi cer, says the school annually participates in competitions of drama and sports organised by the local government.
“The sports field helps learners train and become better at most sports. Kighala’s move to secure the school land is definitely a step in the right direction,” Kasadhakawo says.
Legal battle to save school
Kighala is presently engrossed in an ongoing legal battle with Wagoina over the disputed land.
Kisambira, also former municipal councillor representing Nakavule parish, says what started as a community school with six pupils over 20 years ago is being claimed by Waigona as personal property.
In a civil suit No. 09 of 2013 at Iganga chief magistrate’s court, Wagoina dragged Iganga municipal council to court seeking mediation over alleged illegal development on his ancestral land.
“The chief magistrate Flavia Nabakooza advised the school authorities to put up their defence in court. So from 2013, the battle for control of the school land has been on,” Kisambira discloses.
School fence According to Kighala, since offi ce records show the boundaries of the institution, she lobbied parents to help fence the school.
“We have moved to complete fencing of the upper compound. What remains is the staff quarter ends and marshy lowlands,” she says.
David Balaba, the municipal mayor, says the school was taken over by the Government in 1992.
“Our appeal to school heads in the recent past is to have fenced compound. What Kighala did for Nakavule is commendable,” Balaba says.
He observes that the fence helps guard against rampant escape by pupils from school and it deters trespassers.
“The parents are equally happy as the fence boosts security. In the current era of kidnaps we are sure our children are safe,” Balaba adds.
Kasadhakawo expresses his satisfaction that the school population of 910 out of which 492 are girls. Pulkeria Muhindo, the Iganga resident district commissioner, says she had been briefed about the current state of affairs pertaining to the school land.
“Cases of land grabbing are rampant in Iganga. However, we expect the law to take its course in this scenario involving a government school,” Muhindo says.
Community health unit
Balaba explains that Kighala lobbied for Nakavule Community Health Centre II to be constructed at the upper school boundary.
“This unit now serves both sick children and the locals. It was a timely intervention to save the patients from being moved long distances for medical care,” Balaba says.
Kighala hopes to set up a dormitory block so that the school become a day and boarding institution. She is also mobilising funds to sink a borehole as a safe water source for the children and community.