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Bro. Aganyira lifts St. Edwards, revamping Kisubi

By Conan Businge

Added 14th June 2019 05:44 PM

At the time Aganyira was posted to Bukuumi, the dormitories’ walls had gaping holes, and had no doors. The windows shutters were all broken and literally, the boys slept out.

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At the time Aganyira was posted to Bukuumi, the dormitories’ walls had gaping holes, and had no doors. The windows shutters were all broken and literally, the boys slept out.

 

Like a fire on a hill, St. Edward’s Secondary School Bukuumi can be seen from the neighboring villages in Western Uganda’s Kakumiro district.

Formerly known as the fountain of pride Bunyoro, that acclaim almost completely got blown away a few years ago, as it was sinking into oblivion.

But, when Bro. Joseph Byamukama as head teacher in 2001, it gradually started declining in performance and quality of infrastructure.

The school’s population went down to about 500 up from about 1,000 students and so was the academic performance; and just about five to 10 students out of a class of occasionally about 80 students would pass in Division One.

 
This same school, which had in the 1970 and 1980s competed with the likes of St. Mary’s Kisubi, St. Henry’s College Kitovu, and Namilyango College in terms of infrastructure and academics, started fading away.

 

It was later in 2005 when Bro. Deodati Aganyira was posted to the school, that it started re-awakening from a slumber of mismanagement. He served the school for nine years before he was returned to St. Mary’s College Kisubi. Before joining St. Edwards’ SS, Bro. Aganyira had served at St. Henry College Kitovu, Bishop Comboni College, and St. Charles Lwanga Kasasa.

 

Lifts Bukuumi
At the time Aganyira was posted to Bukuumi, the dormitories’ walls had gaping holes, and had no doors. The windows shutters were all broken and literally, the boys slept out.

Wellen Bamwesigye, a parent and former Parents Teachers Association (PTA) treasurer, explains that the dormitories on the boys ‘wing needed a facelift.

Bamwesigye says that the buildings at the girls' wing have not had a new coat of paint in decades. The soggy, damp environment of the shower rooms is not the best for girls. 

 

Bamwesigye adds, “The main hall building was near collapse, the farm was no longer functioning. The art room was closed and abandoned and the technical drawing rooms abandoned.”

The teachers’ quarters were also in a sorry state.

 
“Indeed, this school had many problems due to mismanagement. However, there was a turn around when Bro. Aganyira was posted here. He helped us rebuild the school.”

The dormitories were all renovated, main hall and art room and the technical drawing rooms were renovated and put back to use, Bamwesigye explains.

 

The Kakumiro district LC V Joseph Ssentayi says that Bro. Aganyira helped the western region’s school, to an academic giant. “Our children can now joint this school and compete with other top schools in the city,” Ssentayi says.

“Recently this school was among the top 100 schools with the highest number of students admitted on Government Scholarship. This school is also always ranked among the top 200 top performing schools at O’level. All was because of his reawakening of this school when he joined it,” he says. 

 
Indeed, the school has for recent years been among the best schools at O’level and among top 100 schools with students admitted on Government scholarship.

The school also one again, managed to win it's lost pride in sports. He renovated the playgrounds, bout sports equipment and hired external trainers to step up the school’s sports performance.

In 2008 and 2009, Bro. Aganyira helped St. Edward’s SS beat all the other schools under Catholic Brothers to the Lamennais football trophy. The trophy is competed for annually by all schools under the Brothers of Christian Instruction, in Kisubi in Kampala.

 
St. Edwards won the national secondary schools’ Coca Cola trophy in 2012; and also represented Uganda in Burundi’s city– Bujumbura; where the school secured the third slot for Uganda.

Proud of once having the best school farm in Bunyoro, the school, at the time Bro. Aganyira joined it, only had 20 exotic cows. He left when the school has almost 100 exotic cows. Within the nine years, using the school’s internal fees collections, and labour provided by students who could not pay fees managed to set up a farm with 100 goats, a well maintained massive 4-acre banana plantation and planted 30 acres of pine trees.

One of the parents at the school, Alice Mugume says, “Bro. Aganyira was a hardworking man. He planted 30 acres of pine around the school.”

Credit goes to Bro. Aganyira and the school management for effectively utilizing about sh200m from the Government and African Development Bank, to renovate classrooms and the main hall. The funds were used to renovate the library.

His management also improved students’ discipline. Although strikes, bullying and low academic performance crippled the school in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the school is regained its ground and more students are now excelling in their studies in this rural school. The last strike at the school was in 2013.

Bamwesigye also notes that Bro. Aganyira re-instated annual general meetings to give other stakeholders like parents a say in the way the school is run. 

“He also restored the defunct students’ association, and the old students now meet on the school’s annual celebrations, to discuss it's development,” he says.

Bro. Aganyira was also using the school resources to support about 60 poor but bright students meet there fees requirements, through working on the school farm.

Revamping Kisubi
Bro. Aganyira returned to Kisubi in 2014 and he has helped revamp the historical schools’ infrastructure.

The schools’ Board Chairperson Musoke Kalema that on his joining Kisubi, he has helped put up a wall and fence around the entire school, overhauled the school’s entire sewage system, renovated the flush toilets. Using the school’s savings, parents’ contribution and old boys’ funding, he has put up an sh3.5bn, A’level state-of-the-art storied complex.

“He also helped the school get a bus, by getting students to contribute sh250,000 each, for one term in 2016. The bus cost sh490m,” Kalema explains.

Among other developments, Kalema cites the expansion of the library and main hall’s renovation; which cost sh300m and funded by the education ministry. He also overhauled the school’s sewer line, and put up two reservoir water tanks; all at sh900m.

Kalema also says, “Bro. Aganyira is a very religious man, a performer, a very professional and experienced. He is also a good listener and seeks advice.”

The Chairperson of the Parents and Teachers Association Charles Ocici says that Bro. Aganyira has greatly supported the schools’ growth. “He is a hardworking man.”

Hajj Buye, a principal officer desk officer at the education ministry says Bro Aganyira has greatly revamped the school’s infrastructure and maintained a high quality of the schools’ performance. “He is an achiever,” he says. 

In co-curricular activities, the school is the current national champion of Fresh Diary’s sponsored Hokey and Rugby tournaments. At the finals of the schools’ competitions held at Mbale SS last month, Kisubi It beat Ntare School in Hokey and Namilyango College in Rugby.

St. Mary’s College Kisubi last year also represented Africa in the World Scholars Championships held in the USA, after beating all the other schools in Uganda.  

They are again the National Champions this year in debate and will be heading to Beijing in China, for the competition later this year.

Bro. Aganyira also encourages his students to support neighboring schools. In the past years, some of the school’s clubs have helped pay fees for two girls at St. Donazio Primary School, from Primary One to Primary Seven. 

One of his parents at Kisubi, Annet Atugonza says “Bro. Aganyira loves his staff and students. He is very friendly and supportive of our children. We love him.”

His work journey
He started working from St. Mary’s College Kisubi, with a diploma in education from Kyambogo University. In 1998 to 1992 he was as a classroom teacher, teaching agriculture. At the time, he had already been ordained under the Brothers of Christian Instruction, based in Kisubi, Kampala.

From 1993 to 1994, he was transferred St. Henry’s College Kitovu as a teacher. He was returned to St. Mary’s College in 1996.  In 1997, he sent to Makerere for further studies; and he did a Bachelor’s degree in education.

In 1999 when he graduated, Bro. Aganyira was posted to Bishop Comboni College in Kambuga, as a teacher and acting deputy headteacher; where he taught for three years before being posted to St. Charles Lwanga, Kasasa. A year later, he was sent to Italy, Rome for two years on a sabbatical. On his return, he was deployed at St. Edward’s SS Bukuumi as a substantive deputy and acting headteacher, in January 2005. 

In 2014, he was made a substantive headteacher and returned to Kampala to head St. Mary’s College Kisubi.

GOLDEN TIPS

  • Be a leading example

  • Always listen to advice from your supervisors

  • Always assemble a great team of people on staff

  • Be disciplined and prayerful

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