RUKUNGIRI-Immaculate Heart Girls’ School Nyakibale in Rukungiri celebrated their Golden Jubilee on Saturday at a school playground, the function attracted thousands of people including parents, well-wishers and old girls.
Minister in charge of General Duties in the office of the Prime Minister, Mary Karooro Okurutu represented President Yoweri Museveni at the function. President Yoweri Museveni commended the school administration led by the headteacher; Sr. Gladyce Kachope for putting to good use public funds which he said was missing in other public leaders.
“We normally make fundraisings for many projects but when you go back after some time, you cannot see where the money raised was used unlike here whatever is collected from parents and other donations are seen,” the President said in a message delivered by Karooro Okurutu.
He urged other leaders to emulate Immaculate Heart Girls School to develop their areas. “We are lacking patriotic leaders like the headteacher of Immaculate Heart in this country as the majority were infected with a “disease” called corruption,” he noted in his speech.
President Yoweri Museveni added that Immaculate Heart does not only excel in putting good structures in place but also in academic performance over the years.
President Yoweri Museveni promised to spare time soon and come to the school to thank them on what they are doing for the girl child and speak to students personally.
“When we came from the bush in 1986, the past government was not minding about the woman and girl child, they were marginalized it’s our government which brought women and the girl child to the fore front and we shall continue supporting their cause,” he said.
He noted that women constitute nearly half of the population in Uganda that there is no reason why they should be left out when drawing the development agenda.
He urged the school to impart other practical skills on top of academics which will help the students create jobs after their education.
President Yoweri Museveni contributed sh50m cash towards the Golden Jubilee building complex which is under construction.
The headteacher, Sr. Mary Gladyce Kachope said the project was estimated to cost about sh19b and so far they have used sh5b they need more sh14b to complete the project.
“This is long term project that will be done in phases, by the grace of God we shall come to the end,” she said. Kachope said that the first phase which is a chapel estimated to accommodate 3000 students is almost complete. She hopes to embark on the second phase of the dining hall, home economics hall and kitchen next year.
“We have travelled a long journey as a girls’ school, we have a reason to celebrate today. She noted that six out of eight headteachers who have led the school are still alive and all the six including the first headteacher, the twin sisters are present here with us to witness the transformation that has taken place here in the last 50 years;” she said.
The school started in January 1969 by twin sisters, Sr. Magdalen Kakuru as headteacher and her twin sister Sr. Louise as her deputy and school bursar, appointed by then bishop Gervastus Nkaranga of Kabale diocese.
The school started with only five staff members and 34 students now they have 161 teaching, non-teaching and support full-time staff with 2,067 students today.
Minister Mary Karooro Okurutu officially opened the chapel on behalf of the President and bishop Callist Rubaramira of Kabale diocese directed the headteacher to begin using the chapel immediately as works to complete the project continues.
“Since we have this wonderful shelter, we shall not wait anymore to use it we must make use of it immediately since the President has opened it and I have also dedicated it in the hands of God,” he said.
“We have done more than 80% of the work and we hope by the end of this year we shall finish and embark on phase two next year,” she said.
Maj. Everline Asiimwe a Member of Parliament representing the army and an old girl of the school said old girls who are in Kampala have pledged sh100m towards the construction of golden jubilee complex.
Former Rujumbura Member of Parliament, Jim Muhwezi contributed sh4m while Rukungiri Municipality member of Parliament, Rolland Mugume Kaginda contributed sh3m, 50 bags of cement and a cow for girls to slaughter after the function.