Community Girls' School Excites Parents
Fr. Mujule in white leads stakeholders on a tour of the school.

Community Girls' School Excites Parents

Studying without the disturbance of men.

By Gerald Businge
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First published: November 23, 2005

Eureka! That is the sigh of relief many parents in Muhorro are expressing about St. Margaret Mary Muhorro Girls’ Secondary School, which opened two years ago.

“Now our daughters can go to school and we are confident they will study without the disturbance of men,” says one parent who preferred anonymity.

Why, you may ask. Many parents who have brought their girls to study in this growing township of Muhorro will admit to you about their disappointment with educating their girl children. Not because the girls don’t perform well in class. The booming economic actives in Muhorro have brought many men to the town that have found pleasure in young girls studying in the day schools in Muhorro.

Scores of parents have been sending girls to schools in Muhorro only for the girls to return pregnant; with poor grades because of being distracted by men who offered them money and incentives their parents couldn’t afford or worse to be told they got married.

It is this situation that forced parents, religious leaders and businessmen here to put up a school that will avert the worrying situation and ensure that as many girls go to secondary school and complete their studies-through establishing a girls boarding school.

When the meetings started in 2001, the focus also turned to forming a school that would inspire girls to learn and give them a good study environment and opportunities.

“The parish council of Muhorro Catholic Parish, decided to offer land and buildings for use of the new girls school. We began the school on 4th Feb 2002 with the registration of 170 students in S1, 2 and 3. The students are mainly coming from Kibaale and Kyenjojo districts .The Catholic Church together with the local community here and the Muhorro town business community have worked hand in hand to support the education of the girl child in the area,” reveals Father Michael Christopher Mujule Akiiki, the school founder.

Fr. Mujule, an educationist who had served as a Rector and head teacher of St John Bosco Seminary, Hoima and St. Adolf SS had been burning with the idea of starting a girl’s school in the area as a way of promoting girl child education.

“The idea is to give good secondary education to the rural girls and to enable the girls get woman leadership skills for their now and especially for their future,” says Fr. Mujule.

But how could this kind of education be offered in Muhorro where most parents are poor? “Even though we had no sponsorship, we had to ask the students very little money so that we fulfill our mission of making sure they access quality education. The boarders pay 100,000 shillings only where as the day students pay 40,000 shillings. It’s not easy but we have a strong team of dedicated teachers and other staff,” says Mujule who is also the head teacher.

The school now has a girl’s hostel catering for 90 boarding students and the 50 are day students coming from their homes.

Performance is however one thing the two year-old school has to deal with. In their first attempt to sit the Senior four UNEB exams of November 2003 they had no student in Division one, only three in division two and 11 in division four. Not a bad performance though being a rural area and in a district which got only 16 first grade students.

Class performance is not the main challenge for Fr. Mujule. “Many girls in rural areas have a problem of lack of self confidence and expression. We want to develop the girls wholesomely. We hope that by putting the girls together in this school we are able to provide the girls a good environment to grow their talents. There is a lot to do – it’s a humble beginning but the future is surely bright for the school,” he says.

Bengna Mukibi, the Public service minister in charge of pensions commends and supports the school’s girl child education program and encourages parents to send more students to the school.

“As a sub county, we are so grateful to have a girls school. It is keeping my youths busy and studying,” says Agaba Albert Villey Zaidi, youth Councilor, Muhorro Sub County.

The school has even attracted the eye of many people including government, which has agreed to give it a grant as per next year’s draft budget.

The League for Catholic Women has assisted by putting up a hostel and the US embassy in Kampala has assisted to put up solar light system to enable the girls to have night studying. All the reasons for parents here to smile.

By Gerald Businge
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First published: November 23, 2005
Gerald Businge works for Ultimate Media.