Parents stranded as school closes

Kampala- During lunchtime on weekdays, Dove Nursery School compound in Lubowa, a Kampala suburb, is usually busy with three to five-year-olds milling around the play area as teachers lead them to the dining room. But yesterday, the place was quiet, the bungalow that housed the school locked up and the security guard stationed at the gate would not allow anyone to enter.

Outside the walls, a group of parents awoke to the shock that the school which their children had attended until last week was no more.

They received the news that the school had been closed at the weekend.

“I received a message last night saying the school has been closed because of an ownership conflict and that the school’s lawyer would contact us on the way forward,” said Ms Sandra Drile, who had two children in the school.

Efforts to call for further information were futile as nobody in the school administration responded to parents’ frantic calls.

“Their phones have been off and we did not receive a proper explanation,” Ms Bintou Bockarie, whose three-year-old twin sons, had been going to the nursery school since last September.It was like a bad joke to some parents who had enrolled their children not even three weeks ago. Mr Bahati Mukasa’s son had just enrolled.

Now they stare forlornly at the receipts of the sums they parted with for their children’s education which is now lost.

According to the parents, the closure was a well-orchestrated plot by the administration to rob them.

“First they hiked the fees from Shs650,000 to Shs990,000 per child for full day, and then they insisted we pay upfront,” Ms Drile, whose children were returning for the second year in the school, said.

Last week, parents received a text informing them that the school would be closed for three days as they sort out what they termed as a “crisis”.

However, by the weekend, the situation escalated to the messages stating that the institution would be closed indefinitely.

Ms Bockarie, who lives in the neighbourhood, says she was surprised to be alerted that a lorry was outside her children’s school was carrying away the school supplies.

“I found bailiffs who produced an order to seize the property as the school had fallen behind on rent arrears,” she says.

The assistant police superintendent at Kajjansi Police Station, Mr Hannington Busheij, dispersed the parents from the school and aised them to take up the matter in court.

The parents had no idea about the rent arrears since the administration told them that the hiked fees was a result of an increase in rent bills last December.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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