As one of the first private schools in Uganda, Kampala Parents’ School still flies its flag high with a unique contribution to the education system in this country. As it celebrates 40 years of existence today, the school maintains its position as one of the most prominent primary schools.
Daphine Kato, the current principal of the school says pupils’ discipline, team work from staff members and support from parents is what has made the school what it is to date.
The discipline and teamwork is indeed evident right from the moment you set foot on the compound. From the warm reception by every member of staff we meet to a well-planned and clean green compound is what affirms Kato’s words.
In early 1970s, Edward Kasole Bwereere had an idea of homeschooling children. He always went in the neighbourhoods with the aim of encouraging parents to embrace the idea as he taught the children since most schools were far from their homes. In 1975, he opened the door of his home garage to the first 20 pupils who had their first lesson that day.
Today, the school sits on a 14 acre piece of land with more than 3,000 pupils from pre-primary to Primary Seven. The school was owned by its founder until 2008 when he sold it to Sudhir Ruparelia, the current proprietor.
Ruparelia says his aim is to see the school advance its mission of becoming a world class facility offering quality education to the world.
“Our mission is to facilitate first-class education and civilisation to children within and from outside Uganda with the hope of having a better world-community in future,” Ruparelia says.
He adds that the growth of any nation, lies in the hands of the young generation and the responsibility to mould them into useful citizens is upon the adult generation.
The school not only boasts of educating prominent alumni such as Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Natasha Museveni Karugire, Patience Museveni Rwabwogo, Diana Museveni Kamuntu, Andrew Benon Kibuuka, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda’s children as well as Amelia Kyambade’s, but also takes pride in the good performance of their pupils over the years.
“The expectations are very high but I am glad to tell you that we have made sure we beat our targets. In the just released Primary Leaving Examinations, out of 264 candidates who sat for the exams, 216 passed in Division one and the remaining 48 in Division two. Who has such big numbers?” Ms Kato asked.
Samson Muwanguzi, the school’s board chairman says the children’s performance is not only concentrated in the class, but all other areas as well.
“At Kampala Parents’ School, we leave no stone unturned to achieve this goal of struggling for the future by fully facilitating our pupils to become holistic, upright and useful citizens for the betterment of our country Uganda. The uniqueness in us is that we focus on all aspects of life in a child,” he said.
At the tour of the school, it is evident the child’s holistic growth and development is catered for. Apart from the spacious classrooms, two well stocked school libraries and computer rooms with smart boards for the academic aspect, the school too has other facilities such as a cookery room with cooking facilities for catering lessons, tailoring room with enough sewing machines to teach children how to saw clothes, art rooms, a world class swimming pool, play field for other outside games such as basketball and a multi-purpose hall for music, dance and drama productions, assemblies and PTA meetings. The school too has a well-stocked sickbay with a registered full time nurse who offers first aid to emergencies.
The pre-primary section caters for children aged two to six years grouped according to their appropriate ages. The play group has children in the ages of two to three years, three to four years is a group for baby class, four to five years for middle class then the top class has children between five to six years.
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Kato says the curriculum is based on the developmental needs of the children.
“We emphasise that development is a product of both heredity and environment. While heredity pre-determines the genetic potential, the environment provides the various inputs needed for the child to achieve the genetic potential,” she explains.
She adds that while each child is unique, they do have some distinctive common characteristics that the care givers at the school should be aware of.
“We designed developmental activities for the total growth in the physical, cognitive, social, emotional, moral and spiritual aspect of the child. These are physical, emotional, social and moral, spiritual and lastly the intellectual needs,” she says.
Martha Tukahirwa, one of the former students and the spokesperson of the school explains that today’s gathering of former students is aimed at starting an alumni association that will enable old students to constructively participate in the future development of the school.
“We are very many who have gone through this school and we realised that it was high time for all of us to gather and see the way forward for the school. We want to have an active hand in the running of the school. Not to command what the school should do but our contribution to its future,” she says.
“We had a great time at the school. I remember when we were chased from the first buildings we occupied, Mr Kasole used to drive to each of our homes to give and mark work until we completed our primary level in 1975. We were 17...,” Andrew Benon Kibuuka, 1975 Class
“I remember the emphsise on discipline and time keeping. We were also taught to be clean and smart all the time. A handkerchief was a must for all of as pupils.,”’
“I had the best of primary school time. I was taught well not only in class but also in social etiquette, communication skills, personal administration and above all fluency in English which has given me confidence to interact freely,”Ronald Kabuye, 2002 Class