Tororo- Pupils of two Bridge International Schools in Tororo District on Monday asked the government to help their parents recover fees they had paid to the closed schools.
The pupils, some of them sobbing, presented their appeal to a team of education ministry officials during the closure of two wings of Bridge International Schools in Rubongi Sub- county and Malaba Town Council in Tororo District.
Maurine Abeja, a primary six pupil at Bridge International Schools Rubongi Wing said since the government closed the schools, their fate remains unclear and they are not sure whether the money they had paid in school fees would be refunded to enable them join recognised schools.
Police on Friday blocked roads leading to Twed Towers where the Civil Division of the High Court sits.
The court’s judge, Margaret Oguli Oumo is expected to make her ruling on whether to add Makerere University as one of the respondents in the case in which Rubaga South MP Kato Lubwama’s academic papers are being challenged.
All motorists were barred from accessing the court which is hearing the case filed by a one Habib Buwembo challenging the MP’s academic credentials on grounds that he failed Ordinary Level exams and that he is not fit to be an MP.
On Monday this week, the judge was forced to adjourn the case briefly after MP Lubwama’s supporters went rowdy, disrupting court hearing.
The judge was irritated by rowdy Mr Lubwama’s supporters who had stormed court in hundreds to closely follow the proceedings in petition challenging their MP’s academic papers.
When court resumed Mr Buwembo’s lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde asked court to amend the application by adding Makerere University as a third respondent to the petition together with the legislator and Electoral Commission.
“Your honor we seek to add Makerere University as the respondent in this matter because they have refused to give us the necessary documents which are material in exercise of the court’s discretion at this time,” Mr Ssemakadde told court.
Mr Ssemakadde wanted Makerere to avail them with policies regarding it's Mature age entry examinations so as to establish on whether the legislator sat and passed these exams before being admitted for a Diploma in Music Dance and Drama in 1992.
He also accused the University of failing to produce the Diploma Certificate it awarded to MP Kato Lubwama.
Court also heard that , these documents could not be accessed anywhere since even on nomination day, the legislator presented to the District returning officer a letter titled "To Whom it May Concern " written by the University's academic registrar on October15, 2015.
However, the legislator’s lawyer Mr Asuman Basalirwa asked the judge to dismiss with costs Buwembo's application on grounds that he never exhausted all provided avenues to access public information like he claims.
“Mr Buwembo would have lodged a complaint before a magistrate's court which could then compel the University to avail him with these documents. If they fail to do so then that is when he should have filed an appeal in the High Court something he did not do,” Mr Basalirwa said.
Consequently, the judghe adjourned the case to today (Friday) when she would make her ruling.
However, the Tororo District education officer who led the team, apologised to the pupils over the closure of the schools adding that the closed school were “giving them poison” which the government could not tolerate.
He asked the affected pupils to tell their parents to demand for reimbursement of their fees saying in case the schools fail to comply, the government would help them recover their fees.
“Tell your parents to take you to schools which have the approved curriculum and qualified teachers. We don’t want them to regret in future why they took you to schools which do not follow the recommended curriculum,’’ he said.
He assured them that they would be helped to join nearby schools from where they would sit for their end of third term examinations.