Mugume says stewardship makes a good school leader

Mr Stanley Mugume the head teacher of Kyambogo College School encourages people to work hard. PHOTO | OWEN WAGABAZA

What you need to know:

  • Rising from humble beginnings, Mr Stanley Mugume put his heart to everything he did as a teacher. He has risen through ranks and the head teacher of Kyambogo College School.

Mr Stanley Mugume believes that teaching is a calling from God and has never regretted joining the profession that has seen him travel widely on professional, casual and humanitarian grounds. 

Mr Mugume is the head teacher of Kyambogo College School where he has served since 2022. He vividly recounts how his teaching passion started. 

“I first taught when I had just been admitted for a diploma in education at National Teacher’s College Nkozi in 1993. Unfortunately, my mother was bedridden and I requested a dead year to nurse her. While nursing my mother, I chose to teach at my former primary school as a licensed teacher. I earned Shs2500 per month,” Mugume recollects.

He later rejoined National Teacher’s College Nkozi and graduated in 1996. 

The rise of the educationist

Mugume’s teaching career started at the defunct Masaka High School in 1996 where he rose through the ranks and in three years became a head teacher.  As a head teacher, Mugume exhibited commitment, and dedication and was soon identified by the board of governors of Lyantonde Secondary School who sought his service as a caretaker head teacher. The school board worked in consultation with the Ministry of Education and Sports and Mugume was officially posted to Lyantonde SS as a head teacher in 2009. 

“I found Lyantonde SS in a very bad state, with an enrollment of 250 students, low staff morale, ragged buildings and poor academic performance,” says Mugume.  And, working closely with the staff, parents and the governing board, they embarked on turning around the school’s fortune. 

“I started with working on the improvement of academic performance by introducing extra lessons as well as regular assessments. To achieve this, I improved the staff welfare, procured a state of the art Retsol printer which we used to print our school tests and examinations and also initiated staff travels for benchmarking. This improved our academic performance,” says Mugume.

In the same vein, Mugume renovated the buildings and encouraged co-curricular activities that in 2010, the school represented the district at the national post-primary football competitions and emerged as the 14th best school. 

His stellar work at Lyantonde SS was once again noticed by the powers that be.

“In 2012, the late Bishop Godfrey Makumbi of West Buganda Diocese visited Lyantonde SS and was impressed with my works there.  A year later, he initiated my transfer to Kijjabwemi Secondary School in Masaka as head teacher to replace Can Dr Charles Kahigiriza who was joining Ndejje SS,” Mugume remembers.

He was in Kijjabwemi for nine years. 

“We improved the school infrastructure by setting up a multipurpose hall, and a chapel to handle the spiritual welfare of the school as well as renovated other school structures, all aimed at giving the school an impressive outlook. 

He also supported teachers and inspired them to upgrade, organised continuous professional development (CPDs) for teachers to get more polished and exposed, and encouraged co-curricular activities that Kijjabwemi SS regularly represented the district in several sports disciplines. Consequently, the enrollment grew from 1,000 students to 1,769 students. 

Off  to Kyambogo College School 

In August 2022, Mugume was transferred to Kyambogo College School and was immediately tasked by the board to restore the school’s past glory.  

“When I arrived here, the school was not fairing badly, though every institution has its strengths and weaknesses,” Mugume says.

Some of the school’s strengths included the big brand of the school, enrollment of 900 students, necessary infrastructure though dilapidated and a strong and vibrant governing board. Weaknesses according to Mr Mugume included a poor public image that the school had cultivated in recent years, divided staff, dilapidated infrastructure, and poor staff work ethic. 

“I started with a situational analysis and the results showed that the key focus areas should be on human resources, infrastructure development, and improved academic performance among others. And to effectively achieve my goals, it was important that I first put the human resources in order,” Mugume explains.

He embarked on a mindset change amongst staff, had several meetings with them explaining his plans for the school

“I called for team work and most importantly worked on their welfare and motivation that within two months, he had paid their two months’ arrears in form of salaries and allowances. Ms Sylvia Namanda, the deputy headteacher at the school, says Mr Mugume is guiding the school in the right direction. 

“I came in here a month after Mr Mugume had been posted here and the school was upside down.  There were no systems, the staff was in cliques and demotivated and students missed up to five lessons a day due to teacher absenteeism,” says Namanda. 

“There was also indiscipline among students, with many of them just loitering around the school,” she adds. However, Namanda says, these have since stopped. 

“The staff is well-motivated and work as a unit, teacher absenteeism has since stopped and discipline among students restored,” Namanda says.

“He is an effective communicator, a great mobiliser and empathetic. Whenever there is an emergency to any of the staff such as sickness or loss of loved ones, Mr Mugume is always at the forefront mobilising us to support the burdened colleague,” says Namanda.

Visionary leader

Mr Richard Oketch, the head of quality assurance at the school, says Mr Mugume is a charismatic, developmental and visionary head teacher.

“He is very strong in human resources. When he came in, he initiated the clear restructuring of roles, there were gaps that had caused challenges in supervision, and here, he ensured that there was clarity of roles,” Oketch says. 

“He also immediately embarked on improving staff motivation by clearing the arrears and he has since ensured prompt payments of staff salaries and allowances. He has also heavily invested in infrastructure development by tarmacking the access road, renovating classrooms as well as restoring the playground,” says Oketch.

To improve academics, Mugume introduced the quadruple lesson timetable which has helped a lot in the early syllabus coverage especially for the A-Level, subsequently improving on the school’s academic performance.

In the 2023 UNEB exams, Kyambogo registered 50 first grades and the enrollment has also grown to more than 1,300 students from the 900 that he found.

Dr Stephen Kasumba, the chairperson board of governors at the school, says Mugume is a transformational leader. 

“He has been with us for only two years and there is evidence that he has a clear vision of where he wants the school to be. His transformation has been noticed in terms of leadership, teamwork building and even infrastructure development.  He is an experienced head teacher who greatly consults with the board and we are hopeful that we are going to greatly benefit more from him,” Dr Kasumba says.