St.Gonzaga Secondary School, Kijjukizo in Lyantonde District has been closed after male students staged a violent protest which resulted in the torching of the deputy head teacher's office.
In the strike which started after Monday morning preps, the rowdy male students accused the deputy head teacher, Mr Emmanuel Lubowa of being a “rumormonger and secretly interacting with the female students.”
“The deputy head teacher talks a lot with the female students and sometimes invites them to his house. It is through such secret interactions with girls that he gets information about which students own phones and later confiscates them,” one of the unidentified striking students shouted.
But Mr Lubowa refuted all the allegations leveled against him.
“I am a disciplinarian and that is the reason I am paid. The students can say all sorts of things but that cannot break my back,” he said
To contain the situation, management resolved to close the school for two weeks.
“We are going to have a meeting with the parents on Monday July 4, 2022 at the school and the school will reopen on July 11,” Ms Joan Nakkunja , the school head teacher said.
But Ms Evas Natukukunda, a parent faulted the school management for sending the students back home, arguing that it will affect their academic performance.
“I strongly condemn what the children did but I am also disappointed with the way management has handled the whole situation. They could have identified the ring leaders, punish them as other students continue with their studies,” she said.
Lyantonde Resident District Commissioner, Mr Godfrey Mbetegyerize advised the school management to build a strong students’ leadership that can help detect strikes before they occur.
“If there was a good students’ leadership which works closely with management, such an incident could have been avoided, the students’ leadership could have identified the problem and inform management,” he said.
This is the second school in the district to suffer a violent strike in a space of two weeks. On June 12, students of St. John’s Comprehensive Secondary School in Kaliro Sub County, Lyantonde District went on strike and destroyed school properties, including a perimeter wall, window panes, and computer lab, among others, after complaining of poor quality of meals.
Four days later, senior four male candidates of Kaikolongo Seed Secondary School in the neighboring Lwengo District also staged a violent strike, protesting strict school rules including banning them from sitting with their female counterparts during night and early morning preps.
The management of both schools have since fined all students between Shs 20,000 and Shs200, 0000 each to procure new school equipment and repair those destroyed during the strike.