Memo to Mama Janet on Bwera Teachers’ College

Author: Asuman Bisiika. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • In 1980, Kasese District had 30 university graduates and one secondary school. Bukonzo County had 29 graduates while Busongora County had one. The lone graduate from Busongora County was the late Jerome Mbura-Muhindo (former NRC member 1989-1996) and later Speaker of Kasese District Council.

Dear Mama Janet Museveni, please allow me to petition your good office on the above matter.

Background
In 1980, Kasese District had 30 university graduates and one secondary school. Bukonzo County had 29 graduates while Busongora County had one. The lone graduate from Busongora County was the late Jerome Mbura-Muhindo (former NRC member 1989-1996) and later Speaker of Kasese District Council.

Of the 29 graduates from Bukonzo County, Kisinga Sub-county (my sub-county) had 10 while Bwera Sub-county had 14. Of the 10 graduates from Kisiinga, two were sons of the late Rev Eliphaz Kambere (father to Samson Bagonza, engineer-in-chief of the Ministry of Works) while four were children of the late Kitakakire (a Catholic Church grandee and father of retired Under Secretary Bart Kitakakire).

 Dr Barnabas Rwatooro Ch.BMB (Muk. 1967) was the first university graduate from Kasese. For the known and unnecessary rivalry between Kisinga and Bwera sub- counties, I will add: Dr Rwatooro was from Kisinga Sub-county. When government phased out junior secondary schools (6-2-2 system) and introduced senior secondary schools (7-4-2 system), Kasese had two junior secondary schools namely Nsenyi (Catholic) in Kisiinga Sub-county and Bwera (Protestant) in Bwera Sub-county.

 These two junior secondary schools were the only institutions of that level in the predominantly Bakonzo-domiciled Tooro Kingdom counties of Busongora (now Kasese District), Bunyangabu (now Bunyangabu District) and Bwamba (now Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts).

 The expectations were that all junior secondary schools would be turned (promoted) into senior secondary schools. But the two junior secondary schools in Kasese were instead demoted to primary schools: Nsenyi Primary School (in Kisinga Sub-county) and Kitalikibi Primary School (in Bwera Sub-county). 

Mama Janet, that’s how Kasese District ended up without a secondary until 1977 when Saad Memorial Secondary School (in Kiburara) opened its doors to the public. President Idi Amin had laid the school’s foundation stone in July 1974.
Mama Janet, with the above background, may it please you to know that any public institution in the education value chain (be it a nursery school) is very important to people of Kasese. 

I know your ministry officials may have exclusively relied on the entries in their data base to make that policy position. But for the people of Kasese, Bwera Teachers’ College holds more than the physicality of presence and entry in the ministry’s data base but sentimental value.

 This is, therefore, to request you to use your good office to review your ministry’s decision on phasing out Bwera Teachers’ College. Please allow me to make a specific request: the premises of Bwera Teachers’ College should be turned into a constituent college for one of the public universities. This university constituent college (at Bwera) would later be upgraded to a full-fledged public university situated at Kiburara where we have 130 acres of titled public land.

 After the January 14 elections, there is a conspicuous effort by the people of Kasese to re-discover themselves. For example, on October 3, the top leadership of the district launched what they called Kasese District Development Agenda. The people of Kasese need and require support for their development agenda.

Mama Janet, through you, I would also like to thank Mr Museveni and his government for the provision of Shs2billion to build a new Kilembe Hospital. I will call Dr Diana Atwine and request her to make sure the new hospital is built within boundaries of Kilembe Sub-county (and not anywhere else).  Hoping my petition will meet your favourable consideration, I remain yours dutifully, Asuman Bisiika, elder from Kiburara.

Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of the East African Flagpost. [email protected]

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