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Pupils, Parents Petition Parliament Over Bridge Schools

The Directorate of Education Standards halted the operations of Bridge International Schools following concerns of legality, quality of infrastructure and teaching methodology, a decision which affects 63 campuses and over 1000 pupils.
Hundreds of pupils accompanied by parents and teachers of Bridge International Academy Nsumbi, Nansana Municipality in Wakiso district staged a protest demonstration against high court ruling to close Bridge Academies in Uganda.

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Hundreds of pupils accompanied by parents and teachers have stormed Parliament protesting a recent court order for the closure of Bridge International chain of schools.

The protests follow a ruling in which High Court Judge Patricia Wasswa Basaza sustained a decision announced earlier by government through the Ministry of Education and Sports to close the schools which were reportedly not properly licensed to operate in Uganda.

The Academies, linked to philanthropists Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, the founders of Microsoft and Facebook, charge between 80 to 105,000 Shillings per school term for each pupil and are built on a foundation of providing low cost, standardized and technology-driven education in developing countries.

But the Directorate of Education Standards headed by Dr Abdallah Mutazindwa halted their operations following concerns of legality, quality of infrastructure and teaching methodology, a decision which affects 63 campuses and over 1000 pupils. Government inspectors reported that the schools were providing unhygienic learning conditions and using unqualified teachers.

Today, charged parents stormed parliament in the company of their children who knelt for sympathy before cameras pleading for the reopening of their Academies. They dispelled the court order as dubious and called for the intervention of President Yoweri Museveni to intervene.

Speaking to URN, the concerned parents argue that court passed judgment without adequate consultations from the parents who are more informed about the status of the schools.

//Cue in: "They are liars…..

Cue out...our education."//

//Cue in: (Luganda Vox) "Njagala  baggule ..

Cue out...Mulaba mutya."//

The parents however could not deliver their petition to parliament which was today hosting a special session to view the body of fallen Army MP Maj Gen Julius Oketta.

On Saturday 6, about 300 Bridge pupils from P1 to P5 at the Nsumbi based branch in Wakiso district accompanied parents and teachers walked a 2km distance along Mpanga Road in Wakiso protesting the court ruling.