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Over 1,000 Students Suspended as Security Closes Kimanya SS Over Strike

According to one of the teachers who preferred not to be named, trouble started on Sunday night when students in candidate classes rose up against the recurrent power blackouts at the school, which they argued were frustrating their night revision schedules.
05 Jul 2022 07:14
Some Students of Blessed Sacrement Secondary School in Masaka City returning home after they were suspended on Monday

Audio 4

The administration of Blessed Sacrament Kimanya Secondary School in Masaka district has suspended at least 1,000 students over a strike. Those suspended include senior four, five, three, and five students. 

The decision to suspend the students was reached during a crisis meeting between security, the School administration, and the Board of Governors that was convened to defuse a standoff that had arisen from the student's strike. 

According to one of the teachers who preferred not to be named, trouble started on Sunday night when students in candidate classes rose up against the recurrent power blackouts at the school, which they argued were frustrating their night revision schedules.

He says that although management engaged the students to contain the situation, it triggered a spontaneous strike that resumed on Monday afternoon when students attempted to set ablaze one of the boy's dormitories when they torched a couple of mattresses.

Reverend Father Michael Kamulegeya, the Education Secretary for Masaka Catholic Diocese, which owns the school, says that upon assessing the situation, security advised them to temporarily close the school to allow the situation to normalize. 

He says the police also decided to commence broader investigations into the incident, saying that their findings will guide management on the next course of action.  

//Cue in: “the prominent point…..  

Cue out: ….complete the term.”// 

Luganda  

//Cue in: “abayizi baffe….  

Cue out; ……mpola mpola.”//

The situation became chaotic as antiriot police were forcing students out of the school compound to affect the closure. The students raised their voices with ululations as they accused teachers of highhandedness, administering corporal punishment, and general maladministration that affects their learning.

As they returned home, the rowdy students also demanded the removal of the top administrators whom they accused of being unresponsive to their concerns. 

//Cue in: “Akawunga konna…. 

Cue out; ….buli wamu,”// 

Some of the parents who rushed to pick up their children lashed out at the school for releasing the students in the late evening hours without informing their parents.  Frank Kayiwa, a parent whose two children were suspended, argued that it was improper for the school to chase both the girls and boy students late in the evening without minding about their safety.  

//Cue in: “nze simanya ngako ….  

Cue out; ….tubaako kyetukola,”// 

The strike and suspension of students at Blessed Sacrament Kimanya SS in Masaka city came a day after St Mary’s College Rushoroza in Kabale district also suspended 825 students for their alleged involvement in inter-class fights.