Mzee Edward Bwerere Kasole, the former proprietor of Kampala Parents School has said government should find a meaningful solution to cries of owners of private schools because they are subsidizing for the same government.
Kasole said though Finance Minister Matia Kasaija was right in his response to cries by private school owners, his response was rather unfriendly and suggested there was nothing much government would do to save schools being auctioned by financial institutions.
“Government has nothing much it can do to save the situation because that is a private undertaking but maybe for nationalism, that if the education system collapses what will happen to all the children? Secondly owners of these schools are partners with government because they are rendering a service meant for government and therefore, government should sit down with owners of the schools and find a solution”? Mr. Kasole told Eagle Online in a telephone interview today from his Mubende home.
Kasaija is quoted to have said that school owners should instead asset to repay bank loans, a statement that seem to have annoyed school owners.
Kasole who is considered a pioneer of private education in Uganda says the reasons why private schools owners are suffering is because they have never been considered as investors by government. He says school owners too need incentives like other investors in other sector because they create employment, pay taxes, educate children and therefore, in situations like this, there is need for government to talk to financial institutions.
“I started a school but they never saw me as an investor and so how will government help them when they don’t see them as investor?” Kasole asked.
Kasole further advised school owners to avoid expansionist policy because it is the reason some of the schools are in debts. He said both sides need to initiate meaningful discussion through interfacing with all school owners in the country.
“There are schools that have performed very well and if they collapse what will happen? Government is the first parent and therefore, should help where it is necessary. Let government put a committee in place to listen to school owners
He revealed that he was happy his former school Kampala Parents was still performing well saying it has kept the legacy of helping an average Ugandan.
“On my former school, Kampala Parents, I wanted a school where an average Ugandan would access better education and so far, I am happy with the progress of the school” Kasole said of the school he started before selling it to the Ugandan tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia who has since transformed it.
Kampala Parents School was in 1975, and it was the first private school and this alone landed Kasole in prison for a week when President Idi Amin questioned how a Ugandan could start a first private primary school.