MARACHA. Officials of Maracha district are stuck with over 400 million Ugandan shillings presidential pledge meant for the construction of three school blocks in three different secondary schools in the district.
The schools are Nyadri Urban secondary school (SS) in Maracha town council, Kololo public SS in Tara sub-county and All Saints SS in Oluvu sub county.
The money was to be shared among the private schools for the construction of classroom blocks.
But during a recent district council meeting to approve the next financial year budget, Mr Lawrence Adiga, the Maracha district chairperson reported that the decision to share the money among the schools has been challenged by an official from the Ministry of education and sports.
According to Adiga, the district was verbally directed to allocate the whole grand for developing one school because the initial listed beneficiaries may not be considered for government grant at the same time.
Adiga said the three schools will be considered in phases in three financial years arguing that the council even cannot act on the directive to select the immediate beneficiary unless they first receive a written document from the ministry.
The councilors who were at first excited to approve the money under the presidential pledge with the aim of bringing services closer to the communities around the schools became speechless on getting the tongue biting message from the district chairman.
“It is a big shame for the only secondary school in Maracha town council to have old structures with rusty iron sheets when we heard of the initial plan to distribute the grant to all the three schools with the hope of considering them for quarterly government aide but the latest twist has made us so disappointed,” said Mr James Itima, the acting head teacher of Nyadri urban ss.
Itima said it has now become hard to retain students in candidate classes in the school because majority of them opt to go to government aided schools where examination fees is paid by the government.
Mr Itima noted that they did everything including seeking for permission from the proprietor of the school, Mgrs. Casto Adeti, the vicar of Ediofe Cathedral to receive the block construction grant only to be shocked by the reports from the council.
Mr Biajo Abadrile, the Tara sub-county LC3 chairperson appealed to the district council to be objective in considering the immediate beneficiaries for the grant.
He said Kololo public SS deserves government support because the parents of over 300 students are tired of supporting learning needs of their children in the poorly facilitated school with dilapidated structures.
As it is now, the money will remain in the district account as the authorities ponder their next move