Monday, November 24, 2008

The Admin. home oF KJT

Today I had the pleasure to visit the administrative part of KJT which lies along the northern route of Kampala city at their offices which is situated on the compound of the school where most of their children go to ,(Bat Valley Primary School) It was a bit difficult last week since I was just recovering from a serious cough that had almost put me down.

A very interesting set up is this place. At the gate you would only imagine school children and nothing like an outside office set up. We have always related this place to the name (Bat Valley). Long before the place was fully inhabited; it was just a forest where I believe all the bats of the world used to live. The very tall eucalyptus forest which must have been planted during the colonial times, had no other living creature apart from the bats, which were later either destroyed or migrated due to the development in the area.

The school is one of the top government aided institutions and has produced some of the most prominent people in the country; this is one of the thoughts that brought me joy when I heard that these children were studying here. Knowing the town fairly well , I only gave Mansoor a call when I was at the gate and he came and picked me up. He led me to a small office on the third floor of the school building, where I was met by Fred and another man(Mr Wafula) whom I was told is very active with the children’s activities here in school. At one corner of the office, a table covered with trophies was standing and Mansoor didn’t take time to show me where they won all these different cups, one by one he lifted them up to read what was on each one of them. It was so amazing to see more than twenty cups sitting here and won by just children, some even below seven years.

Kabugo showing me the different cups won by the kids, looking on is Mr.Wafula

Later we visited the Headmistress’ office which is on the ground below this building. Here it was very organized and quiet. I sat with all of them for about thirty minutes. She told me she had all along doubted if there was something sensible that these boys were doing. According to her, she has been calling them very often to her office for the school fees issue , “ For the whole of this year they have paid nothing for these boys , and please do understand me, I have people whom I have to account to and they may take me for having some deal with these people” “ They have no promise at all , they just keep telling me to wait, so I have waited and the year has ended and now I cannot allow them to do their exams if their fees is not cleared.” I felt I really had nothing to say in defense neither could I promise anything, so I resorted to begging her to at least let them sit for their exams and retain their results until maybe when they are cleared. Though she never said anything in response to my plea, I thought she had accepted it, because she did not continue complaining. This is always the norm for all the disadvantaged children here; at a time like this nobody seems to care, even the authorities seem not to exist at all. Actually as I am talking now, about ten of them were already sent back home today for the same reason. Whatever will come after my meeting and pleading with her, is yet to be established.

At the Headmistress' office in front of her desk is Kabugo

Now remains the challenge of where this money which totals about UGS 100,000/=(about $60 at the current rate), for each child is going to come from, because she said that even if they are to do their exams , she "will not" accept them back next year if their fees is not cleared .This was the time when my initial joy disappeared and I left with a very heavy heart trying to figure out what the best thing would be to help these children continue with their studies.

Pictures to follow soon, the link is very poor right now and I can't upload any.

No comments: