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New Luwero SS headteacher takes office amidst protests from old students

Ronald Kato (L) receives a handover report from David Balaba at Luwero SS

Ronald Kato (L) receives a handover report from David Balaba at Luwero SS

The newly posted headteacher of Luwero secondary school, Ronald Kato Ssesanga has taken over office despite protests from old students.

Luwero SS was founded in 1964 and currently has 1500 students. Early this month, the ministry of Education and Sports transferred David Balaba Ssenkungu, the headteacher of Luwero SS to Ndejje secondary school - both are church-founded schools. 

This was after the headteacher of Ndejje SS, Dr Canon Charles Kahigiriza retired after clocking the mandatory retirement age. Kato was transferred from Kira secondary school to Luwero SS to replace Balaba. However, a section of Old Students under Luwero Secondary School Old Students Association (LUSSOSA) rejected the deployment of Kato claiming that the association and board of governors were not consulted before the posting.

The old students also argued that the performance record of Kato at earlier schools including Luteete SS and Kira SS doesn’t match the standards needed at Luwero SS. The old students and the board of governors proposed two possible replacements for the continuity of the development of the school.

The proposed names included Mathias Lubega, headteacher of Luteete SS and Betty Nakyanzi, deputy headteacher of Trinity College Nabbingo. But last week, Luwero district education officer (DEO) Florence Bbosa Ssekitoleeko presided over the handover ceremony of the office and instruments of power to Kato from Ssenkungu to start work.

Bbosa explained that the role of old students is to contribute to the infrastructure and career development of students but not to determine the deployment of any staff of the school. She asked the old students to welcome the new headteacher and cooperate with him to achieve the goals. Bbosa added that Kato is competent enough and mentored by the best headteachers to serve the school.

"We're saying, you [Kato] cannot work where there are no challenges. And if you thought that better bring back our instruments of power. Nobody works in an office where there are no challenges. So you shouldn't expect that just be brave as a man, use all the experience, use the people who have been here, use your board and the PTA plus the foundation body and then everything will be okay. Don't be scared of anything," she said.

Canon Mephibosheth Musisi, secretary of education at Luwero Anglican Diocese said the church has welcomed the deployment of Kato and that the church pledges to support him to develop the school.

The outgoing headteacher Balaba advised Kato to cooperate with old students together with the foundation body among other stakeholders to run the school smoothly. Balaba said although there was some resistance against him, he should be able to manage the situation and bring the old students on board for the development of the school.

On his part, Kato said he doesn’t blame the old students for resisting him because it's normal for people to fear change and doubt the capacity of a new person. Kato promised to cooperate with old students and all the stakeholders to develop the school.

"Transition and change naturally is feared because there is the unknown. That unknown makes very many people to fear. Some people don't know who is this Kato, what is he going to do? David has done this and that, what will Kato really do this? Is he capable? Those questions are human and some one goes ahead to push for Kato's not coming. It is human," said Kato.

Rev Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula, chairperson of board of governors said the old students are stakeholders of the school whose opinion can be accepted or rejected by the ministry of Education. He however said as the board of governors of the school, they abide by recommendations by the church as a foundation body and the decision of the ministry to post any person they find fit to serve as headteacher.

Kasana said that they have welcomed the new headteacher and will cooperate with him. In 2020, old students of Luwero SS forced the ministry to transfer William Ssuuna, the former headteacher of the school. They accused Ssuuna of maladministration, declining performance, examination malpractice, lack of transparency, disrespect of stakeholders and bribery, among others.

Efforts by the former Bishop of Luweero Diocese Eridard Nsubuga Kironde to block the transfer of Ssuuna yielded no results.

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