parliament
OpEd

Education ministry should support Bridge schools, not antagonise

Fortunate Ahimbisibwe says Bridge academies are promoting affordable/low cost education in under privileged communities. File photo.

By Fortunate Ahimbisibwe

I read an arrogant letter by Dr. Nkaada, the Commissioner of Basic Education, which seeks to frustrate the efforts of Bridge Academies on account of low standards.

Bridge academies out of its own initiative are promoting affordable/low cost education in under privileged communities.

About 14,000 pupils are benefiting from this social enterprise model in underprevileged areas where government has not been able to set up schools.

The standards obviously may not be the best but it’s the same with some Government schools in various parts of the country.

The situation in some Bridge schools mirrors that in other underprivileged and hard to reach schools supervised by the ministry.

If the ministry is shutting down Bridge schools because of low standards, then some government schools would be in the same closing down category.

Dr. Nkaada should support Bridge Academies because they are doing some of his job. Why are some parents sending to Bridge Academies instead of Government Schools? That should tell the relevancy of Bridge schools.

Dr Nkaada is using frivolous technicalities to undermine a good initiative, If Bridge is not getting certain things right, there is an option to work with them and sort things out instead of shutting the door for 14,000 pupils.

Dr. Nkaada, Bridge is not in competition with Government, Bridge is supplementing Government efforts.

Government started primary education 100 years ago and still has challenges, Bridge only started the other day and you would expect them to have the same challenges.

Parents with low income are seeing this as an option with some results, so Dr Nkaada should support Bridge to overcome whatever challenges it faces instead of antagonising their efforts to offer low cost education to citizens.

The writer is a senior Ugandan journalist with extensive knowledge on the education sector and is currently on a study sabbatical in the UK.

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