About 300 old students of Masaka Secondary School gathered for a sumptuous dinner at Hotel Africana last weekend to celebrate the school’s previous achievements and herald a new dawn. With 3,400 students presently, Masaka Secondary is one of the biggest schools in the country.Thousands of poor students hailing from Masaka and neighbouring districts have found this school a godsend.
Its location in the middle of Masaka town has made this day and boarding school particularly popular.
But until the arrival of the new headmaster, Hajji Musa Mpungu two years ago, Masaka S.S., which was founded in 1954, had gone to the dogs.
The 40-year-old headmaster who performed wonders at Bulo Parents School in Mpigi, has presided over the rapid renaissance of Masaka S.S., acquiring a brand new 67-seater Isuzu bus for the school, building 12 new classrooms, and getting the school’s land title. He has now embarked on an ambitious plan to build a girls’ hostel for 1,800 students.
The marked improvement in the school management and academic performance has prompted the Aga Khan Masaka Secondary Old Students Association (AMSOSA) to revive their organisation with last week’s (July 26) reunion dinner at Hotel Africana. Another big bash will be held at the school on October 4, 2008.
The Hotel Africana dinner was presided over by the current headmaster and two of his predecessors.
Commissioner for Secondary Education, Yusuf Nsubuga, Makindye West MP, Hajji Hussein Kyanjo, Buganda Youth Minister Mathias Mpuuga, and former presidential candidate Abed Bwanika, are some of the prominent old students who graced the occasion.
Gen. David Tinyefuza, another old student, who has been in the news over his role in the arrest of Mengo ministers, sent apologies.
The two events are intended to celebrate the school’s resurgence and also raise funds for new development projects, according to the Aga Khan Masaka Secondary School Old Boys/Girls Association interim committee chairman, Hajji Adam Kitenda.
Members of the Kampala committee which organised the dinner are; Yusuf Nsubuga, Hussein Kyanjo, Kibibi S.S. Headmaster Abasi Mubiru, Kako S.S. Headmaster Moses Wamala, and The Weekly Observer Political Editor, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda.
The Kampala committee works under a bigger organizing committee headed by Hajji Kitenda. Other members include; Masaka District Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (ACAO), Badru Mayanja, Kijabwemi Headmaster Charles Kahigiriza, and Masaka S.S. Deputy, Hajjat Yudaya Mukulembeze.
The two committees are also responsible for the October 4, 2008 festival at the school.
Improved academic performance in one of the reasons behind the old students’ excitement.
In the academic year 2008/9, Masaka S.S. is sending 61 students on government sponsorship to public universities. This puts the school in the 9th position after Kitende S.S., King’s College Budo, Namugongo, Nabisunsa, Gayaza, Kisubi, Gombe S.S and Ntare School.
The organisers hope that the old students and their guests will use these occasions to fundraise for the construction of a modern computer laboratory, library or sick bay.
Hajji Kitenda, 56, who was a student at Masaka S.S. between 1968-1971, says the school was renamed Aga Khan Masaka Secondary School in 1969 after a merger between H.H. Aga Khan and Masaka Public Secondary School.
One of the parents who sits on the school board told The Weekly Observer that Aga Khan Education Foundation has repossessed its old structures and now charges Masaka S.S. rent fees which the school finds prohibitive. The school now pays Shs 38 million per year, and this is likely to rise in the coming years.
However, the headmaster, Hajji Mpungu, told The Weekly Observer that he has managed to regain part of the land that belonged to Masaka S.S. before the merger. The school has accordingly obtained a land title for this property.
Commenting on the school’s improved performance in an interview, the headmaster praised his teachers and board chairman Hajji Hussein Ssengendo aka Mulamuzi. He said their efforts had caused the improvement.
Mpungu’s office is decorated with sports trophies the school has won recently. These include; national girls’ football (2008), Uganda Muslim Education Association (UMEA) football, and the school football team who were runner up in the Coca Cola tournament last year.
Masaka S.S. is also currently the reigning district champion in football (women and men), netball, cricket and volley ball.
Some of the prominent old students
. Bishop Balagadde Ssekadde (Namirembe)
. Sheik Sam Ssentongo (Makerere University Imam)
. Dr. Ahmed Ssengendo (Rector IUIU)
. Hon. Hajji Hussein Kyanjo (Makindye West MP)
. Gen. David Tinyefuza (Intelligence Coordinator)
. Dr. Abdul-Karim Ssesanga (Director IUIU K’la Campus)
. Dr. Abed Bwanika (former presidential candidate)
. Mulindwa Birimumaso (former MP)
. Mulindwa Muwonge (Super FM)
. Yusuf Nsubuga (Commissioner secondary education)
. James Mwanje (Deputy Commissioner Prisons)
. Dr. Yasin Olum (Political Science head Makerere)
. Owek. Mathias Mpuuga (Buganda youth minister)
. Dr. Kyeyune (Dean, School of Fine Art,Makerere)
. Mulindwa Badru (State Attorney)
. Hajji Nsubuga (Family Loaf)
. Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda (Observer Political Editor)
. Hajji Ali Kasule Mugagga (Headmaster, Gombe S.S.)
. Hajji Mubiru Abbey (Headmaster,Kibibi S.S.)
. Mr. Moses Wamala (Headmaster,Kako S.S.)
. Pastor Simon Kayiwa
. Miiro (Master Printers, Masaka)
. Byamungu (CAO, Bundibugyo)
. Ssenteza Yusufu (PA CAO Masaka)
. Dr. Fred Ssengoba (Mulago Hospital)
. Dr. Stuart Musisi (District Medical Officer, Masaka)
. Byakatonda (Education Officer)
. Zainah Muwonge (Deputy RDC, Rubaga)
. Fr. John Bosco Semuli (Burundi)
. Charles Kahigiriza (Headmaster, Kijabwemi S.S.)
. Hajji Adam Kitenda (Masaka)
. Zubair Musoke (Finance Controller, New Vision)
. Sula Kasozi (CAO, Soroti)
. Hezron Kayunga (Education Officer, Masaka)
. Siraje Lwanga (Headmaster,Namagabi)
. Gideon Barigye (Immigration Department)
. Ismail Mulindwa (Principal Education Officer,
Ministry of Education)
. Dan Kasule (Ministry of Works)
. Buwembo Jamir (Headmaster Kakungulu High, K’la)
. Hajji Mansoor Senabulya (Glassmart Nakasero)
. Hajji Darawusi Mwanje (K’la businessman)
. Hajji Hassan Mugenyi (K’la business man)
. Mayanja Badru (Assistant CAO, Masaka)
. Kihembo Siraje (President’s Office)
. Mukulembeze Yudaya (Deputy Headmaster, Masaka S.S.)
. Hajji Ali Kasule (Deputy Headmaster Masaka SS)
. Dr. Mansoor Ssenyonjo (lecturer, London)
. Abdallah Ntambi
. Sulaiman Kiggundu (US)
. Fr. Achilles Kiwanuka
. Senteza Swaleh (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
. Sheik Ismail Ssebuwufu (Kawempe Muslim)
. Prof. Lukyamuzi Hussein (Registrar, IUIU)
. Ahmed Muguluma
. Musa Mbajja (Katwe businessman)