Government has finally completed the construction of Shimoni Demonstration School that was demolished about 12 years ago.
Formerly the largest Universal Primary Education (UPE) school, Shimoni together with Shimoni Core Primary Teachers College (PTC) were evicted from Nile Avenue to pave way for a five-star hotel ahead of the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
In 2011, government relocated Shimoni core PTC to Kitikifumba village in Kira without a demonstration school for student teachers to assess their skills before being churned out.
On Monday January 22, the state minister for primary education, Rosemary Seninde, officially opened the new Shimoni Demonstration School located on part of the PTC’s 25-acre piece of land.
Seninde said it is by policy and practice that every teacher’s college should have a demonstration school; and therefore, Shimoni Core PTC has achieved an important requirement.
“I remember when this facility [PTC and school] was being relocated; there was a lot of noise in parliament. MPs said we cannot take away Shimoni from Kampala but I think it was a blessing in disguise because the two facilities are much better in Kira municipality,” Seninde said.
She added that the new school whose construction started in 2013 has all it takes to start this year on February 5. In addition to fully furnished classrooms, the Shs 4 billion school has spacious two-bedroom houses for teachers and a stand-alone head teacher’s house all located just meters away from the school gate.
“Government has put up this beautiful school for the children of this area to access education. Stop taking your children to schools which are far away from your homes because it is very risky to their lives. The opportunity is here, please use it,” she said.
“The head teacher to take charge of this school shall be compelled to give in total commitment towards support supervision of the teachers to ensure effective teaching and learning, as well as maintaining the school facilities.”
Registration of learners from primary one to four started this week on Tuesday. For now, Seninde said, the school will concentrate on those classes but plans to upgrade up to primary seven in a few years are underway.
On shifting the PTC, the first Shimoni Demonstration School was re-located by Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) along Baskerville Avenue in Kololo next to East Kololo primary school.
According to Seninde, the old Shimoni will remain operational in Kololo under the same name within KCCA. In order to distinguish between the two schools, the new one has been named “Shimoni Demonstration School - Kira” and the two will operate independently.
Kira Municipal education officer, Agnes Higenyi, said the new school will attract learners that have been walking long distances to other villages.
“We expect many learners in this school because people have always been asking when we are opening so that they register children. The PTC staff alone has children and they are ready to study,” Higenyi said.
She requested government to construct more government secondary schools to address the high dropout rates of children after completing primary seven.
Currently, Kira Municipality has 26 primary and only two government secondary schools; Kira Secondary School and Kirinnya Church of Uganda Secondary School.