Rev. Bro. Simon Mpanga has been appointed the as new acting headteacher at St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK) bringing positive news to the ongoing negotiations between the Ministry of Education and the Kampala Archdiocese. SMACK is under the Brothers of Christian Instruction and the school is ranked among the top-tier schools in the country.

In December last year 2022, a disagreement arose between the Ministry of Education and the Kampala Archdiocese regarding the appointment of a new headteacher of SMACK following the retirement of Brother Deo Aliganyira who lead the school for seven years.

The Ministry had proposed Brother Augustine Mugabo, the current headteacher of St. Henry College-Kitovu in Masaka, which is also under the Brothers of Christian Instruction, as the ideal head for the 116-year-old school. However, the Kampala Archdiocese rejected Brother Mugabo’s appointment, affirming that the Ministry had not consulted them first.

The Kampala Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere wrote to the Ministry to express the Church’s preference for Brother Simon Mpanga. The Archbishop cited Section 8 of the Education Act, which outlines the government’s obligations towards grant-aided educational institutions, including the appointment and deployment of heads such as headteachers and deputies. The section specifies that this must be done in consultation with the foundation bodies, in this particular case, the Kampala Archdiocese. 

Ever since, the Kampala Archdiocese and the Ministry of Education have been holding meetings to resolve the disagreement.

The Spokesperson for the Education Ministry, Dr. Denis Mugimba, has confirmed that in a recent meeting under the leadership of Janet Kataha Museveni, the Ministry accepted the appointment of Brother Simon Mpanga as the acting headteacher at SMACK.

Dr. Denis said “To clarify, Brother Simon Mpanga has not been appointed as the substantive headteacher at St. Mary’s College Kisubi (SMACK). Instead, the First Lady (Ms. Museveni- who is also the education minister), has advised that he serves as the acting headteacher while the matter is being handled.”

According to other sources familiar with the matter, there are expectations that Bro. Mpanga will be confirmed as the substantive headteacher in the near future. The sources suggest that Mpanga’s appointment as the acting headteacher is merely a procedural matter and that negotiations between the Education Ministry and the Kampala Archdiocese have already concluded in his favor.

Sources noted“The remaining process for appointing Brother Simon Mpanga as the substantive headteacher is purely procedural. The Education Service Commission will be responsible for handling the appropriate process to finalize his appointment.”

The Ministry was opposed to Mpanga’s appointment as headteacher due to the requirement that the individual appointed for such a position should already have experience as a substantive headteacher. 

The Ministry also has other requirements that any nominee fronted by the church must possess. The PS says these are the ministry’s standards for any person to head a traditional school at the level of St Mary’s. Other conditions are that the applicant must be under 57 years of age, have a spotless work history, and lead a school of comparable size in terms of enrollment, academic performance, staffing, budget, and infrastructure.  

But, sources indicate that the church showed some resistance towards the Ministry’s recommendation, insisting on their preferred candidate to lead the school until the last minute. As Mpanga assumes the position of the headteacher, there is growing concern over the recurring issue of foundation bodies, school boards, and alumni rejecting headteachers appointed by the Ministry of Education.

A similar incident is playing out at Kiira College Butiki (KCB) where former students have rejected the newly appointed headteacher citing his lack of experience and not being an old student of the institution. Mugimba says that this trend is causing concern at the Ministry of Education headquarters. However, the Ministry has stated that they will be handling each school on a case-by-case basis.

“This is a critical matter. For now, the Ministry will be handling such cases on a one-by-one basis whenever they arise. However, some arguments, such as the posting of a headteacher who is not an alumnus of the school, cannot be tolerated. Appointments should not be based on this factor,” the Spokesperson noted.  

source. mazima news