April 25, 2009

12CN: Student Riot Closes Adventist School in Uganda

Student Riot Closes Adventist School in Uganda
Lack of national standards, negligent administration cited for uprising.  
capThe Adventist-run Katikamu Secondary School in Uganda closed late last month after students rioted, destroying property, and looting the cafeteria.

The rioting, which began March 22 and lasted for two days, came after rumors spread that the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) had shut down the school's examinations board when administrators failed to comply with national standards.  

At least 17 students sought medical attention after school officials called local police to respond to the rioting, said Samuel Mwebaza, Uganda Union Mission communication director. According to school reports, a few students fainted after the police fired warning shots into the air and several students were beaten.

Students were also angered by the failure of the school's administration to communicate with them, Mwebaza said. School administrators said they initially neglected to tell students about the termination of former school headmaster Samuel Kyewalyanga, who had resigned upon request earlier in March.

The UNEB had asked Katikamu administrators to remove Kyewalyanga in the middle of March, after the school failed to comply with national education standards, officials said.

The school reopened March 29, after the national examinations board cleared the school and a new head teacher was appointed.

Mwebaza said this is the second time the school's examination board has been shut down. In 2007, UNEB withheld test results for more than 100 Katikamu senior-level examinations after the board accused the school of testing malpractice, the Uganda Daily Monitor reported. Affected students had to repeat a full year of education, church officials said.

Katikamu Secondary School currently has more than 2,000 students enrolled.

                                                     --Adventist News Network, with reporting from the Uganda Union Mission