Where curiosity meets opportunity: Kitgum High School Open Day awaits

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Where curiosity meets opportunity: Kitgum High School Open Day awaits
Main entrance to the Kitgum high school premises | Denis Opoka

By Denis Opoka

In the heart of Kitgum, a hub of learning and exploration awaits as Kitgum High School prepares to open its doors for its highly anticipated Open Day events.

Under the theme, "Rebuilding Confidence, Inspiring Hope, and Reshaping Focus for Academic Excellence", the event is scheduled to take place on June 14, at the school located in Bajere South Village, Labongo Akwang Sub-county, Kitgum District.

Mr Christopher Opoka, the head-teacher, announced that the event is being organised by the school administration, board of governors, and Parents Teachers Association, as well as former students, to provide current students with the opportunity to showcase their talents and knowledge to restore the school's past glory.

He said by 2028, they anticipate the school will rank among the top 100 best-performing schools in Uganda, and this vision is supported by the fact that over the past three years, the school has consistently seen its students admitted to public universities under government scholarship.

“This school used to be one of the academic giants in Uganda but like other public schools, it went through ups and downs, causing both the enrollment and performance to decline steadily until two years ago when it started registering improvements,” Mr Opoka said.

He said these declines have been mainly the result of huge debts, which were over UGX 850 Million, mainly for the suppliers who had provided the school with both food and scholastic material.

“We have managed to clear almost a quarter of the debts and currently we are left with about 200 MILLION shillings, which I believe will be settled soon through the love and support the parents have for this mighty school,” he explained.

Harriet Charity Okeny, the chairperson of the Board of Governors, said the open day will be used to show the whole world that Kitgum High is no longer the school people used to know five years ago but has rather regained its past glory as the academic giant.

“We came into office three years ago, the enrollment was below 200, but as of now it has interestingly gone up to over 800 learners, meaning there is a huge progress in reclaiming its dominance in academic performance,” she narrated.

“Can you imagine the late Gen. Aronda Nyakairima and four Members of this 11th parliament, among others, studied from this mighty school?” Okeny asked.

The open day, according to Okeny, will be used to launch the fundraising drive for the construction of a UGX 488 Million perimeter wall fence around the school measuring 1.2 kilometers.

The school sits on 85 hectares of land, but the perimeter wall fence will only connect dormitories, Administrative blocks, and classrooms.

“Hopefully, the construction of this perimeter wall fence, which is aimed to prevent stray livestock from accessing the school premises, students, and school properties protection, among others, will commence by November 2024,” Okeny explained.

Michael Aliga, the Chairperson of the Parents Teachers Association, is optimistic that the upcoming Open Day will play a tremendous role in reshaping the school as far as the performance of the school is concerned.

“I am very hopeful that on that day we will host very important guests, among them Mama Janet Kataha Museveni, the Minister for Education and Sports, which will give us opportunities to showcase the school,” he said.

Richard Komakech Jomeo, the old students’ representative, explained that the day will also be used to reflect on the education 58 years ago when the school was established in 1966.

“In our reflection, we will renew our commitment to offering education services to Uganda and beyond, and also work towards having students from across the border and alumni who will determine the politics of the country, which is not a joke,” Komakech said.

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