Lobbying and Advocacy for Educational Services a Success in Kagwara Parish

Kwagara Primary School

In 2009, Church & Community Transformation (CCT) started in the community of Kagwara come up with a number of issues that they identified as gaps that needed to be addressed, however, in order to generate government support, they prioritized education which prompted the community to open up a community school in 2017. The school started with 150 students and 11 Teachers. In 2018, the School managed to produce the best student in Mathematics from the district. When the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) came for a function of sensitization on the importance of citrus growing, the community through the Local Council 3 (LC3) approached him and presented their issue which was the need for a school. The RDC responded by advising that a committee of 9 people be formed and this was done.

Through the committee, the community was able to contribute 5000/= per household as local community contribution/resource (CCT approach) towards construction of the school. The community was able to contribute a total of over 10 million shillings in the first phase of lobbying.

In order for the resources to be adequate to complete the school, the community had to employ lobbying and advocacy to this effect. Among the duty bearers approached were: Hon. Adoa (Woman Member of Parliament), Parish priest, chairperson Local council 5 among others.  The duty bearers did not only help to push the Lobbying and advocacy to higher levels but were also able to make their personal contribution to the school construction project like Hon. woman Member of Parliament and LC5 each provided 1 million shillings, the Parish priest council led by Rev. Ewao George provided 15 acres of land to the school with the witness of the community. This was the origin of the CCT led community primary school called Kagwara Primary School- pictured above.

In the second Phase of lobbying and advocacy, the community again realized that their children would complete the primary level and lack where they could go to commence secondary education, so what they did was to apply the CCT principle of using the locally available resources, forexample, they used the available primary school resources to start a community secondary school. They currently have ongoing lobbying and advocacy to strengthen this secondary school whose students have been pictured below.

However even after Kagwara primary school was functional, the community evaluated their intervention and realized that they also needed to strengthen the capacity of the established community school to perform more effectively.

Dan Mulala- the private secretary to the office of the president was invited for a community meeting during the time he had come to officiate another function at the community hospital. The community asked him to tell the president that the same community he had given 150 Iron sheets during lobbying for roofing the Church also needed a school. By the time the LC5 went there the message was already in the office of the president and when he came back, he said the president had promised to give them 700 million  shillings, the second time he returned, he said the president had increased his offer to 1.6 Billion.

The launching of the school expansion was then conducted on the 9th may 2019 with the name Kagwara Seed secondary school. After successfully launching the school, the Diocesan Secretary wrote a letter to the LC5 C/Person requesting him to follow all the necessary pending procedures like signing of the MoU so as to enable the church provide free land for constructing the offered school. However, 3 days later, the LC5 opted to acquire land in another community and ordered the contractor to start constructing the school using the same name of the advocated school. This prompted the community of Kagwara to call their Woman Member of Parliament called Hellen Adoa to intervene in this matter. She responded by convening diverse leaders for a meeting, she called the Residence District Commissioner (RDC), LC5 himself, the Bishop, Councilors, among others.

The secretary to the committee read the profile of the school and one of the key things mentioned was that the school started as a community school through CCT and was accepted by the sub-county council and later coded in the government budget. The Bishop said that he had accepted to provide land only that the Chairperson Local Council 5 did not follow the required procedure of receiving the land. Though preliminary construction work had already started in another sight, the member of parliament was willing to refund the 24 million which was so far used so that the construction is done in the exact community it was meant to be. Further challenges continued when the LC5 called the headmaster and LC2 of Kabulabula village and told them that any teacher who remained teaching in the old school which was meant to be expanded using the lobbied fund would be deleted from the pay role list.

The teachers feared and where all moved to the new school together with about half of the students since they had hired a church where the new school was being established. One of the unfortunate bit of it was that senior 4 students had already registered for the national examination in the old school.

Using the advocacy skills acquired through training, the committee held a meeting with the community that culminated into advertising for teachers and appealing for grants to pay their salaries. A total of 14 Teachers were recruited, resulting into 70% of the students returning back to the old school (165 out of 256). Because of the increasing magnitude of the problem, the Bishop wrote a letter to ministry of education, copied to the commissioner of education and planning ”Major Kakooza  Mutale” informing him that he had not refused to offer land for setting up the school.

The community and the school also wrote a letter to the ministry of education informing them that the school was under construction on another site out of the community that had lobbied; the ministry responded that they will send a commission of inquiry to investigate on the matter. The first letter was sent on 28th may 2019, the second on 24th June 2019. The community had to take advocacy to the national level by contacting the secretary to the president “Dan Mulalu” through a phone call and he promised to be in School by the last week of June and to take actions by the first week of July.

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