Uganda: unlicensed schools continue to operate, defying Government’s decision

The battle between the private school chain Bridge International Academies and the Ugandan authorities is far from over as the company continues to operate its schools despite government warnings to comply with minimum standards.

The beginning of the new school year in Uganda has reignited the conflict between the Ugandan government and the for-profit education provider Bridge, who refuses to comply with the authorities’ request to meet national minimum standards on infrastructure, curriculum and teacher qualifications.

In a press release dated 6 February 2018, the Government of Uganda reiterated that Bridge schools “will not be permitted to open/operate this school year (2018).”However, Bridge International Academies, which operates 63 schools in Uganda, has ignored the order and reopened earlier this week..

This was despite a letter of 29th January from the Government of Uganda warning the company that its schools would not be allowed to operate, and a November 2016 court order authorizing the closure of the schools and that Bridge did not appeal.

The news about the company’s decision has caused an uproar within and beyond Uganda’s borders. The Ugandan National Teachers Union (UNATU), a member of Education International (EI), has voiced its concern and demands that  for the respect of the governmental decision during EI’s 3rd World Women’s Conference, attended by four hundred union delegates from around the world.

Education International has issued a statement in support of its affiliate UNATU and to underscore the right of every Ugandan child to a free quality education.

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