By Tausi Nakato
Jinja City authorities have temporarily closed Victoria Nile Primary School and Summit Nursery and Primary School due to the ongoing Nyege Nyege Festival.
The annual music festival kicked off on Thursday and ends on Sunday, November 12.
The Jinja City Education Officer, Mr. Haruna Mulopa said they have decided to close both schools “for the safety of the children”.
“We don’t want the children to get exposed to immoral behaviours that may occur in that area. The school is surrounded by Golf Club, Source of the Nile, Rugby Grounds, and National Agriculture Showground, where the Nyege Nyege is taking place,’’ he said on Friday.
Mr Mulopa said they have also ordered the organisers to keep their decibel levels at the acceptable minimum, saying the festival kicked off when Primary Seven candidates were writing their final exams.
“We had 219 pupils of Victoria Nile School sitting their final exams on Wednesday and Thursday, but on the day Nyege Nyege kicked off (Thursday), we intervened to avoid noise that would interrupt,’’ he added.
According to Mr Mulopa, Victoria Nile School has a total population of 2,300 pupils.
Ms Hadija Namulondo, one of the parents, said her daughter has been at home since Monday.
“The school was closed from November 6th to 13th to allow candidates sit for their final exams, but we were not notified why they will sit for all those days yet PLE exams are only held on two days.”
On Friday morning, no learning activities were ongoing at the school. Instead, festivalgoers were lurking near the premises, while traders conducted business outside the gate.
However, on the flip side, the school administration has turned part of its premises into a parking area for partygoers, with each vehicle paying Shs30,000 per day.
At Summit Nursery and Primary School, the director, Mr. David Wamboko, said they decided to close because they anticipated “immoral acts” that are likely to affect the pupils, who are all-day scholars
“On Thursday, learning took place but we thought it wise to close the next day because of jam, heavy security deployment, and indecent dressing by festival goers. We have never experienced this and don’t want to take anything for granted,’’ he said.