Students of Kasese Parents School arrive at Kasese Central Police Station after they were intercepted for attempting to inflate a school register under the Universal Secondary Education on Wednesday. Photo by Enid Ninsiima

Following a tip off from security agents, police in Kasese intercepted a truck load of students who had been ferried from Kasese Parents Secondary School to Hamukungu Parents Secondary School, in Lake Katwe Sub-county.

After about an hour of cat-and-mouse chase around the town, the police caught up with the truck and arrested the two head teachers who had ferried 103 students.

According to their statements, the students said they had spent two days at Hamukungu Parents Secondary School where they had been counted as student benefiting from the government free secondary education.

Officials carrying out the ongoing head count exercise of students and teachers in the district have already discovered that Alliance High School in Kasese Municipality and Kithende College, said to be located in Bwera Sub County, Bukonzo West County, are ‘ghost’ schools and have been benefiting from the programme.

Police charged the two head teachers with impersonation and trying to rob government and detained them at Kasese Central Police Station while the students were released after recording statements.

The students reportedly told detectives that they were directed to go to Hamukungu Secondary School for head count since it is where they sit for exams.

“We were told to board the truck to Hamukungu SS. We could neither ask nor refuse the order; now see what has happened to us?” a student was heard lamenting.

The head teacher reportedly told detectives that he had taken students for exam registration and denied any wrong doing.

Kasese District has 55 secondary schools registered under the USE programme, but allegations of ghost schools and students are common.

The District Education Officer, Mr George Mayinja, attributed the increased numbers of ghost students to the government policy of funding schools according to the number of students it has.

By Enid Ninsiima, Daily Monitor

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