How accountability inspired parents in Gomba District

Kimwanyi primary school is government aided and Church of Uganda founded primary school located in Kimwanji village, Ttaba-Binzi parish and Mpenja sub county-Gomba district with enrollment of 324 pupils, 8 teaching and 1 non-teaching staff. The school is 3km away from the main road of Kampala high way.

The school had not been practicing expenditure tracking nor did providing accountability to stakeholders for the nine years have the head teacher served in the school. Ironically, the school management committee continued to pass the budget which was not followed. Expenditure depended on emerging needs. Though the parents demanded for accountability several times, communication was given verbally without written documents to prove expenditure, which created doubt and suspicion of mismanagement of funds.

As a result, parents had failed to offer support to school such as contributing posho and beans towards learner’s meals, toilet papers, attending school meetings. According to David –the Head teacher. Moses, a Community Based Civic Educator and Monitor (CBCEMs) working with  African Center for Trade and Development (ACTADE) supported by Democratic Government Facility (DGF), visited the school in 2019. He requested management to list all the challenges that the school was facing.

We listed the following; low turn up of parents for meetings, inadequate staff quarters and class rooms, refusal  by parent to contribute posho and beans for learner’s meals, toilet papers and brooms. He then taught us about the importance of having budget, expenditure tracking and accountability for the school. Moses trained us about how to prepare budgets and account for the school expenditure in November 2019. He also helped us to prepare budgets, expenditure tracking on a manila paper and displayed them on wall for easy access by stakeholders in February 2020. We prepared the accountability for the past three terms. He advised that every expenditures incurred should be backed up with receipts so that everything we do is evidence based”, noted Mr. David Kizito, the Head Teacher.

That February 2020, the school called for a parents’ meeting to discuss on the commencement of term one. They were pleased to find the displayed budget and accountability on the wall for the first time and some commented “you are now on track”. When management presented the requirements for the school such as; posho, beans, toilet paper, the parents agreed to contribute.

Fig.2: Budget and accountability on the notice board

“As a result we now have enough food so the learners can take breakfast and lunch which has led to the reduction in absenteeism in the school. The use of leaves as tissue paper has stopped because we now have toilet paper contributed by parents. The parents are currently contributing bricks towards the construction of staff quarters and they have fenced the school with barbed wire.

We thank ACTADE for their empowerment that has allowed us to win parent’s favor and we request them to continue advocating for us since we don’t have enough class rooms and staff quarters”