May 18, 2024

Which School Did Your Minister Attend?

New Vision compiled institutions where the new ministers studied, from primary school up to first university, to find out which schools gave the nation their harvests. A good school is usually reflected through the successful products. Hilary Bainemigisha and Umar Kashaka analysed the findings on which schools are the most represented.

At primary school level, Shimoni Demonstration School and Soroti Primary School had the highest number of old pupils who are MPs.

At O’level, Nabisunsa Girls and Ngora High School dominated, while at A’level, it was still Nabisunsa Girls, Sacred Heart SS, Gulu and Teso College Aloet.

But generally, there was no any school that dominated the Cabinet greatly.

Most ministries do not have contemporaries they went with to the same schools. Ministers who have OBs and OGs do not have more than three, which shows how varied the Cabinet is. And there is no direct link between high-flying academic giants and production of ministers.

In fact, compared to the 2020 national ranking of schools for (PLE and UACE), the top ministers in Cabinet came from schools which are not considered academic giants. President Yoweri Museveni’s primary school — Kyamate Integrated School — ranked 3,170, while Ntare School (for UACE) was ranked 37.

The Vice-President, Jessica Alupo’s Apuuton Primary School, was ranked 1,911, while Kangole Girls School, where she studied for her UACE, was ranked 338. The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja’s Nkooko Primary School, was ranked 5,889, while St Edwards Bukuumi SSS, where she studied at A’level, was ranked 475.

The First Deputy Prime Minister, Rebecca Kadaga’s Shimoni Demonstration School, was ranked 2,881 and her UACE’s Kamuli College Namasagali, ranked 1,242. The Second Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Moses Ali’s Erepi Church of Uganda Primary School, did not appear in the ranking. Old Kampala SS, where he studied at A’level, was ranked 1,050. The Third Deputy Prime Minister, Lukia Nakadama’s A’level school, Nabisunsa Girls, was ranked 18.

However, the details of the schools where the new cabinet members studied is not officially compiled. New Vision searched for the details independently and got 83% of all schools. That figure was deemed statistically significant.

Primary Schools

The details of the ministers’ primary schools were the most difficult to find. However, New Vision was able to compile for 61 out of 83 ministers (74%). None of the ministers has an OB or OG from primary school, except for two schools; Shimoni Demonstration School, Kampala and Soroti Primary School.

Dr Jane Aceng, the Minister of Health and Rebecca Kadaga, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs, studied at Shimoni. However, they are unlikely to be contemporaries because of their age difference.

Ministers who studied from Soroti Primary School are Clement Ongalo-Obote, the state minister for Teso affairs and Hellen Asamo, the state minister for people with disabilities. Considering that Ongalo-Obote is 49 and Asamo is 57, it is also unlikely that the two are contemporaries.

However, the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) ranking of the schools for 2020, did not consider the two schools as academic giants. Shimoni Demonstration School was ranked 2,881, while Soroti Primary School does not appear in the ranking.

The rest of the ministers whose record we discovered do not share a primary school. And none of them came from the top 10 primary schools ranked according to UNEB performance in 2020. These are, from first to 10th — Parental Care Primary School, Bushenyi; Trusted Care Junior School, Kasese; Paragon Parents’ School, Kyegegwa; Uganda Martyrs Katwe Primary School, Masaka and Canaan Day Model Primary School, Kikuube.

Others are Esteem Junior School, Wakiso; Parental Care School, Kasese; Kisosso Parents Primary School, Lwengo; Rwimi Parents Primary School, Bunyangabu and Ntandi SDA Integrated Primary School in Bundibugyo.

O’level Schools

New Vision managed to get 75 out of 83 UCE schools (90%). Out of these, 65 ministers do not share any O’level school. This is the widest coverage that ensured most schools contributed and no school dominated Cabinet. The schools which have the most OBs and OGs have three ministers only and these are Nabisunsa Girls and Ngora High School.

Nabisunsa has Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development; Lukia Nakadama, the Third Deputy Prime Minister and Dr Jane Aceng, the Health Minister. These are 55, 51, and 53 years old respectively and could have been contemporaries at school.

Ngora has Jessica Alupo, the Vice-President; Jeje Odongo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Hellen Adoa, the state minister for fisheries.

Lubiri SS has Joyce Ssebugwawo, the state Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance, and Sam Mayanja, the state minister for lands.

Old Kampala SS has Moses Ali, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament and Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport.

St Mary’s College, Kisubi has Hilary Onek, the Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, and Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Teso College Aloet has Musa Echweru, the state minister for works and Sidronius Okaasai, the state minister for energy.

Kitabi Seminary has Raphael Magyezi, the Minister of Local Government and Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

A’Level Schools

It emerged that traditional academic giants do not feature in the schools of the new ministers. Out of the top 10 on the national ranking of UACE schools of 2020, only King’s College Budo in Wakiso, which topped A’level schools in Uganda, got two ministers. These are Sam Mayanja, the state minister for lands and Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the Attorney General.

The rest of the Top 10 — God’s Way High School, Maganjo; St Mary’s SS, Kitende; St Julian High School, Gayaza and Gayaza High School — did not produce any minister. Others are Uganda Martyrs SS, Namugongo; Seeta High School, Mukono; Cornerstone Leadership Academy, Nakasongola; Mt Saint Mary’s Namagunga, Mukono and Maryhill High School, Mbarara.

The schools where most ministers studied their A’level are Nabusinsa Girls, with ministers who were there at O’level — Nankabirwa, Nakadama and Aceng.

The headteacher of Nabisunsa, Hajat Zulaika Kabuye, said it is gratifying that people that have gone through the gates of her school have had an impact on the affairs of this nation, not only in the academia or other sectors but also in politics.

“We do get support from them. For example, Nankabirwa has been inviting our girls to go to Parliament and see how the MPs debate. This also encourages them to aspire to become leaders in future,” she said.

Kabuye noted that most of their former students who are now in government were student leaders.

“For example, Nankabirwa (who has served in various ministries since 1996), was a head girl. So we have a mentoring programme and when new student leaders are elected, we give them support all through their term of office. That makes them very confident,” she said.

The other schools which taught three ministers at A’level are Teso College Aloet, Kangole Girls SS and Sacred Heart SS, Gulu.

Teso College Aloet has Ikuya Magode, the state minister for East Africa Affairs; Moses Ali, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Sidronius Okaasai, the state minister for energy.

Sacred Heart SS has Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development; Beatrice Anywar, the state minister for environment and Dr Joyce Moriku, the state minister for primary education.

Sr Mary Carla Ajio, who was the headteacher of Sacred Heart Secondary School in Gulu from 1982 to 2007, told New Vision in 2001 that the school wants its students to excel in life, not just in academics.

“We want an all-round education for the girl child. While we stress success in academics, it is important to be disciplined, responsible and God-fearing,” she said.

Kangole Girls SS at A’level, has Vice-President Alupo; Esther Anyakun, the state minister for relief and Rose Akello, the state minister for ethics and integrity.

The headmistress of Kangole Girls SS, Sr Noellina Namusisi, said the school tries hard to instill hard work and other values in students.

“While we make sure that every student remains focused academically, we also instill morals and leadership qualities. We make them believe in themselves as we demystify the common saying that girls cannot be leaders in top government positions,” she said.

Namusisi added that the school has 15 active clubs that train tomorrow’s leaders, which include the debating club, prefects club and dormitory club. Namusisi, who has headed the school for about five years now, also said the students have role models that they want to emulate and these include the successful ministers and MPs that have passed through the school.

In last year’s UNEB ranking of A’level schools, Nabisunsa Girls was ranked 18th, Sacred Heart SS, Gulu ranked 743 and Teso College Aloet ranked 162. Other schools that have two ministers each from A’level, apart from King’s College Budo, are Kololo High School with Bright Rwamirama, the state minister for animal industry and Tom Butime, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.

Ntare School has Francis Mwebesa, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. Old Kampala SS has Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, together with Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport.

Soroti SS has Clement Ongalo-Obote, the state minister for Teso and Charles Okello Engola, the state minister for employment and industrial relations. St Mary’s College Kisubi has Obiga Kania, the state minister for urban development and Onek.

Tororo Girls School has Maria Goreti Kitutu, the Minister for Karamoja and Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the state minister for northern Uganda College Budo, which ranked first in last year’s UNEB rankings in academics, the rest of the schools which sent two MPs did not get favourable positions. Kololo High School ranked 669, Ntare School ranked 37, Old Kampala SS ranked 1,050, Soroti SS ranked 1,601, St Mary’s College, Kisubi ranked 33 and Tororo Girls School ranked 98.


Many ministers have a wide range of qualifications, including degrees, master’s and post-graduate diplomas. But for this analysis, New Vision stopped at the first university degree. However, we failed to establish the universities where eight ministers obtained their first degree.

The majority, 42, went to Makerere University.

Other universities with the most ministers in the new Cabinet have three each. They are Islamic University In Uganda, Nkumba University and Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi. Uganda Christian University, Kyambogo University, and Bugema University brought two. Those which have one minister each are Kampala International University, Kampala University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Ndeje University, and Victoria University.

Nairobi University topped foreign universities with two ministers. The rest of the universities abroad contributes one each. They are Al Fateh University, Tripoli (Libya), Moscow State University (Russia), New York University (US), University of Buckingham (UK), University of East Africa (Kenya) and University of Hertfordshire (UK).

Ministers Comment

In an earlier interview with this paper, health minister Aceng attributed her political success partly to the schools she studied in. Aceng, who is also the Lira City Woman MP, had her primary education from Shimoni Demonstration School, before proceeding to Nabisunsa Girls School for both O’ and A’level.

“Shimoni Demonstration School, which was relocated to East Kololo Primary School in 2006, was a lovely school and one of the outstanding primary schools in the 1970s. It laid a good foundation for me. I advise the young pupils that whatever they want in life is possible. They should dream big as they complete their studies. They will make it,” Aceng, said.

Esther Anyakun said her former school, Kangole Girls, instilled discipline and cohesion in them.

“We also learnt how to be resilient because the environment at that time (early 1990s) was very harsh — there was an insurgency and several road ambushes in the Karamoja region,” she said.

Investment state minister Anite said she felt proud of her former Arua Hill Primary School because it laid a foundation for her career.

“I was a health prefect and the chairperson of the debate club at the school. This helped me articulate issues and shape my career. Secondly, the level of discipline was high and following teachers’ instructions also helped me to succeed,” she said.

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