We always dream and sweat for wishes to come true though, within the journey to success, a lot of hardships and challenges are always faced as Lawrence Muwonge headmaster and owner of Buddo Secondary School narrates.
Located near Kisozi Trading Center, Wakiso district and a branch-off from Kampala-Masaka road to Buddo Nagalabbi route, the school has had its ups and downs, but determination and hardwork has seen her keep glued to the road to success.
Muwonge wouldn't forget to share the schools background during the silver jubillee celebrations that took place on Saturday July 16 from the school's play ground.
The celebrations were graced by several dignatories including the 3rd Katikiro Nelson Makubuya, minister of education in the Buganda government Twaha Kawasi and representatives from different schools like St kizito Senior Secondary School Kabowa, Trinity College Nabingo represented by Betty Mwesiga, Mbogo Mixed represented by Phibby Katende, Kinaawa High school Mugongo represented by Hajji Muhammad Ali Sserugo among others.
Excited Muwonge welcomed parents and thanked them for their loving hearts and their support towards the school. He noted: “You are the reason as to why we exist and excel, thank you very much parents for your support and caring about our children.
The former students being led by Henry Kayondo as the chairman Buddo SS Old Students’ Association, and now a professional accountant at Centenary Bank were thanked for their unending love for their school when they turned up in large numbers.
Muwonge had always looked for a way to share his sucess story with the entire world because every one has always been interested in knowing how the school, the alma mata to many, has managed to wade through the storms that have seen other many schools close and cease to be, and silver Jubilee's celebrations provided the oppporturnity
Lawrence first of all acknowledged the fact that minus the well-trained teaching energetic staff of over 100 professional and experienced teachers being headed by the DOS Livingstone Ssenabulya and the Deputy head teacher Deo Lubega, not forgetting the support staff totaling up to 60 in number, there wouldn't be success to boost about
He says Buddo Secondary School came into existence in 1991, with a very humble background. Muwonge recalls that at that time, the Ugandan government had just privatized education sector and people were now free to own schools. With this opportunity, Muwonge wouldn't remain seated as he swung into action to put up the now mangnificient Buddo.
"I was inspired by Dr Samson Kiseka’s words while he was speaking on radio and a school called Progressive SS by then being managed by Ssaka and Jjuko" Muwonge recalls.
He says that it was society around the now Buddo which rented him the land to start up the school. "We started from scratch; No resources, no scholastic materials and nothing like buildings. The school started with 10 students and by the end of 1991, the number had raised to 28," adds the ever smiling Muwonge.
But at this time, Uganda had a few well-trained teachers who would teach in the just newly established school.
"Ladies and gentlemen, It took us 4 years to increase the number to 100 and by then, we had no trained and professional teachers as those who had acquired degrees didn’t want to waste time bringing up a soon collapsing school. Therefore, we started with two teachers and thus a very big load," says the now proud proprietor.
He adds: "I my self, I was teaching more than 8 subjects that’s history, biology, chemistry, Commerce, English, Geography and the rest and here, I could teach each subject for like 1 or two hours depending on how much it bores thus, when done with one, I could command students to now bring out books for another subject and after some other 1 and a half hours, I would tell them to remove the history books and this was the order of the day After me, my fellow came in with accounts, Germany and so on.” He narrates.
He says classrooms were inadequate and thus the two rooms that existed were used in shifts. Therefore, he says, senior three and four came first in class up to lunch time and senior one and two came in next untill evening. This happened for the next four years up to 1995., and by then, the school was a pure day section.
Later, when the boarding section was began, dormitories had to serve as classrooms. "Let me take this opportunity to thank all those students who existed by the time because the situation was really abnormal and unbearable though they were very courageous and passed through it." He says.
Among other challenges Buddo faced was its remote location. At that time, no one wanted to sacrifice their children by letting them trek several miles to a bushy Buddo as the school was far away from the main road and the
"Going to and fro the main road, then to Kisozi Trading Centre was after using the old transportation means and that’s the bicycle," he recalls.
Muwonge adds that time came where the rent was hiked and this was a real problem onto the school. "First and foremost, we were not earning a lot where by we hard about 100 students and 60% of these were on bursary in order to motivate parents bring us more. So the only solution we had for the none stop demands by the land lord since rent proved to be very expensive was resorting to brick making in order to catch up with the rent deadline so that the school survives.
"There, again, was no water supply and electricity and thus we resorted to steamers and lamps. Therefore, I thank Kagumba who always led students in this. We also resorted to getting water from a place called “joge” as It was the nearby well providing water for personal use, kitchen consumption and construction," Muwonge adds.
The school runs on a strong philosophy and despite those challenges, this philosophy kept her alive. It was set up to be a center of excellence in holistic education, Muwonge explains, adding: "That’s why excelling in academics, music, games and sports can never be taken lightly."
The school has core values related to hard work, interdependence, self drive and team work, starting from staff to students and then suppport staff.
Now reaching 25years of existence, Buddo Secondary School is no longer what It was back. Muwonge's story of suffering has changed. He can confortably boost of various achievements including being being among the top best in academics, and sports in the country.
"This doesn’t only stop with the students but also with people in nearby villages like Nakasozi, Kitemu, Nsangi, Namagoma, Nabingo, Kisozi, Kyengera all engaged in the field opening," he says.
Muwonge is now also proud of the achievements in music and Buddo's giving birth to two other great schools which are St Francis Junior and Kisozi High School - the Buddo day section.
Muwonge firmly believes that best students always need to be rewarded so that even others can copy from them. Its at this moment that students who excelled both at O and A level last year were called on platform to be awarded.
He concluded the ceremony by passing on special appreciations to the Almighty, his family, the ministry of education sports science and technology, inspectors of schools for the guidance in operations in the school, Private Schools Association headed by John Bosco Mujumba for nurturing Buddo all through, professional bodies like ASSU (association of secondary school head teachers’ union headed by madam Nakate Kikomeko and the rest.
The celebrations ended with cutting a big cake baked in sbape of the new silver jubilee block that is opposite the main gate. I must confess that none missed tasting the joy of celebrating the 25 years of existence!