11th October marks the International Day of the Girl Child, a United Nations led initiative supporting the more than 1.1 billion girls worldwide who are a powerful force for shaping a sustainable world.
The Day aims to highlight the fact too many girls around the world have their potential and dreams thwarted by violence, discrimination and inequality.
The theme this year is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement”, calling for action on increasing the availability and analysis of girl-focused and sex-disaggregated data.
At Schoolnet Uganda we dug into our extensive directory and uncovered some of the premier all female secondary schools in the country.
The college was founded in February 1942 by Mother Mary Kevin of the Franciscan Sisters for Africa. It has the best academic record in Uganda at both the ordinary level and at the advanced level, registering 100 percent First divsions on several occasions in the past 10 years.
Namagunga, with a Form One intake of about 100 per year has the most competitive cut-off points, aggregate four at Form One entry and aggregate twelve at A’ Level entry.
Notable alumnae – Dr. Specioza W. Kazibwe, Vice President 1994-2003; Dr. Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director Oxfam International; Joan Kagezi, former Head of International Crimes Division at the Ministry of Justice.
Location: Gayaza, Wakiso
On par with Namagunga, the two institutions are the most prestigious all-female schools in the East African region.
The oldest girls’ school in the country was founded by the Church Missionary Society on land donated by Kabaka Chwa II. The school has maintained close ties with the Buganda Royal family.
Notable alumnae: Lady Damali Catherine Kisosonkole, wife of Kabaka Sir Edward Muteesa II of Buganda; Princess Elizabeth Bagaaya of Toro Kingdom, Lawyer and Diplomat; Justice Julia Sebutinde Presiding Judge at the International Criminal Court, The Hague; Maria Kiwanuka, founder Radio One and Minister of Finance 2011-2015.
The school traces its origins from Kamukuzi Hill in Mbarara, where in 1912, the Church Missionary Society, with eight girl-students housed in a grass-thatched hut, founded the school, then known as Mbarara Junior School.
In 1954 the school was relocated to Bweranyangi Hill in Bushenyi, 65 kilometres (40 mi) to the west.
Notable alumnae – Janet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda since 1986; Jacqueline Mbabazi, former Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement Women’s League; Miria Matembe, Minister of ethics and integrity, 1998–2003; Anne Kansiime, comedian and actress.
President Yoweri Museveni taught at the school for two months in 1965.
Location: Banda, Kampala
The school was founded in 1954 by Prince Badru Kakungulu, a Buganda Royal, in 1954, to offer post-primary education to the Muslim girl-child. Today it admits girls of all faiths.
Nabisunsa was the name of Prince Badru Kakungulu’s mother.
Notable alumnae – Syda Namirembe Bbumba, Minister of Finance 2006-2011; Ruth Nankabirwa, State Minister for Fisheries; Jackie Chandiru, musician.
When Bishop Edward Michaud founded the school classes were conducted under a mango tree and there was a general belief that the school was founded to train young girls to be married off to chiefs.
Currently the school has one of the most competitive cut-off points (aggregate six for O’ Level entry) in the country.
As part of their preparations for the Platinum Jubilee next year, the school is setting up a Junior School – in the same fashion as Gayaza Junior School and St. Thereza Girls’ School Namagunga.
Notable alumnae – Lady Justice Letticia Kikonyogo, Deputy Chief Justice; Lady Justice Christine Nakaseeta Kitumba, Justice of the Supreme Court; Hon. Rosemary Seninde, Woman MP Wakiso Distirct; Joanita Kawalya, artiste and vocalist for Afrigo Band.
Notable alumnae – Jennifer Musisi, executive director of the Kampala Capital City Authority, since 2011; Beatrice Wabudeya; Grace F. Kwiyucwiny, Minister of State for Northern Uganda.
Hon. Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire, the former Minister of Education, served as Headmistress of the school from 1971 until 1974.
Dr. Shelby Lewis, the deputy chairperson of the US Fulbright foreign scholarship board in Africa, was one of the pioneer teachers when the school opened.
Kyebambe Girls’ School
It was founded in 1910 under the Church of Uganda and named after the Omukama of Toro, Daudi Kasagama Kyebambe IV who sent his daughter to the school to serve as an example for the rest of the Kingdom’s noblemen.
Notable alumnae – Justice Judith Mbabazi, Judge of the Court of Higher Instance-Kigali, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya of Tooro Kingdom; Victoria Rusoke, Kabarole Woman MP; Barbara Kaija, Editor in Chief- Vision Group.
Location: Nyamitanga Hill, Mbarara
The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mbarara. It was started in 1961 with the aim of promoting the education of the girl child to build the nation.
Notable alumnae – Grace Isingoma, Woman MP Isingiro district; Emma Boona, Woman MP Mbarara district; Prisca Ssezi Mbaguta, State Minister for Public Service; Mauda Kamatenesi, Vice Chancellor Bishop Stuart University.
Location: Nsambya, Kampala
The school was started as an affiliate of St. Joseph’s Primary School, Nsambya, which had been started earlier by Sr. Kevin, to uplift the standard and status of women.
As the primary school grew under the leadership of Sr. Chrysostom, there arose need for a secondary school, to take up the girls who could not be admitted to government-aided schools like Nabbingo and Namagunga.
Notable alumnae – Hon. Juliet Kabonesa Ssekitoleko, Woman MP for Kibaale; Grace Tubwita, Woman MP for Nakasongola; Sylvia Owori, fashion designer.
The school has suffered a few setbacks in recent years with student demonstrations (strikes) but nevertheless is one of the best performing schools in the Eastern region.
Notable alumnae: HRH Sylvia Naginda, the Nabagereka of Buganda; Betty O. Kamya, Minister of State for Kampala, 2016 to date; Esther M. Mbayo, Minister for the Presidency, 2016 to date.
Notable Mentions include Rubaga Girls’ School, Iganga Senior Secondary School, St. Lawrence School Horizon.