Back then when the Catholic nuns of Daughters of Mary and Joseph laid the foundation for western girls’ education, the school only had 25 girls, five teachers, a cook and a matron. Today, the school community has grown into 1,000 students, 70 teachers, 20 support staff and 35 group employees.
Toasting to the school’s golden jubilee, the school alumnae- Maryhill Old Girls Association (MOGA) - resolved to improve the infrastructure to accommodate the large school community.
MOGA publicity secretary Edith Kabesiime paid tribute to the founders: “They looked at the future of the girl child. This was their vision, which we want to keep burning because we believe there are others coming after us.”
Kabesiime, also a development worker with Care International Uganda, explained that the golden jubilee celebrations have been postponed to 2012 because of the uncertainty associated with an election year. She was at Maryhill from 1982-88 for O and A-level.
The highlight for the celebrations will be the construction of a Golden Jubilee Complex Building, which will house the administration offices, ICT laboratories, library and research centre. To kick off the construction, the school secured a Shs 550m loan from Centenary Bank.
The construction will take place in phases and, hopefully, phase one will be completed before the actual celebrations. The first phase, estimated at Shs 1bn, involves the construction of the ground floor with an access road, gate reconstruction and parking yard.
And MOGA has pledged to raise Shs 200m towards the first phase.
“We are obliged to give back to the school because if those who were before us had not laid the foundation for the school, we couldn’t have gone through it,” Kabesiime said during MOGA’s annual general meeting in Naguru Crescent Hill at an old girl’s home.
MOGA has so far collected Shs12m, of which Shs 9m came from an MTN marathon organised in Mbarara town last year. The association is also organising another marathon on July 16 in Mbarara town.
Margaret Atim Mugeni, the head teacher, was grateful for the alumnae’s contribution to Maryhill’s development.
“This is a sign that you [old girls] treasure the chance of having been educated, formed and moulded into useful ladies of substance for the nation,” said Mugeni.
She assured the old girls that the school has maintained its high standard, ranking it among the best in the country.
Besides the school’s academic high standard, Mugeni said the students also successfully participate in co-curricular activities.
She cited Sharon Boonabaana, who represented Uganda in the International Debate Sessions in Netherlands and the Science Club that won the Innovation Exhibition 2010 in Physics at Makerere University.