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Nyakasura School: The Mixed School Where Boys Wear Skirts

Nyakasura School is a mixed boarding and day secondary school located in Fort Portal town, Kabarole District in Western Uganda. It is considered one of the best schools in the country and over the years, has produced some of the country’s most renowned men and women.

While all schools strive to be different/ unique academically, Nyakasura is different in more than just the books. The school recently sparked a social media debate after it emerged that boys at the institution wear ‘skirts’.

This brought about questions of concerns as members of the public and locals think that it is against their culture. However, the school principal, Frank Manyindo, came out to defend the culture, claiming that it is part of the school’s long history, explaining that the attires are kilts not skirts.

Nyakasura School: The Mixed School Where Boys Wear Skirts
Students at Nyakarura School. |Courtesy| URA|

Nyakasura School was established in the Rwenzori Mountains in 1926 by a Scotsman knowns as Commander Ernest Ebohard Calwell.

“They are not skirts they are called Kilt as garment resembling a skirt traditionally worn by men in the Scottish culture,” the school principal said.

“This school has a great history but the history is linked to Scotland and Colwell came to this area because of disagreements because he wanted to introduce this to schools but people called the skirts but they are not skirts they are called kilts.”

A Form Four student at the school as quoted by Citizen Digital stated that he first experienced culture shock but got used to it.

“Normally when I talk about my uniform and when they see students putting on a kilt. Most of the time they say that we are dressed like girls but for me I have no problem with it because I have live with it for four years,” he said.

Manyindo notes that the uniform is won by “O” level students and they have no problem with it, as a matter of fact, they take pride in it.

Nyakasura School: The Mixed School Where Boys Wear Skirts
Nyakasura School. |Courtesy| URA|


According to a report by Uganda’s Daily Monitor, Calwell was posted to Kings College Budo, where he became good friends with two boys from Tooro Kingdom, Komwiswa and Byara. When Calwell fell out with the school head over uniform, the boys urged him to start up a school in Tooro which he did.

“The students at Budo at the time were putting on shorts, but the head teacher wanted long trousers which Commander was opposed to and decided to come to Tooro,” Manyindo told the publication.

Calwell would later meet Omukama Daudi Kasagama Kyebambe III of Tooro whom he and asked him for a place with plenty water, food and fertile soil to start up a school. Of all the places he was offered, he chose Nyakasura.

That is when he established Nyakasura and installed some of the elements at Budo.

“Commander built the school on three foundations, God fearing, hard work and sports which has kept it moving even in times of struggle and its students have loved to live on these foundations even after school,”  Manyindo says.

The school quickly became popular due to its high standard of European education and many of Uganda’s movers & shakers in business and politics were educated there.

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