Each one of us, provided you can read this, has had a minimum level of education regardless of the level it climaxed. The aspect of going through school to students is one hell of a life but either-way, it’s the most practical way to achieving success in society at least as ‘they all say’.
However we rarely take time to marvel at the scale of tasks (which is not much anyway) that we can accomplish due to the education we received, worse-still we further forget the people that burn the midnight candle to insert trickles of brain in our heads (it can never be enough).
For a teacher in Uganda, education means sacrifice of valuable time to shape the future of a nation marred by inconsistencies, devoid of characters and lacking a delivering leadership only to be appreciated with a peanut pay at the end of the month whose timely availability is also questionable.
I’ve had loose interactions with teachers ever since they saw it necessary to demand a bit from the nation they have always joyously fed and meagerly appreciated. Some are touching confessions that gather teary atmosphere within your eyes while others get you thinking how on earth they could have been quiet for so long.
In one of them was the touching story of a source whose name i will protect, He is a prominent teacher in western Uganda boosting a teaching experience of 15 years, He says when the economic crisis hit him hardest, he was forced to dance at a service providers’ concert in order to get a new t-shirt bound to make him to appear smart during his lessons.
This is how far we’ve come for those that are preparing multi-billion shilling festivities for Uganda at 50. From a time when passing p.7 exams was a guaranteed government sponsorship with free transport to your next school to a time when teachers dance for new t-shirts, students refuse to sit exams and others stab themselves over a pair of shoes.
It certainly did not occur overnight, we executed our death, dug our own grave and carefully lay ourselves down and we are now shoving the soil particles one by one.
Education in the country has finally hit rock bottom. First is the dilapidated buildings that house classrooms for the lucky ones, to the numerous trees turned classrooms in other places. We can do much more than this!
To see a pack of teachers sit idle in the parliamentary square certainly doesn’t plant smiles on Ugandan faces but rather leaves worry over the multitudes of kids sitting it out in class awaiting a lesson in a syllabus that provides less solutions to home-grown problems.
Whether the teachers’ clamor for better pay will be answered, the education system needs to be revised to provide more of the Ugandan perspective rather than concentrate on European and Asian histories, already executed discoveries and botched attempts of foreign diplomacy in the eastern question all this is not as useful as the current problems the nation is embroiled.
Who teaches our children how government in Uganda operates? Who teaches our children how we achieved independence in detail? last my teacher tried, he simply told us what date we achieved independence and what party helped us there, all thanks to my reading, I now know there s a whole tale to that effect .
Surprisingly, when it comes to Amin, the topic is even labeled the 1972 Uganda crisis, Well articulated on how he orchestrated murders and chased Indians with no mention of how he’d achieved his feat in infrastructural development.
So here is the connection, when you teach children about how world wars were fought, the supremacy of powers, outdated demand curve theories, Napoleon and Alexander and then you forget to add the Ugandan concept that binds them to their nation, all their thoughts and actions will be rooted in comparison to the western powers, that is why you will go to protest at an 80-seater parliament housing 386 legislators that bag 20 million each and question the reason for not getting a salary increment.
That is why you will have 132 districts run with insurmountable trillions of money from a previous 22 districts at the time of independence then question why government can hardly find money for teacher salary increment. These problems are inbred through the spate of ‘laughable’ education. Government will certainly not write a book about overhauling the education system, we have to do it ourselves! I guess the alarm bells are tired of ringing by now. They have done their part, lets play ours!