KAMPALA —You have known them for making headlines whenever UNEB results are released, of course, for the obvious reason, being the best performers. And, oh yes, without any doubt, the aforementioned schools, together with their accomplices, have enjoyed media space, for a while.
However, today, we need to turn tables, and let the public know, that besides being among the ‘best’ performing schools in UNEB examinations, year-in-year-out, Hormisdallen, Kitende, and Seeta, of course, including their accomplices, as already mentioned, are still top the list of schools extorting money from parents, guardians, and sponsors, of which government, is part, especially when it comes to the registration fees charged by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), at all the three levels of instruction, and also the money payable for obtaining the Public Universities Joint Admissions Board (PUJAB) forms from Makerere University.
Interestingly, while this BROAD-DAY THEFT, is taking place, each one of us, including those, meant to act on the offenders, has chosen to sit back, and simply watch the happenings from afar, as though this is something very normal.
For goodness sake, how are we, as a nation, going to instill the sense of integrity, in these youngsters, when the MORAL FABRIC has been destroyed right from school, moreover, by people meant to act as examples to them [the youngsters]? Surely, how are we going to make these children love their country, after introducing them to the ‘smart’ ways of stealing money from the country they are meant to serve, after assuming these offices, in the near future?
Precisely, how do we expect a child who has gone through the hands of a HIGHLY CORRUPT director, principal, or head teacher, to be corrupt-free, after assuming office?
For heaven’s sake, why have we, as a population, chosen to keep quiet, while schools, both public and private, have taken it upon themselves, to ROB us of our hard-earned money, even in situations, where the fees we are meant to pay have been clearly specified, moreover, by government, itself?
Ahead of bringing you the charges of the aforementioned schools, of course, in comparison with the fees charged by both UNEB and PUJAB, allow me to pose the following questions, to whoever is concerned, of course:
(1) First and foremost, why has each one of us decided to look on, while schools are practicing, what one can convincingly and undeniably describe as BROAD-DAY THEFT, surely?
(2) Aware of the fact that it is the government that meets the charges for UNEB registration, of course, for learners under the Universal Primary/Secondary Education (UP/SE) arrangement, should we assume that it [government] also pays the same inflated charges?
(3) And besides, while we all know that UNEB registration charges are meant to be cleared by the government, for learners under the aforementioned arrangement, why is it that even schools under this arrangement (that is, UPE and USE, schools) have continued charging parents, guardians, and sponsors, for the same facility, surely?
Napoleon I, one time said, ‘The world suffers a lot, not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people. Arguably, Napoleon’s remarks are a true manifestation of a sizeable number of Uganda’s population.
Yes, many of us, are, undoubtedly, aware of these MISDEEDS, but have instead chosen, to sit back, and watch the happenings from afar, as already discussed, of course, at the expense of the current generation, and the generations to come.
Napoleon’s revelations are not farfetched, for they are strongly supported by Albert Einstein, one of the world’s greatest thinkers, ever, who, once said, ‘The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but rather by those who simply watch them without doing, or saying anything.
Truthfully speaking, a lot of EVIL, has been done to my motherland, Uganda, specifically in the field of education, and, surprisingly, as already noted, each one of us, including the persons that hold both power and authority, have decided to simply watch the happenings from afar, and leave the offenders continually carry on with their evil acts.
To the extreme, even the authorities themselves, have taken part in these evil acts. This is too unfortunate! People who have read about the Toyota Production System (TPS), must have come across these words:
We can forgive people for the mistakes committed, but we need somebody with honesty and integrity to show up, and be willing to speak up when there is a problem.
These words were put forward by Gary Convis, formerly President of Toyota Motor Company (TMC), Japan, and, arguably, it is partly the aspect of speaking up, once a problem is identified at Toyota, that has enabled Toyota to enjoy the Number 1 position in the automobile industry, in the past four decades. Yes, at Toyota, according to their production system (TPS), an employee has two principal roles-to report for work, as a routine, and secondly, to speak up, whenever there is a problem.
In contrast, in Uganda, and perhaps, Africa, at large, many of us will always choose to keep quiet, even in situations where the problems, in question, are very evident and highly pronounced, of course for the obvious reasons.
In any case, we choose to rally behind the offenders, rather than, condemn them for their inactions and unacceptable ways of doing things. This is evident with UNEB registration fees and the charges for PUJAB forms, where we have left schools, both public and private, as earlier stated, to ROB us of our hard-earned money, in broad daylight. Unbelievable!
(4) Are there any government officials whose children attain their education from our local/national schools, surely?
Precisely, do we have any ministers, members of Parliament (MPs), permanent secretaries (including the permanent secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports), commissioners in the different ministries (notably those from the Education Ministry), Police and army officers (including high ranking officers), whose children and/or relatives of whatever sort, go to any of the county’s national schools (public, or private), surely?
For goodness sake, which schools do the children and/or relatives of the Inspectorate of Government’s officials, including the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Beti Olive Namisango Kamya-Turomwe herself, go to?
Does the IGG want to tell us that it is normal for the government to fix charges for a particular service, and the service provider (be it government, or private), comes up with his/her preferred charges, whenever he/she feels like?
And if this is the case, why then fix the charges in the first place? Do we really still have any officials working in both the President’s office and Statehouse, educating their children and/or relatives, from our national schools?
Which schools do the children and/or relatives of Col. Edith Nakalema, the head State House Anti-Corruption Unit, attend surely? So, if Afande Nakalema, the person charged with the responsibility of fighting graft in this country, has also decided to look on, while schools (both public and private), including those owned by government officials, are ROBBING parents, guardians, and sponsors, of which government, is still part, of their hard-earned money, then what should a poor parent, guardian, or sponsor, vending foodstuffs, charcoal, or banana fibres, in a typical food market, do, surely?
Precisely, who is going to come to the rescue of the poor, if the rich, including those holding positions of authority, are simply looking on, while school proprietors (including heads of public schools), are enriching themselves at the expense, of the poor, surely?
Speaking to one of the parents (Barbara Kyomukama), not real name, whose daughter goes to St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School, had this to say, when I asked her, why they, as parents, have allowed the school to exploit them, to the bone marrow:
Jonathan, I personally paid both the 2021 UNEB registration fees and fees for PUJAB forms, at the same time, with a high profile ranking police officer (A/IGP, moreover) [name withheld], and he actually paid before me. So, in this situation, what should poor BARBARA, have done, surely?
For goodness sake, if schools are HOODWINKING, highly placed uniformed officers, including Assistant Inspector Generals of Police (A/IGP) and the IGP, himself, then, who is going to come to the rescue of that street vendor, boda-boda cyclist, or taxi conductor, whose child is being denied access to education, surely?
(5) For heaven’s sake, do the officials of UNEB and PUJAB, including all those officials in the different agencies of the Education Ministry, want to tell us that their children and/or relatives, also pay the same inflated charges?
For heaven’s sake, do we have any officials in any of the country’s public universities, including the Vice-Chancellors of these universities, whose children and/or relatives, are paying the fees charged by Seeta high schools, or St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School Kitende, to get access to the PUJAB forms, surely?
And if these schools have actually succeeded in their efforts HOODWINKING world-class brains, including of university professors, who, then, is going to save that poor parent, guardian, or sponsor, vending cassava, mangoes, or sweet potatoes, in Busoga, Teso, or Bugisu, from being ROBBED of his/her hard-earned money, surely?
In other words, who should rescue the illiterate parent, guardian, or sponsor, from this kind of BANDITRY, if professors, including those teaching law and business ethics, have simply decided to look on, while this kind of BROAD-DAY THEFT, is taking place, in our country, surely?
(6) Jonathan, this matter necessitates a deeper investigation. You cannot tell me UNEB can fix its charges, and then, all of a sudden, each school comes up with its own charges, without UNEB’s involvement, said a concerned parent, who preferred anonymity.
‘Don’t you think, there is a likelihood of these schools (of course, both public and private), conniving with UNEB, to ROB us, as parents, of our hard-earned money, Jonathan?’ Asked the parent. ‘What does it take for us, as a country, to have an independent audit into the matter, surely?’ The parent continued to ask.
(7) What is the essence of UNEB and PUJAB fixing their charges, yet, at the end of the day, each school is at liberty to set its own charges, surely? So, in this case, who is fooling who?
(8) ‘It must be a government of no corruption’, were part of the remarks made by the President, during the swearing-in ceremony of his current cabinet, at Kololo ceremonial grounds. Perhaps, the one million dollar question, here, Mr. President, is:
So, with all due respect, Your Excellency, in your opinion as the chief appointing authority, does it, therefore, mean that, when government fixes prices for its services, which charges, MUST (and please kindly, mark the word ‘must’, Your Excellency) be adhered to, by every service provider, irrespective of whether they belong to the public or private sector, and one does, the contrary, this is considered good behaviour, and so, the offenders need to clap, and better still, be rewarded with ministerial positions, surely?
Precisely, when UNEB and PUJAB, come up with clearly specified charges for their services, and one of your ministers, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, who also doubles as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Seeta pre-primary, primary, and high schools, sets a fee that is higher than the one set by UNEB, or PUJAB, this is considered a normal practice, and so, in appreciation of his actions, you even decide to reward him with a ministerial position, for a third term, in a row?
Your Excellency, can you please kindly, help me understand this better:
And if, in your opinion, this is not corruption (call it, BROAD-DAY THEFT), then, what is it, sir? So, Your Excellency, if a person meant to fight for the rights and plight of others, specifically, the rights of the voiceless, is the one taking the lead in EXPLOITING them, then, whom should the average person, run to, under such a situation, surely?
In other words, Your Excellency, do you expect Dr. Muyingo, to assist a parent of Hormisdallen Primary School, who was charged twice for her daughter’s UNEB registration, in 2019 (moreover, up to a tune of shs. 700,000/-, since the school officially charges shs. 350,000/-, for the service), yet, even he (Dr. Muyingo), himself, is doing the same, that is extorting money from parents in his schools, as well.
For goodness sake, Your Excellency, how is Dr. Muyingo going to table a motion before cabinet, or in one of the ministry’s meetings, discussing the issue of the UNBEARABLE EXPLOITATION going on in schools (both public and private), countrywide, yet he is a culprit, himself?
So, in this regard, Your Excellency, to whom should the aggrieved parent, guardian, or sponsor, of St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School Kitende, who has already been charged three times the amount charged by PUJAB, run to, for, aware of the fact that even the minister, himself, meant to come to this parent’s rescue, is, in fact, ROBBING him/her of his/her hard-earned money in Seeta high, as well?
How is Dr. Muyingo, as a minister in charge of higher education, going to regulate business in a sector, where he has VESTED INTERESTS, already? For heaven’s sake, if this has skipped the eyes of the President, since 2011, why has it skipped the eyes of the Appointing Committee of Parliament, as well, surely?
How can a person self-regulate themselves, for goodness sake? Allow me to end this point since I am already working out an independent, write-up, on the same.
(9) In all this, surely, where is Parliament, while schools (both public and private), are RAPING the Constitution, moreover, in broad daylight? Precisely, isn’t Parliament aware that Article 30, of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, states that, ‘Everyone has a right to education, and by schools deliberately HIKING the registration fees for UNEB, as well as the charges for the PUJAB forms, they are actually denying hundreds of thousands of Ugandans, access to education, as provided for, in the aforementioned Constitution, surely?
So, do members of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Sports, including renowned vocal MPs, like my friend, Honourable Ssewungu Joseph, want to tell us that their children and/or relatives, also pay the same inflated UNEB/PUJAB charges?
For goodness sake, if people like Honourable Ssewungu, can fall prey to such a kind of BROAD-DAY THEFT, going on, in our local schools (both public and private), countrywide, then, who should come to the rescue of that poor parent, guardian, or sponsor, working just for survival in Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, or Luweero, surely?
(10) And while this BROAD-DAY THEFT, is being done on parents, guardians, and sponsors, among others, by both public and private schools, countrywide, as earlier stated, where are our religious leaders, surely?
Should we assume, that none of the religious leaders in Uganda, have their children and/or relatives having their education in national schools, surely? Or, should we assume that they [the religious leaders] are totally green about the money charged by both UNEB and PUJAB, for registration and acquisition of forms?
So, if our spiritual leaders are lacking such vital information, then, who is going to come to the rescue of their flock, surely, while schools, including religious founded schools, moreover, are DUPING parents, guardians, and sponsors, of their hard-earned money, surely?
Should we assume that since some of them own these schools, while others are members of the boards and management committees of these schools, they are equally part of the problem, and so, benefit from the LOOT obtained from parents, guardians, and sponsors, among others, as well, hence the reason they have decided to remain silent, while schools, including their own, have taken it upon themselves, to deliberately ROB parents, guardians, sponsors, of their hard-earned money surely?
(11) Do we have any officials of the civil society fraternity whose children and/or relatives have their education, in any of our local schools (public, or private), surely?
And if so, should we assume that these people are not aware of the ongoing BROAD-DAY THEFT, in these schools, with specific reference to UNEB registration fees and the charges for PUJAB forms, surely?
For instance, where are the anti-corruption activists, like Cissy Kagaba, while schools (both public and private) are ROBBING parents, guardians, and sponsors, among others, of their hard-earned money, surely?
For goodness sake, if these schools have succeeded in HOODWINKING people like Cissy Kagaba, a renowned anti-corruption, and human rights activist, in Uganda, and beyond, then who is going to come to the rescue of that poor man/woman in Alebtong, Ntoroko, or Bugweri, whose child is being denied access to education, as put forward in Article 30, of the Constitution, by these OPPORTUNISTS/ SELF-SEEKERS, surely?
(12) The media fraternity is considered the fourth (4th) estate, on top of the executive, legislature, and judiciary, of course. Besides, the press is still considered the voice of the voiceless, and without any doubt, this function has been convincingly performed by Uganda’s media fraternity.
However, despite all this, this question still stands: Don’t we really have any children and/or relatives of members of the press that have ever been subjected to UNEB exams, surely?
Should we assume that these people are not aware of the charges of UNEB/PUJAB for the services offered? And now, if members of the media fraternity seem to be totally green about these charges, then, who else in the country, has this knowledge, surely?
For heaven’s sake, if renowned journalists of all sorts, countrywide, have equally been HOODWINKED by schools (both public and private), more so, in regard to UNEB/PUJAB fees, who then should fight for the plight of that boda-boda cyclist, taxi driver, or hawker, whose child is being denied access to education, surely?
My brother, Jude Bukenya, at Radio Akaboozi, 87.9 FM, have you also paid the same inflated charges for UNEB registration, for your children/relatives, surely? Nnalongo Rose Bukirwa, at Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), have you also paid the same inflated charges for your children and/or relatives? Precisely, why is it that there is not a single media house, in the country, that has come out openly to speak against the vice of schools inflating charges already fixed by the government?
What UNEB Charges
Since its inception, UNEB has set a fee that each candidate meant to sit its exams, at whichever level of instruction, is meant to pay, before they can be registered to sit these examination.
And I stand to be corrected, that is, if at all I’m wrong; before the CAPITALIST took over management of Uganda’s education, of course, from government, there was not a single school, across the country that ever inflated its charges like it is today.
This implies the amount fixed by UNEB is exactly what parents, guardians, or sponsors had to pay for their children and/or relatives so as to register for UNEB examinations. Arguably, this was the trend in the ’80s and ’90s. However, as already stated, after the CAPITALIST’S successful penetration of the market, at the beginning of this century (that is, 2000, to date), the game plan changed.
This is when we started seeing schools, including public schools and renowned traditional private schools, becoming more of business centres, than social service providers, like they were, before. You will realize that the chief object of a business person is to maximize profits and arguably, this person will do whatever it takes to reach their goal, regardless.
In fact, this largely explains why we presently have more of TYPICAL COMMERCIAL CENTRES, disguising themselves as schools. Schools, including public schools, moreover, have translated parents, guardians, and sponsors, among others into their ‘cows’, to an extent that they [school proprietors and administrators] have come to believe that all their likes, wishes, and problems, must be attended to by the people from whom they obtain income (that is, parents, guardians, or sponsors).
Believe it, or not, schools have really stretched the parent, guardian, or sponsor, beyond measure, and for now, one cannot be wrong when they say: parents, guardians, and sponsors, as well as education in general, cannot breathe!
While the current UNEB registration charges are fixed at shs. 34,000/-, shs. 164,000/-, and shs. 186,000/-, or P.7, S.4, and S.6 candidates, respectively, government, specifically the Education Ministry, has given all schools (be they public, or private; day, or boarding; primary, or secondary), the mandate to officially fix their charges TOTALLY DIFFERENT from the charges already fixed by government (UNEB), itself. This is ridiculous! And as already mentioned, while this is happening, each one of us, including people that God has blessed with the opportunity to speak for the voiceless, is simply looking on, and watching the happenings from afar. Hmmmmmm!
At Hormisdallen schools, for example, instead of going by the official fee of shs. 34,000/-, the schools currently charges shs. 350,000/- for the service. This implies, the official fee of 34,000/- is multiplied 10.3 times. Interesting!
And as if, this is not enough, these schools have also gone an extra mile to DUPE parents and guardians, of their hard-earned money, by still charging them the same fee, under the guise of late registration, implying that, at Hormisdallen schools, once your child falls in the category of late registration, as a parent/guardian, you are required to part of, with a total sum of shs. 700,000/-, instead of the official shs. 51,000/-, fixed by government (UNEB).
Yes, shs. 51,000/-, because UNEB late registration attracts a penalty of 50% of the initial charge. [I will furnish you with details on this, in a separate write-up]. For goodness sake, do we have any government official, as noted above, who is educating their children and/or relatives from Hormisdallen?
And in case we have some, including MPs, who are well-facilitated to speak for the citizenry, in the August house, what have they, surely done about this BROAD-DAY THEFT, evident in Hormisdallen schools? Don’t we have any legal advocates whose children and/or relatives go to Hormisdallen schools, surely?
And from the official charges, as previously indicated, Seeta High Schools, of which Forrest Hill College, is part, and St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School Kitende, charge shs. 300,000/- and shs. 330,000/-, respectively. So, in this case, how does someone expect the state minister for higher education, who also doubles, as the CEO of Seeta pre-primary, primary, and high schools, as earlier noted, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, to come to the rescue of that aggrieved parent, or guardian, of St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School Kitende , who is being EXPLOITED to the bone marrow, yet, even, he [Dr. Muyingo] himself, is doing exactly the same thing?
For heaven’s sake, to whom should the public run for rescue under such situations, surely?
Parents urged to speak out
A detailed list indicating the different charges for individual schools (both primary and secondary), is still being worked upon, and this will soon, be published, and be availed to you, in the next write-up, about the same. In fact, I want to use this opportunity to request all parents, guardians, and sponsors, out there, to please make use of the contacts availed to you at the end of this write-up, and furnish me with the details of what your school charges, for UNEB registration.
Accompany your details, with empirical evidence, say, by taking a picture of the receipt, and sending it via my email (scanned), or WhatsApp contact, given below. The government has already given green light to NAME AND SHAME, the strategy of exposing the corrupt.
So, dear fellow parents/guardians, as we still plead with the authorities, notably the President, to deal with the issue of CONFLICT OF INTEREST, in his government, with specific reference to the Education Ministry, let us, meanwhile embrace the mechanism of NAME AND SHAME.
Yes, let us NAME AND SHAME, those officials, smartly clad in gowns and suits of educationists, yet, in actual sense, they are WOLVES, BEASTS, AND HYENAS, that have grossly contributed to the destruction of our country’s education, beyond measure.
What PUJAB charges
Just as the case for UNEB registration, schools, still in the eyes of the concerned authorities, have taken it upon themselves to come up with their own charges, altogether.
As usual, while this BROAD-DAY THEFT, is being witnessed, almost in every school (if not, all), across the country, including those owned and managed by the authorities at Embassy House, the concerned authorities have simply sat back, and actually, decided to clap, praise, and reward the offenders, instead.
For goodness sake, who is bewitching my motherland, Uganda? Surely, how does someone engage themselves in unbecoming acts, such as EXTORTION OF MONEY from parents and guardians, and be appointed minister, commissioner, or headteacher, all of a sudden?
So, by so doing, what exactly are we demonstrating to these youngsters, whom we have from time-and-again, reminded about them being the leaders of tomorrow?
You cannot imagine that while PUJAB forms go for as low as shs. 50,000/-, schools, as already discussed, have still revised their charges upwards, and to the concerned authorities, this is a normal thing.
St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School Kitende, for example, charges shs. 150,000/-, for these forms, while in Seeta high schools, the forms are obtained at a fee twice the one fixed by the government (PUJAB), that is, shs. 100,000/-. According to information obtained from a student, in Seeta High, who preferred anonymity, they have been told by the school authorities, that, it is most likely that the extra shs. 50,000/- charged, is meant to cater for a second form, in case, the first one, is spoilt. You can imagine!
Surely, if this is not BROAD-DAY THEFT, then, what is that appropriate term that one can use to convincingly describe it? However, St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School Kitende, has a different argument, altogether.
According to a circular issued to all parents of senior six candidates, dated January 18, 2021, that I have personally looked at, the school justifies its extra shs. 100,000/-, by HOODWINKING parents and guardians, that the money is meant to cater for UNEB photo collection, certificate forms, handling fees, and postage of these application forms.
You can imagine, among the people who fall prey to such FOOLERY, include professors, senior government officials, and dignitaries, of all sorts. I ask again; God, what wrong have we done to you, as a nation? Precisely, who is bewitching my motherland, Uganda?
How do I walk into a supermarket, and the price on a given commodity, say a bar of White Star soap, is clearly reading, shs. 3,500/-, and from nowhere, someone tells me to pay shs. 10,500/-, upon getting to the cashier’s workstation, surely?
‘Each candidate must complete the PUJAB and JAB application forms. The process requires payment of application fee, UNEB photo collection, certificate forms, handling fees, and postage of these application forms, at a fee of UGX 150,000/- (One hundred fifty thousand only)’, paragraph two, of the circular, reads.
‘Parents are required to make the above payment in cash to the school bursar, NOT later than February 20, 2021’, the circular continues to read. You can imagine even though we are all aware that we do not have S.6 candidates yet, the authorities at St. Mary’s Boarding Senior Secondary School Kitende, have already made parents to pay for both PUJAB forms (which forms are optional, by the way) and UNEB registration, already. Hmmmmm!
(1) First and foremost, as a way forward, I personally, believe, and very strongly, by the way, it is high time, both UNEB and PUJAB, emulated their sister agency, National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), and start sharing their bank accounts with the rest of the public, so that parents pay their money, directly to their (that is, UNEB and PUJAB) accounts.
This implies, both UNEB and PUJAB, should send their bank slips to the respective schools, to enable parents pay their money directly to their respective bank accounts, as already indicated, using the acquired bank slips. This is exactly what NCHE, does.
Those that have had their undergraduate and post-graduate studies, in Uganda, including those in tertiary colleges, will bear me witness here: NCHE has fixed its fee, payable by every student in higher institutions of learning, of which universities, are part, at only shs. 20,000/-, and this is what everyone student, in question pays, regardless.
Honestly speaking, to date, I just do not know why the money meant to do UNEB and/or PUJAB business, first goes through the bank account/hands of a named school, say, Seeta High School, Mbalala, and, then transferred to UNEB, thereafter.
The cheapest and most obvious way of undoing this EXTORTION is by eliminating the middle-man. Precisely, schools should be STOPPED from collecting any of the aforementioned charges, through whatever means, and only be left with the responsibility of issuing the said bank slips, to the learners/parents.
Details of this are already with the President and the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, and I strongly believe, sooner than later, the duo, will pronounce themselves, on the matter.
(2) We have also talked about the NAME AND SHAME, strategy. Yes, let us NAME AND SHAME, these people that have specialized in acts of destroying our education, as we push for more palatable, workable, and sustainable solutions.
So, just as we have done for UNEB registration fees, let us still make use of the same contacts provided for, at the end of this write-up, and avail the author, with the details of charges by our respective schools, for PUJAB forms. Please don’t forget to accompany your particulars with empirical evidence.
(3) As parents and guardians, we need to acquaint ourselves with the law. The 2008 (Pre-primary, Primary, and Post-primary) Act, for example, requires all secondary schools, to have in place functional students’ councils.
However, while these are seen in some public secondary schools, they are nowhere to be seen in any private secondary school, as per law established, across the country. For this reason, students are left helpless, with no one to turn to, in case of any grievances.
The same Act also requires both primary and secondary schools, to operate with school management committees and boards of governors, respectively, something that is hardly found in our private schools, countrywide. Perhaps, apart from institutional private schools, the biggest percentage of private schools, are operating with boards of directors, instead of the aforementioned administrative organs, which is contrary to the law.
To make matters worse, the Education Ministry has gone ahead to register and license some schools as companies. By so doing, this implies, these schools are bound, to the largest extent, of course, by the Companies Act, and not the aforementioned Education Act.
For goodness sake, how do you register a school, or even any other educational institution, meant to serve society, non-segregatively, as a private limited liability company, surely?
These are some of the things that need to be critically analyzed, if a lasting solution to the COUNTLESS country’s education problems, is to be found. Thankfully, details of the same are already with both the President and the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, already.
(4) And lastly, but, of course, not the least, there is an urgent need for the President, as the chief appointing authority, to remove the elephant in the room, from the room. This elephant is none other than, CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
Your Excellency, I will not get tired of reminding you that the people who are tearing up the country’s education, are with you in government. The majority of these people are comfortably seated in well-designed air-conditioned offices, at Embassy House, with many still spread in the various agencies of the ministry.
With all due respect, Mr. President, the choice lies in your hands. You can either choose to continue working with these people, in the same capacity, and continue destroying the country’s education, further, or decide to get rid of them and give the country’s education, a new footing, altogether.
But, Your Excellency, please be reminded, that while history shall exonerate all the individuals that you have chosen to reward, praise, and clap, even after being made aware that these are the very people that hold the mantle in as far as destroying the county’s education, is concerned, it shall NEVER exonerate you.
Precisely, Your Excellency, whatever mess has gone on in the field of Uganda’s education from the time you assumed power, up to when you shall leave power, or breathe your last, shall, without any doubt, be blamed, on nobody else, but you.
So, my dear President, why don’t you listen to the outcry of your people, and do the needful?
Precisely, Your Excellency, with all due respect, why don’t you embark on the process of dealing with the issue of CONFLICT OF INTEREST that is already killing our education, as a country, upon receipt, of this write-up?
I will end this write-up with the words appearing at the entrance/exit of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, which read:
Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long-range missiles…It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in the examinations by the students.
Patients die at the hands of such doctors
Buildings collapse at the hands of such engineers
Money is lost at the hands of such economists and accountants
Humanity dies at the hands of such religious scholars
Justice is lost at the hands of such judges
The collapse of education is the collapse of the nation.
Please be reminded, Your Excellency, as one scholar, once said, ‘You are going to be remembered for two things-the problems you have caused, or those that you have solved’.
Your Excellency, you have undeniably, satisfactorily dealt with so many problems of this country, in the past 35 years of your reign, and certainly, many people, including myself, do appreciate.
However, Your Excellency, you are yet to convincingly address the COUNTLESS problems evident in the country’s education sector. And take my word, Your Excellency, the more you cling onto the people, already earmarked as the ring leaders, in destroying the country’s education, the more education will continue going underneath.
Just as someone cannot be a Bishop, say in the Anglican Church, and at the same time, be a traditional religious leader, so can’t one operate a chain of schools, and diligently serve the same government he/she is already competing with, in whichever capacity. Think about it, Your Excellency, I kindly request.
Remember, Your Excellency, we either do it now, or never, but if we do not, most certainly, our inactions and blunders, shall become the burdens of tomorrow’s generation.
I beg to submit!
For God and My Country!
This writer, Jonathan Kivumbi is an educationist with a major bias in communication and language skills
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EDITORIAL NOTE: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect our editorial stance.