In the past, a student leader was comparable to the African native chief, an instructor who assumed some administrative tasks as educational institutions began to grow beyond one room.
But today, there is a lot of pressure on student leaders from all angles, especially in the giant traditional schools where they are glorified. But let us look at the average student leader today. First, they are students with academic responsibilities such as attending classes, sitting exams and reading like any other student.
They are also the bridge between the school administration and students. To the administration, this person represents the students’ body; but to the students, they represent the school administration.
The student leader is an important function of management and helps to maximize efficiency. But do they have the potential to influence and drive the group efforts towards the accomplishment of organizational goals?
Unfortunately, school administrators (the guides) have at times unknowingly turned student leaders into bad guys, the villains. In some schools, student leaders are allowed to hit fellow students as a form of punishment. Yes, as extreme as it may sound, it is ‘traditional’.
Many people will tell stories of a tough teacher who used to hit them. That is bad enough. Now imagine having a vivid memory of being beaten by your classmate. These are things one never forgets.
So, imagine what this does to the student leader when school is over. This creates a power-hungry character. It is a sort of defense mechanism because no one wants to go back to being equals with someone they once hit. So, schools are creating leaders who have no space for humility and simply cannot give up power.
I believe that ensuring discipline should not only be centered on punishing, but also on rewarding. The highly-disciplinarian schools today are producing people who fear doing wrong and see no good in doing what is right.
This is because they fear the punishment that comes with wrongdoing but see no wrong in the crime itself. Taking the kindergarten approach would be more effective.
Here, the “shame upon you” rant makes sense because it is an honor for one to do something good. With that, we will have less people in society who take pride in wrongdoing.
Student leaders should, therefore, be given more ability to reward than to punish.
Ethel Alexandria Luyiga,
Makerere lecturers insensitive to students?
Makerere’s department of Journalism and Communicatiom joined their Law School counterparts to withdraw its services from the evening undergraduate degree program.
This was backed by a message delivered by the head of department highlighting their protests against working extra hours without reimbursement. Dr WilliamTayeebwa said they have tried diplomatic dialogue on a number of ocasions with the university administration but all in vain.
He added that the university has always extended an deaf ear when it comes to services offered to evening students. He said lecturers work without pay yet students pay their tuition.
It is at this point that I wish to fault our lecturers. If you failed to agree with the administration, how do you expect us students to respond?
Fellow journalists, injustice to one of us is injustice to us all. The university thinks it can just change students from evening to day, ignoring the stress many of them go through during day to work for their tuition. The congestion and discomfort most likely to come out of this is none of their business.
I am not happy; we are not happy.
Let’s appreciate the good done by NRM
The ruling party recently marked 32 years in power, continuing to make history as the country’s longest regime since independence.
With the country having undergone a lot of upheavals, NRA/M inherited a failed state and a handicapped economy. With such challenges, the party looked like a saviour.
They have since established relative peace and professionalized the army. They also liberalized the economy before establishing participatory democracy with the reinstatement of political parties, thus the advent of the likes of Dr Kizza Besigye.
Other achievements include women emancipation, fighting the HIV/Aids scourge and return of constitutionalism. Although the NRM has failed on many fronts, the last 32 years are worth celebrating.
Museveni right on boda boda carnage
While addressing the nation in Arua on January 26 during the National Liberation day celebrations, President Museveni attacked boda boda riders who disrespect traffic rules.
Road accident reports from Mulago national referral hospital show that more than half of all trauma cases there are as a result of boda boda accidents.
Although President Museveni tasked police on fighting errant boda bodas, I believe it is everyone’s role to make sure that as Ugandans, we reduce the carnage caused by these cyclists.
Passengers, boda boda cyclists and police all have a role to play.
Expand Arua hospital mortuary
I wish to register my disappointment once more with Arua regional referral hospital. Despite the “regional referral” trademark name it carries, Arua hospital has a disappointing mortuary.
The facility has a two-roomed, dilapidated and small mortuary for keeping bodies from within and those brought from outside.
At the mortuary, picking a body of a relative, who has died in the hospital, one is sometimes made to endure the foul smell emanating from other decomposing bodies, especially those who die from somewhere and are brought in.
It is my humble request that the administration considers constructing two separate mortuaries, where one would be for keeping bodies of persons who have died within the facility and the other for those ferried from outside.