Transfers are a normal practice in all organizations and should be encouraged for growth and sustainability. However, this has always been abused in most of our schools. My focus today is on secondary schools.
I am happy that the ministry of education has some new faces, including the permanent secretary and at the Education Service Commission. I will, therefore, use this opportunity to warn them against doing what some of their predecessors have been doing – abusing the process of promotion, posting and transfer of teachers.
Some teachers, for example, have had accelerated promotions because of their connections with schools-founding bodies or members of the Education Service Commission.
There is evidence that several transfers in secondary schools are not on merit. It is a public secret that many teachers ‘buy’ their promotions and eventual transfer or posting to particular schools. Many good teachers without ‘connections’ will never be promoted or if they are eventually promoted, they will never serve in ‘good schools’.
We also know that members of school foundation bodies or people on the Education Service Commission are often compromised during interviews and eventual posting of head teachers or their deputies.
Such schools as Kibibi SS, Masaka SS, and Sseke SS in Lwengo have either benefited or suffered due to this vice. When these crafty head teachers move from a given school to another, they move along with their ‘good’ teachers and support staff. Those found at the new school lose their jobs.
This partly explains why most of these head teachers are treated like ‘gods’. We cannot nurture good citizens under this kind of mess. We cannot allow institutions to be run like family businesses. We need to find reasons why those particular schools were constructed; otherwise, schools are currently run like other profit-making organizations.
I request the people concerned in the ministry of education or officials in the inspectorate of government to institute a probe into teacher transfers and management of many top Universal Secondary Education schools.
In the quest to financially-appease their ‘god fathers’, these head teachers charge high amounts of school fees. I don’t understand, for example, why government schools should charge more money than equally-good private schools.
Lukwago Ismail Isaac Ntegana,
Lecturer, International University of East Africa.
We need more public toilets in Kampala
I recently read in the media that the people of Port Bell, Luzira market and the landing site there have been using Lake Victoria to dispose of their human waste, as the only public toilet in the area was destroyed in 2008.
Due to lack of a toilet facility, the community of over 1,000 people has been forced to resort to desperate means of disposing their waste like defecating in open
areas and the water body. This situation is not only in Port Bell, but also in several other areas of Kampala.
According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2.7 million Ugandans lack toilet facilities.
This sanitation crisis is a huge problem as it leads to rampant hygiene-related disease outbreaks in the country. I was impressed by Uganda Breweries’ recent initiative that will see the brewery construct public toilet facilities for the residents and traders of Port Bell and Kirombe areas in Nakawa division.
This gesture by UBL is a demonstration of a good responsibility that should be emulated by other business entities as well as the government.
Let’s aim at peace building
Over time, Uganda has witnessed untold suffering attributed to poor governance, power struggles and excessive use of force in managing state affairs. One such case is the recent surge in hostilities in western Uganda allegedly perpetuated by cultural leaders there.
Featuring history, frustration and a failure of economic policies, this case presents a unique area of investigation in present-day efforts to manage and resolve conflicts.
A number of inquiries should be made to identify the causes, progress and prognosis of the conflict in Kasese. Identify the political, economic and social impact of the conflict; the reason for the ethnic disagreements; the attitude of the affected population to the conflicting forces; possibilities of reconciliation, reconstruction and peace building within the region.
Peacemaking in Kasese and other regions ravaged by civil and ethnic strife should address the fundamental issues of good governance that will permit the different ethnic and nationality groups to live in harmony.
This will need combination of efforts by the state and other non-state actors to generate practical proposals that are a reflection of the concerns of the people involved and affected by the conflict.
As a far-reaching goal, we ought to generate policy proposals to introduce a code of conduct for warring parties in line with the framework of international humanitarian law principles.
A classical statement on the national culture is offered by FrantzFanon (1963). He defines national culture as “the whole body of efforts made by a people in the sphere of thought to describe, justify and praise the action through which that people has created itself and keeps itself in existence.
A national culture in developing countries should, therefore, take its place at the very heart of the struggle for freedom, which some of these countries are carrying on.”
Foundation for Human Rights Initiative.
Why solve everything with war?
It is sad that after 36 years, the UPM/NRA/NRM’s principal ideology is still war. We remember with sadness the castigation of Milton Obote for having killed people because of a “petty quarrel” with the Kabaka of Buganda.
But in the last ten years, we have seen brutal killings over the Kayunga issue and recently in Kasese; one wonders if we have not come full circle and cycle.
I think it is becoming clear that the people leading us should slink quietly into the back of the line and let others with a real vision to usher in a real fundamental change to come to the fore.
But then again, is there even the hint of capacity for honest self-assessment still left in the principal characters involved?
MPs should let police do its work
The Kasese rampage has been on since March this year when the killings started. The real cause of these attacks is not well known. Police has come out with several reports on the chaos but the Rwenzururu kingdom and area MPs always give a different account.
I would like to ask these leaders and MPs not to assume roles that are not theirs. They are not security experts. There is freedom of speech in Uganda but many of us have now misused it to allege false information and convey it like we have proof.
Uganda is a peaceful country and all we need is peace, and not hatred among tribes and cultures. In my own understanding, I thought the role of a member of parliament was to discuss issues of the area they represent and also deal with public opinion in an organized manner.
I ask MPs to calm down and allow concerned parties to conduct their roles and come up with well-investigated reports rather than those based on hearsay and hatred for the ruling government.