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Things to do when Mr Museveni leaves (Part 5)

President Museveni

President Museveni

From last week, I was to return to education and how we are to handle those behind crimes committed over the three decades and so.

One would wonder why, with all its significance, education would come in the last article in the series. Indeed, last week Prof Jude Ssempebwa, an expert in higher education, casually asked why I had not prioritised education even in the building of integrity.

As someone specialised in ethics (as a sub-discipline of philosophy), I duly understand the importance of education in nurturing behaviour. Many studies in moral psychology have already showed that.

Of course the scope of what one may call education is quite broad. In this case, we were referring to the formal. My view is that, whereas this is important, its effectiveness depends on the extent to which a society is morally broken.

How about the old crooked ones that we shall not take back to school? How do we bring them back to order not to corrupt the young ones that will have been subjected to a new foundation?

Moral formation comes from a wide range of sources. It is not only from what my parents teach me or what I learn at school; it is also what I watch on TV, read in the papers, and observe in society around me. That is why I am convinced that without a higher systemic solution and transitional fear-based morality, the efforts from below will most likely succumb to counter social forces.

This is not to mean that as systems are being tightened to fix the loopholes that have gotten us where we are, other things should be put on hold. My fear, though, is that because we have so many things to put right, if they are all embarked on at once, chances for failure out of being overwhelmed are high. It would be akin to a rescue boat that ends up putting more people on board out of the waters, only to capsize for its own overload.  

That said, no doubt that education is very important for the transformation of any society. Benjamin Franklin would say that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. But to this we must always add, as Clive Staples Lewis said, “education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man [humanity] a more clever devil”.

A large measure of our mess is a product of the education system many of us go through. Having already talked about the integrity question that Lewis raises, I will now address myself to expert and life skills education. I will mostly speak out of my teaching experience that has given me some considerable participant idea about our education system and its effects.

For twelve years, I have taught at three Ugandan universities, both private and public. My own higher education was at four different institutions, in four different countries. This allows me some degree of comparison, though not conclusive.

Uganda’s education system has been praised to be one of the best in East Africa, but UWEZO reports have been producing unflattering results about our lower-level education lately. Though the literacy and numeracy skills they focus on are important, I want to consider a bigger scope of ideal learning.

Many lecturers at universities today will attest to the fact that we are not only increasingly getting more entrants that can hardly write a sensible essay but also more that cannot critically think on their own. You basically have to spend the first year, if at all you do, rehabilitating the damage done by secondary schools - which train crammers looking out for particular answers to particular questions.

The pamphlet culture in secondary schools, plus the examination-oriented system, are wasting brains of leaners. In many of our universities, we add to the damage by dictating notes in class, ‘handouts’, and setting exams that only engage memory! Hence producing more graduates that can hardly innovate for the country. Many debates in our mainstream media and social media platforms mirror how there is little independent thinking, beyond imitation and jest, that goes on in our society.

More than ever before, today’s world is best suited for dynamic people who are quick to think through challenges and innovate solutions. As such, the best that education can do for learners is to teach them how to think critically, not to take things for granted, and to always study societal trends to know how best to position themselves.

Knowledge runs obsolete at a faster rate! A rigid question-and-answer education cannot take us anywhere. So fast is the pace today that by the time one finishes their so many years of cram-work, the world has already moved past the answers they crammed. With such a wrong approach, we may well produce more nominal ‘scientists’ without producing inventors.

We may not have to do away with many of the current disciplines, though we need to strengthen vocational training much more; but teach all in such a way that they can respond to the dynamic diverse needs of the world. Let the emphasis be more on training thinking and imagination than memorisation. Besides, information technologies have made it less important to fill heads with stuff that can be accessed by instant search.

Quickly onto the issue of how we shall handle crimes committed under Museveni’s regime. It is no secret that many regimes become hostage to their misdeeds, often fearing uncertain life outside.

When a thief in your house hears you sharpening a panga outside and calling on him to come out, he would rather die in the house. Yet again, if you pardon them all, you embolden others to repeat the cycle. No matter the plan, for now, it is more strategic not to threaten them with prison. Fortunately, it’s harder to destroy evidence today and easier to collect it.

jsssentongo@gmail.com

The author is a teacher of philosophy.

Comments

+2 #11 juwait kali 2019-12-13 03:24
Spire sebo if Museveni stepped down 2da, dissolve that dodgy electoral commission of his how would he become self styled prisoner?

He is a a conquerer just like the rest of them. You could say that these kind of always think that they will pull it off but in the end wapi they fall. They are nasty pple just.

Northern Sudan Bashir three weeks to his down fall said watsapp could never bring him down what happened? Just watch this space how these wannabes are gonna go out. They're gonna wish
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+1 #12 Lakwena 2019-12-13 15:21
Quoting Lysol:
To all my critics and those who flagged my comment above, I would say thank you.

Lakwena (aka fake massager)I actually don't read the nonsense Spire writes, here; may be only the headlines and the first paragraphs.

Actually I enjoy the ad hominies. Lakwena are you a man or a lady to fall in love with Spire. The last Lakewna we all remember was killed in a refugee camp in Kenya.


In other words Lysol, that is how irrelevant and misinformed you are. Unless you are the one who went and poisoned her in the Kenyan refugees camp; Alice Auma Lakwena was not killed in a Kenyan Refugees camp: she died of natural causes.

And by the way, Mr. M7 had a lot of respect for Lakawena for having chased his NRA soldiers up to Magamaga, using stones and freaky calabash jazz. .
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+3 #13 mo mo 2019-12-13 17:28
sat in a taxi one Sunday morning to town from Masanafu.in the back seat was one young girl (9-11) years having an argument with a grown up (approx 32 yrs)about African heritage Vs Western/White Supremacy.

Young Girl reasoned that its a tragedy how Africans lost their original pride,they aspire to be like the white man,give their children western names, do not care about their local languages,cultural norms etc and think its old fashioned,the grown up man insisted how African culture and language has no future,how "we have to move with the times" listening from the front, i couldnt help but smile in appreciation at how this girl would have such a brilliant mind at her age,

the irony was,she spoke in such beautiful English with such a lovely accent, while the grown up struggled with his English,the girl disembarked at Mengo Hospital,while moving out to let her pass,i asked, which school do you go to,she whispered,Kings College Buddo.I immediately imagined my daughter at Buddo.recommend it
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-6 #14 Lysol 2019-12-13 22:31
Attention one Lakwena(aka fake messenger)
The real Lakwena was chased out of Jinja by the Ghana's special forces of Rowling.

I met one of the them Museveni had no respect of Lakwena. One cannot win a war by throwing stones(ask the Palestinians) or bow and arrows in the modern warfare.

Or by some spiritual delusion like your one Kony. You would have been killed if your were there. By the way I'm not misinformed or irrelevant, here. I know exactly what I'm doing here. To mess or screw up your minds. Kind of fun and entertainment. Your turn to respond scumbag.
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+1 #15 kirya 2019-12-16 23:47
Capture m7 family make them sign over the assets they have accumulated back to the new government. Celebrate the fall of the most useless dictator.

Give checks to Luwelo war victims. Sentence m7 and his gang stars to death.
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-1 #16 Wainanchi 2019-12-17 06:44
As a rule I always respond to haters and thugs. Museveni and NRM NRA liberated Uganda and made it fast growing economy.

However, many rats jump on the wagon and robb , steal and cheat!Is that to blame Museveni?

No. We have to blame ourselves fro being greedy, lazy and corrupt. Few of us want to work and most of labor is done by women.

Young people lazy flock to towns to get quick money for little sweat or labor.They are cheap materials for propaganda of hate ,malice and sabotage.

Many many times I watched groups of boda bodas politicicking and idling while waiting for clients.

Why these people do not work in their home towns and villages and generate money? There are soft loans , start ups for anyone who wants to work in Uganda. But there are also many, many who get free money to make problems.

There are many individuals stealing our money.I wish our Government applies tougher rules for thieves and saboteurs so that we read less and less who stole how much>Hello Uganda and Uganda thieves!
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0 #17 Lakwena 2019-12-17 09:39
Quoting Lysol:
Attention one Lakwena(aka fake messenger)
The real Lakwena was chased out of Jinja by the Ghana's special forces of Rowling.

I met one of the them Museveni had no respect of Lakwena. One cannot win a war by throwing stones(ask the Palestinians) or bow and arrows in the modern warfare.

Or by some spiritual delusion like your one Kony. You would have been killed if your were there. By the way I'm not misinformed or irrelevant, here. I know exactly what I'm doing here. To mess or screw up your minds. Kind of fun and entertainment. Your turn to respond scumbag.


In other words Lysol, in order to defeat Lakwena you are suggesting that: what Mr. M7 considered his gallant NRA soldiers were after all Gen Rowling's Ghanaian mercenaries.

Thank you for that revelation.
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-1 #18 Lysol 2019-12-18 00:47
Lakwena, we may disagree on may things, but I know a lot of things regarding Uganda history. Some of them are classified.
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-1 #19 Lakwena 2019-12-18 08:09
Quoting Lysol:
Lakwena, we may disagree on may things, but I know a lot of things regarding Uganda history. Some of them are classified.


In other words Lysol, when will they be classified, before these guys get away with organized murders (war crime)?

E.g., where are the 205 Acholi UNLA soldiers whose surrender and disarmament, was negotiated by the Acholi Religious and Traditional Leaders/elders?

This is because, after the gentlemen agreement, they surrendered, assembled in Pece Stadium and handed in their weapons.

But to the dismay of the Acholi people, like sitting ducks; the helpless guys were ferried away to some unknown destination and to date, non of their family members, relatives and friends know where they are.

In other words, is this one of the classified information? What about the Kanungu inferno, could victims have been our people incinerated?
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