The current situation in private education institutions is appealing and if not well-handled, the education system in the country is likely to crumble with little or no remedy.
In the African culture, a man is considered bold and perseverant in all situations and never expected to cry at any time as crying would depict defeat and timid to a would-be solution giver.
What makes a man may not be trousers and beards but the decisions he makes, how he reacts and acts in different situations encountered. Even a tough woman would be considered a man if she did extraordinary things like riding very fast and lifting heavy loads to mention but a few.
In whichever situation you would be caught whether a fall, sickness, an attack or even losing a dear one, the first word of encouragement was ‘You are a man!’ so there wasn’t any chance of regret.
However, the situation of covid 19 and the subsequent lockdowns have left institutions of leaning and places of worship dilapidated and ‘men’ yelling.
The teaching profession, regarded as the mother of all professions has been hard hit and regretting why they chose and become teachers. A true picture of a family head bitterly crying before the family members, a cultural abomination!
Uganda is soon breaking a world record for being the first country to lock down institutions of leaning for two academic years. A school academic year comprises about nine months. Still, the pearl of Africa will also break world record for being the first covid 19 hit country to vaccinate children of 12 years if government plans come true.
The country that once hunted for children to school in the 90s, is now hunting them from schools, the exact opposite of what was done before. Double standards?
Apostle Paul asked the Galatian believers when they’re becoming worse than before, “who bewitched you foolish Galatians? (Galatians 3:1) What our planners are doing today is a characteristic of a grandpa to sitting with a long rod shouting and controlling activities of grandchildren “stop!”, “Don’t climb trees, you will fall and break.” She continues, “you will gouge out your eye.” On the one hand, they protect lives but on the other hand, they kill innovation and curiosity as a characteristic of children.
As school proprietors, parents, teachers and leaners cry, the nation faces many dangers:
Undermining the learner’s cognitive development:
Learners have outgrown their classes and some of the girls of P.1 may be required to wear bras due to their age backet. The academic plan of the government according to the Education Policy Review (Kajjubi) commission is to provide basic education for seven years of primary between 6-12 years, six years of secondary prior to joining tertiary. That is regardless of the pre-primary (nursery) which is a feeder for primary.
The commission further recognized that only when the children are enrolled in schools at the “right age and do not leave the school without completing the cycle of primary education” is when the citizen will fully benefit from basic education.
Are we living to achieve it or not? Children may face numerous cognitive effects for Late or delayed school entry including and not limited to:
The learners who join schools beyond the age will find unsuitable environment in schools as their age will not match that of their peers (classmates) leading to early departure (dropout). The cognitive development will not correspond to the activities they will be assigned. It will remain a big challenge to motivate such children stay in schools. Imagine a ten year old mixing with classmates of five years old to do a Primary one activity.
Schools become less attractive
As children get accustomed to being helpers or co-providers to parents in farms, market vending etc., the schools will remain less attractive to them and levels of child labor will increase. The longer they stay in an environment that doesn’t ignite the mental development, the more they will retard and see no value in schools.
Utter economic crisis.
The school owners, teachers and other support staff comprise a big percentage of the work force in our economy. Being rendered redundant in an environment of less skilled generation will land our nation into an economic crisis. John F. Kennedy, an American statesman once said “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” Which resource is better than the human resource?
If the education system of a country is crying, the economy won’t hold tears and the morals will stink. The security we invest into and boost of will only turn soldiers into killing machines (Jacque Fresco, the American futurist) and the entire generation will eventually be dead. Save education system, save the nation’s future!
The author is a theologian and educator.
(Based in Calvary Chapel Christian School-Entebbe)
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com