By Titus Kakembo
Star Education Primary School won six competitors in the music festival after scoring 876 points. The first runner up, Army Day Primary School logged 823 points and was followed by Duhaga Primary School with 809 points.
“Unfortunately these upcountry schools lack music instruments and the desired costumes,” observed an adjudicator Barnabus Katumba. “They will need to improve on this if they are to compete favourably on the national level.”
Katumba advised the teachers not to over polish their performances or risk losing the creativity.
“The trophies are yours for keeps. I guess you have ably delivered the fight against malaria message in parents,” said Katumba. “And the teachers now know better than respecting the rights of their pupils.”
The Stop Malaria Uganda technical assistant Ivan Ireeta Malaria is still responsible for the poor performances in schools, high school dropout rates and increased child deaths in Hoima, Bulisa and Masindi.
The District Inspector of schools Margaret Ekwang said the ministry of education wants the number of first grades (219) double next year.
Smiles graced the music festival at Kiryandongo College last Saturday. Photo by Titus Kakembo
“We are urging parents to prepare a packed lunch for their children and have them sleep in mosquito nets,” said Ekwang. “The children are the change agents stopping their parents from using the mosquito nets for catching fish, making wedding gowns and sieving the kwete brew.”
On stage was a scene of a child suffering from malaria whose condition sent her parents into tantrums and quarrels.
“I am tired of buying panadol for treating your malaria,” lamented an irate parent. “Do I have to buy a whole lorry full of medicines?
What malaria is this which does not heal? Go back to school and stop giving me sickness as a reason to stay home and eat posho.”
Back at school, the same child was insulted and corporally punished until she fainted. Her teacher Sarah, baptized her “Commando Prostitute.” Utterances she was in love with a boda boda rider were shouted.
The MDD was staged at Kiryandongo Cooperative School, August 17, during the Runyege Region competition on Saturday.
The contestants comprised Blessed Damian Primary School (PS), Star Education PS, Bhunga Boys PS, Kihugia PS and Kigorobia PS.
The music festival funded by Stop Malaria Uganda and USAID (American People President’s Initiative) notified the audience that the cause of malaria is a female anopheles mosquito and is treatable.
“Parents should not make burial arrangements when one has malaria but seek a doctor’s advice,” said John Okello. “Malaria is not caused by eating mangoes, maize or witchcraft. It is spread by a female mosquito.”