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Gov’t told to increase funding for arts

By Abdulkarim Ssengendo

Added 22nd August 2017 12:10 PM

Only four schools out of the many expected, turned up for the one day event

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Pupils of Mbarara Junior School celebrate winning the South Western Music Dance and Drama Competition. Photo by Abdulkarim Ssengendo

Only four schools out of the many expected, turned up for the one day event

Teachers in western region schools want government to send more grants which is conditional for co-curricular activities to uplift music standards in schools at all levels which they observed has gone quiet low.

Their call followed low turn-up for the regional music, dance and drama competition which took place at Mbarara Catholic Social Centre in Mbarara Municipality. 

Only four schools out of the many expected, turned up for the one day event.

According to Stephen Sasirwe, Mbarara district education officer and coordinator for the Kacence Regional Music, Dance and Drama Competition, each school needed around sh300,000 to participate in the regional competition in additional to other requirements like music instruments, training and transport costs. 

“As we progress to national level, we expect even less participation. It takes the commitment of our leaders, the local governments and government to know that a child must learn holistically, and we need funding specifically for co-curricular activities which is conditional to enable all schools in districts to fully participate in big numbers,” Sasirwe added.

Mbarara Junior emerged the winner of this year’s competition defeating Nombe Primary School, Uganda Martyrs and Juru Primary school. 

Mbarara Junior scored 792 points followed by Uganda Martyrs with 730 points then Nombe and Juru.

The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Wash, Water Sanitation and Health’.

Nathan Mugume, the head teacher for Mbarara Junior said this can only be achieved through music.  Mbarara Junior School was supposed to represent Uganda last month in the East African Music Gala Festival which took place in Nairobi but their participation was affected by lack of funds.

“Government should always support us, we failed to showcase the wonderful talents of our children because we lacked funds to go to Nairobi,” Mugume said.

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