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Wednesday,October 21,2020 13:37 PM

Why star students shun teaching

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th March 2011 03:00 AM

WHEN the Primary Leaving Exams (PLE) results were released, star performers praised their teachers. In came the 0’level and A’ level results and the stars echoed similar sentiments.

WHEN the Primary Leaving Exams (PLE) results were released, star performers praised their teachers. In came the 0’level and A’ level results and the stars echoed similar sentiments.

By Anthony Olwoch

WHEN the Primary Leaving Exams (PLE) results were released, star performers praised their teachers. In came the 0’level and A’ level results and the stars echoed similar sentiments.

The best performing students attributed their success to their teachers — the unsung heroes. Teachers sacrifice and persevere amidst harsh challenges.

In a survey conducted by New Vision, the star students described teaching as a patriotic calling. But ironically, they don’t want to follow in the footsteps of their heroes.

The survey carried out among star performers in PLE, UCE and UACE shows that teaching is the most dreaded profession.

One-hundred-fifty star candidates (57 females and 93 males) were interviewed on their preferred choice of career between January and March 2011. Only 2 (1.3%) said they wanted to become teachers. Sixty-four (42.6%) wanted to become medical doctors, 35 (23.3%) had their eyes on engineering, 8 (5.3%) dream to be lawyers, 6 (4%) wanted to become pharmacist, and 5 (3.3%) wanted to become accountants and computer scientists respectively.

The remaining percentage was shared by those who wanted to become economists, nurses, journalists, architects, pilots, priests, entrepreneurs, and statisticians.

Ninety of the respondents attributed their excellent performance to teachers. However, it is startling that they are not inspired to follow the same career path of teaching.

Why not teachers?
Most of the reasons the respondents gave revolve around welfare and the way teachers are treated.

Stacey Nakanwagi, a former S.4 student of Kisubi High School, said she cannot join the teaching profession because teachers suffer a lot since they are paid peanuts. Primary teachers and secondary school teachers are paid between sh260,000 and sh500,000.

According to Henry Sam Kizito, a former student of Seeta High School, teaching is very stressing because some students are stubborn and unruly. Secondly, since the plight of teachers is usually neglected by the Government, he has never dreamed of taking on the teaching profession.

While Andrew Kamya from Stafford S.S, Kitende, who dreams to become a petroleum engineer, says teaching will not earn him the money and satisfaction he desires to have.

Teaching is versatile
Unlike the common misconception held by many students that when you study to become a teacher then you are destined to a life of misery and poverty, becoming a teacher can actually be a stepping stone to your dream career.

You can use the diploma or degree from a teacher-training institution to apply for a degree, post-graduate diploma or master’s degree programme in the field of your preferred career.

Secondly, after qualifying as a teacher, gaining experience in the profession helps to build your portfolios which can give you an advantage in case you desire to take on administrative responsibilities.

Besides, you can choose to ride on the knowledge and experience you have acquired to become a consultant in education related issues or other areas of interest.

Today, in various organisations in the country, a number of trained teachers are employed and are performing exceptionally well in a different professions. It is no surprise today to find professional teachers working in media houses, banks, government ministries, parastatals and international organisations.

Career choice
Joseph Musaalo, a counselling psychologist and specialist in career guidance at Uganda Christian University, says an individual’s interests, role models, peer pressure, remuneration, personality traits and career guidance among others significantly influence the choice of career.

“Before making a choice, students need to identify their interests and abilities to perform in a particular field. Career masters need to give career tests that involve a number of variables that a student fill depending on dislikes, likes, and academic strengths,” Musaalo notes.

For Sarah Kaiza, a former student of St. Lawrence Horizon campus, the desire to study law was triggered by her disappointment with the way Godfrey Kato Kajubi’s case was handled.

Kajubi is a city tycoon who was accused of murdering a 12-year-old Joseph Kasirye, in October 2008. He was acquitted after justice Moses Mukiibi said prosecution had failed to find enough evidence.

“My decision to become a pharmacist was as result of career guidance offered by my teachers,” says Henry Kizito of Seeta High School.

Unlike Kizito, Stella Magambo, from Gayaza High School, says series like Grey’s Anatomy inspired her since she loves watching doctors and now wants to become a surgeon.

Why star students shun teaching

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