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Okello’s future as a doctor hangs in balance

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th September 2001 03:00 AM

When students report to Mbarara University of Science and Technology, on October 5, Samson Okello will be somewhere shedding bitter tears.

When students report to Mbarara University of Science and Technology, on October 5, Samson Okello will be somewhere shedding bitter tears.

When students report to Mbarara University of Science and Technology, on October 5, Samson Okello will be somewhere shedding bitter tears. That is unless a good samaritan can help him raise tuition fees. As a nation, we stand to lose a doctor if this young man does not go to university. Education Vision’s Catherine Ntabadde reports Samson Okello, 20 has been admitted to Mbarara University Science and Technology (MUST) but has no tuition fees. Okello is to read Medicine and Surgery from October 5, when the first semester for the academic year 2001-02 starts. He needs over sh1m for tuition fees alone. “I’m supposed to start school next Friday but I do not have the money. I need a lot of money for tuition fees and other requirements. My parents are peasant farmers in Katakwi but they cannot afford the fees,” he says. Okello says that the Faculty of Medicine has different requirements which are needed before one starts school. Speaking very softly, Okello told Education Vision that though he has not got any sponsor, he knows that God will help him. “I know God is always there to help me. Imagine among the 20 people admitted on self sponsorship, I was the fifth,” he smiles. “It was out of God’s will to be submitted at Mbarara University. I thank Him for that,” he adds. He says that it has been his dream to become a doctor. “It has been my childhood dream. I have always wanted to become a doctor. These people are always busy 24 hours and I like to be that way too,” Okello reveals. He is confident that his prayers will be answered because God has made him what he his now right from the first day. He adds that his ‘A’ level was paid for by a good samaritan who passed away. Okello sat his ‘A’ level from Ntinda View where he scored 16 points in four subjects. Born in a family of eight children, Okello who is the eldest son, says that his relatives would have sponsored him but they are not working. His primary and ‘O’ levels were paid for by his father, Micheal Odau. He says that he contacted the Ministry of Health but was told that they do not sponsor any body. “I have spent the whole month of September looking for sponsorship but I have failed. The people I approached told me to wait while others said that all sponsorships had been taken,” Okello adds. Asked how his other siblings are coping up yet their parents do not have money, Okello said that five of them are under the Universal Primary Education programme while two have not started school. Okello says that God helped him and he acquired a job as a teacher at Sagich Royal Secondary School, Serere in Soroti. He was teaching Fine Art and Biology. He narrates that though he was teaching, the money that was paid to him was little. Okello adds that the school had promised to pay them sh50,000 while they were being admitted but it has not been the case. “I was lucky that I got job though the money was little. We were always paid in instalments less that what they had to give us. At times the money paid to us was quarter to the one that was promised,” Okello says. Teaching for two terms in the school, Okello had to leave the job so that he finds a sponsor. Asked whether he had also applied at Makerere University, Okello said that he does not admire to study in town so he did not apply. He says his primary and ‘O’ level were attained in Soroti but he regretted when he studied in Kampala to acquire the ‘A’ level. “Studying in Kampala was not easy for me. The cost of living is very high. A person of my calibre can not afford it,” he says. On top of that people in town behave very differently. When you talk to somebody, he or she will always think that you have a hidden agenda. Upcountry people are so free, you can talk to anyone as you like,” Okello narrates. He says that if he will talk to Mbarara University administration whether they can allow him to start in the second semester as he looks for the money. It will be a national tragedy if Samson Okello fails to go to university. The nation will have been robbed of a much needed medical doctor.

Okello’s future as a doctor hangs in balance

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