Celebrations to mark Kingâ€™s College Budoâ€™s centenary ended with prayers at Namirembe Cathedral on July 9. Below is an edited version of Prime Minister Prof Apolo Nsibambiâ€™s remarks at the thanksgiving ceremony
Challenges facing Kingâ€™s College Budo and other schools
lIt is essential to institutionalise forging a harmonious, transparent and a close relationship between head teachers, staff, students and parents. This will pre-empt strikes and other problems by finding lasting solutions to them. To achieve this harmonious relationship, all parents (both father and mother) must attend parentsâ€™ meetings at school regularly, so as to follow the academic and social development of their children.
lFinancial challenge. Government is unable to give adequate financial assistance to schools. It only provides capitation for tuition and other core education activities such as libraries, laboratories and games. Parents and old students are encouraged to fill the gap by giving financial and material assistance including computers, books and giving lectures to the school.
In this regard, Esther, my wife, and I made a financial contribution to Budo towards the library. We are grateful for the platinum plaque we received in appreciation of our contribution. I also wish to donate three copies of my book entitled, â€œDecentralisation and civil Society in Uganda: The quest for Good Governanceâ€ (Kampala: Fountain Publishers, 1998).
lThe third challenge is that, schools are encouraged to provide social services to their neighbouring communities through voluntary association. I was delighted to learn from Prof. McGregorâ€™s book that Grace, the late headmaster of Budo, encouraged Budo students to go out to build, repair, whitewash, dig and teach reading and writing to other schools.
lPopularizing information and communication technology (ICT). We are living in a global village where access to information is essential. Education institutions must impart skills to students in the usage of ICT from a very early age. Parents must contribute to the provision of technical requirements such as computers, printers and software. ICT usage will enhance productivity in institutional operations and management.
The commissioning of ICT intranet on July 2, 2006, suggests that Kingâ€™s College Budo is one of the leading Schools in marketing the use of ICT. A student can now access electronic information from the classroom.
lPreserving and institutionalising moral values. Governments are grappling with the cancer of corruption and abuse of office. Therefore, teaching and practicing of morals, ethics and integrity must be given priority. Teachers must ensure that students do not take drugs such as marijuana and alcoholic drinks. There are countries conniving with some Ugandans to export homosexuality into Uganda. We must resist these immoral vices. I am pleased to learn from Mr. Semivule, the headmaster of Budo, that Sunday morning Service is compulsory and that an Imam has been requested to lead the Muslims to worship according to their religious beliefs.
lInculcating in students the culture of reading widely outside their compulsory subjects is the sixth challenge. Mr. Timothy Cobb, our former great Headmaster, used to give students a chart to fill every week to indicate authors and titles of the books which they had read within the week. Budo may wish to revive this practice and export it to other schools which do not have it. lA culture of effective time management is the seventh challenge. It is not enough to arrive on time. Planned activities must be carried out strictly within a given time frame. The culture of effective time management must originate from homes.
lThe eighth challenge is to institutionalise the co-education character of the school. Today with a population of 1,217 students, the boys are 877 while the girls are 340. We must ensure that more girls join the school and are not intimidated academically by boys. Budo must provide the facilities and opportunities necessary to enhance the welfare of girls to enable them to realise their full potential and advancement.
lThe ninth challenge is that Universal Post Primary Education and Training (UPPET) takes effect from 2007. Budo has to work closely with government to ensure that we eradicate poverty of knowledge, poverty of moral ethics and material poverty.
Finally, Budo must maintain its greatest achievements and address the above challenges. Our motto of â€˜Gakyali Mabagaâ€™ is pertinent in reminding us that whereas a lot has been achieved, a lot remains to be done with Godâ€™s guidance.
Challenges facing schools, parents