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Private schools face closure over shunning patriotism training

By Charles Kakamwa

Added 5th March 2019 12:23 PM

During a recent retreat for RDCs, they were instructed to close private education institutions that frustrate the programme

Private schools face closure over shunning patriotism training

Students of Wanyange Girls Secondary School take part in patriotism drills. Photo by Charles Kakamwa

During a recent retreat for RDCs, they were instructed to close private education institutions that frustrate the programme

The Jinja resident district commissioner, Eric Sakwa, has warned of serious repercussions including withdrawal of operational licences for schools that fail to engage students in patriotism training.

Speaking at the closure of a patriotism training course for 290 students of Wanyange Girls Secondary School on Saturday, Sakwa noted that some schools, especially private ones, despise the training despite it being a government initiative.

"Some school administrators think patriotism training is a waste of time, it goes beyond love for one's country and involves many other aspects such as environmental conservation," he said.

Sakwa said during the recent retreat for RDCs at Kyankwanzi Leadership Training Institute, President Yoweri Museveni instructed them to close private education institutions that frustrate the programme.

Government aided schools that deliberately fail to implement patriotism training, will be reported to the ministry of education for appropriate action, he said.

Addressing the students, Sakwa advised them to always sacrifice for the good of their country, engage in productive activities and strongly detest corruption.

"As patriots, you must say no to corruption and always carry this message wherever you go. Corruption in construction works, hospitals, schools and elsewhere makes people suffer without services, thereby spoiling the government," he said.

Earlier, the district inspector of schools Eria Kisambira, however, said many schools in the district fail to carry out patriotism training due to the lack of funds. He requested the patriotism secretariat to consider providing the required funds for the exercise.

Beatrice Bananuka, the assistant commissioner at the patriotism secretariat, said though they have been facilitating the exercise in some schools, the secretariat may not be in a position to cover all schools at the moment due to budget constraints.

She, however, commended Wanyange for organising the exercise consistently and pledged to offer support once their request is sent.

"Because of the importance of patriotism courses, the NRM central executive committee meeting at Chobe Safari Lodge recently recommended that it is extended to primary schools. Hopefully, our budget will be boosted," she noted.

The students also exhibited various technologies at their annual science fair on the same day.

Sam Kuloba the commissioner for secondary education in the education ministry, who was chief guest, observed that school science fairs are part of the ministry's strategy to promote science and technology in schools.

"We need to give children a platform to practice science and interest them to become innovative," he stressed.

Kuloba promised that the ministry would appoint more teachers at the school and help construct science laboratories to ease the teaching of science subjects.

This was in response to a revelation by the school's head teacher, Deborah Basekanakyo, that of the 50 teaching staff, only 23 are on the government payroll and 25 out of the entire staff of 98 are on the payroll.

Basekanakyo noted that the 10-day training course helped instil into the new S1 and S5 students values of discipline, hard work and teamwork to help them fit in the school environment.

She said they also acquired life skills of self-defence and confidence, dangers and prevention of HIV/AIDS, personal health and hygiene among others. 

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