The project recognises and rewards individual teachers who are innovatively using limited resources to have a positive impact on their schools and communities.
KAMPALA- The 2019 Teachers Making a Difference Competition was launched recently in Kampala with the lead partner, the Irish Embassy, raising their sponsorship package to over sh200m.
"This year we are seeking to go the extra mile and I am delighted to announce that we have increased our sponsorship by 25%, contributing an additional 10,000 euros to make it 50,000 euros," the Irish ambassador to Uganda, William Carlos, announced during the launch at Vision Group's head office.
Six teachers to go to Ireland
"We are, therefore, offering an additional slot for a teacher, meaning six teachers will travel to Ireland this time round," Carlos revealed.
He said this extra funding from Ireland is a testament of the embassy's commitment to see that the initiative grows.
Teachers Making a Difference is part of the Ugandans Making a Difference (UMD) project initiated by New Vision in April 2008. The project recognises and rewards individual teachers who are innovatively using limited resources to have a positive impact on their schools and communities.
Since 2017, New Vision has been privileged to implement the project in partnership with the Embassy of Ireland, Trócaire and Simba Travelcare, one of Uganda's leading tour and travel management companies.
At the launch of the 2019 competition, Vision Group chief executive offi cer (CEO), Robert Kabushenga, commended the partners for their continued support for the project and called for innovative ways to make the project bigger.
"I think the teachers from Ireland should go to, especially the countryside and also visit the schools where the winning teachers come from. This will create a platform of exposure and help these teachers learn from their colleagues in the profession," Kabushenga said.
Irish Ambassador William Carlos (left) shaking hands with CEO Vision group Robert Kabushenga during the Teachers Making a Difference 2019/2020 Launch at Vision group headquarters recently. (Photo by Ivan Kabuye).
The event was also graced by Aggrey Kibenge, the education ministry undersecretary; Simba Travelcare CEO Declan Peppard, Trocaire country director Ian Dolan, the deputy head of cooperation at the Irish Embassy, Lorraine Gallagher and education advisor Naome Muhwezi.
Also present were Vision Group's Editor-In-Chief Barbara Kaija and head of marketing Dorothy Muttu. Peppard said just like last year, Simba Travelcare will take care of the cost of return air tickets for all winning teachers and the journalist travelling to Ireland.
"We believe the partnership we have with Vision Group through this competition will continue for many more years," Peppard said. Dolan expressed gratitude for being part of the project for the third year running and reiterated Trocaire's commitment to handling the itinerary for the team that will be travelling to Ireland in April/May next year.
"Last year we had an exchange programme where we had teachers from Ireland come to Uganda just like Ugandan teachers went to Ireland. We want to assure you that this will happen again this year and I believe it will create an impact," Dolan said.
Kibenge, who represented state minister for primary education Rosemary Seninde, commended Vision Group for the initiative and gave assurance of the ministry's continued support.
"As a ministry we have worked with Vision Group for a long time now. During that time I have noticed that New Vision among all other media houses, has been on top in as far as addressing education issues is concerned and I want to thank them for having shared that vision with us."
"I salute the Irish Embassy for the partnership we have had with them in the fi eld of education in the various parts of the country," Kibenge said.
Under the competition, the public nominates Uganda's most innovative teachers and an independent jury of eminent personalities select the top 12 for recognition.
The winning teachers each receive a cash prize of sh1.5m while the fi ve most outstanding go for an all-expenses-paid study tour to Ireland.
This year six teachers will be sponsored to Ireland. Any person is free to nominate a teacher who he or she thinks has been outstanding.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR NOMINATION?
A Ugandan professional teacher in a school in Uganda teaching at either a primary, secondary or technical and vocational training institution
Must have mobilised the communities to take their children to school
Should have demonstrated innovation in using limited resources to deliver quality education
Should have promoted vocational and life skills education
Should have actively participated in co-curricular activities
Be a person of integrity
Should have gone beyond call of duty to deliver curriculum or support education outcomes