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Archive for July, 2014

Recently, together with my colleagues at Uganda Technology And Management University, I facilitated a career guidance seminar in a secondary school in eastern Uganda, where I interfaced with close to 700 students. I asked every students to write down at least one role model in whom they find inspiration.

More than 50 per cent of my respondents mentioned former South African president Nelson Mandela while 35 per cent had no answer to this question. The other 15 per cent mentioned local musicians, politicians, reality TV stars and several characters that have crowded the news for the wrong reasons.

I actually had a student who mentioned that former accountant in the Prime Minister’s office, Geoffrey Kazinda, as his role model!

A role model is a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated or whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. But then one wonders why 35 per cent of my respondents would lack a role model.

Don’t these students know any professionals who can be their role models? What about their teachers or parents?
What about the students who took pride in mentioning Mandela as their role model? While the story of Mandela was definitely a catch, is he worth being taken on as role model for secondary school students?

The last group of my respondents had a wide range of answers; from popular Ugandan musicians, politicians, teachers and parents, to criminals. Why would a student consider a renown criminal for a role model? Whatever the answers to my questions, one thing has been for sure; basing on trending topics on selected social media and headline news in our dailies, the figures scooping a lot of glory are those that have influenced our students’ way of life and of course would have a great impact on their choice of counsellor.

The lack of positive role models, has turned much of today’s youth into a bunch of: disrespectful, lazy, spoilt, ambition-lacking students. In Uganda for example, we have glorified local musicians, socialites and politicians. Engineers, scientists, medical doctors, nurses, teachers, accountants and lawyers to mention but a few, hardly get glorified with front page stories or trendy harsh tags on social media. How then would they be considered as potential role models?

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Oscar-Ssemweya-MusokeAccording to media reports, the Uganda government confessed that it was unable to do anything about its citizens that were executed, or others on death row, in China for drug trafficking.

The New Vision newspaper reported that there were seven more people on death row, 23 on life imprisonment, and many others in Chinese correction centres.

That is the downside of life in ‘outside’ countries! If you are in trouble, it is unlikely that Uganda would help. In the case of citizens languishing in Chinese jails, it seems that the public are not sympathetic either, when you read comments posted online.

It is a different story for Israelis! Three Israeli teens that were kidnapped in June were found ten days later; apparently, they had been shot dead by their captors soon after abduction. The country mourned the senseless killing and leaders promised (more…)

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jesus_christConsequently, many religious individuals believe that procreation is a God-sponsored sporting event, albeit not for spectators.

According to Protevangelion, the grandparents of Jesus Christ felt shame because they could not have children and worse, Jesus Christ’s grandmother was ostracized because her womb was barren.

But her shame was alleviated by the miraculous birth of her daughter Mary.

Although not in the Bible, Protevangelion probably contains genuine facts not mentioned elsewhere.

For example, the early testimony of Justin Martyr (more…)

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Primary Five pupils waiting for their teacher as sheep occupy another classroom. The classrooms are separated by poles.

Primary Five pupils waiting for their teacher as sheep occupy another classroom. The classrooms are separated by poles.

Hoima- It is a windy and sunny afternoon. Classes are ongoing at Kyehoro Primary School, one of the public schools in Hoima District. The government-aided school with an enrolment of 272 pupils, is located in Kabwooya Sub-county, about 92km from Hoima Town.

The school which is in Nkondo parish in the Albertine grabben, is in the same village where oil explorers have discovered the Ngassa-1 Oil Well.
Teaching and learning sessions in the P5 and P6 classes are under an iron-roofed shade that is built with poles.

The teachers reveal that the sorry structure was built by parents. The floor in the classes is bare and dusty. But inside the classes, are also goats and sheep.

While others are standing, other domestic animals are lying on the floor of the classes. The school’s Parents Teachers Association (PTA) chairman, Mr Isaac Oryema, who had turned up at the school for routine supervision, told this newspaper that, pupils sharing classes with domestic animals is not strange in the area.

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I learnt from a friend that there are three types of doctors in Uganda. The pre-war generation doctors, the war generation doctors and the lost generation doctors.

The pre-war generation doctors went to school when all medical facilities where working. They had the opportunity to learn and practise when medicine in Uganda was at its best. Unfortunately most of them are retired and out of practice.

The war generation doctors are those who were educated during war times.

Basically, there was nothing functioning and practicals were done on adhoc non-functional equipment.

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Wayne Rooney is English and a Manchester united fooball player who earns £300,000 per week. Usain Bolt is an athlete who earns at least $10,000 for participating in an event.

That amount excludes winning bonuses. Back home, Stephen Kiproitich, is now becoming a house hold name that everyone talks about, because of his heroics in th 2012 London Olympics.

All the above examples add up to one thing; professional sports is a venture worth taking. In Uganda, youth unemployment is high.
Considering that many youth have talents, government should change direction.

They (government) should invest in sports, by developing the existing infrastructure like the stadia they own and stop selling sports fields to investors.

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Otuke.
Following government’s suspension of midwifery services, traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in Otuke District in Lango now deliver pregnant mothers in bushes.
The LC chairperson for Aliwang Ward in Adwali Sub-county, Mr Godfrey Ongom, said the TBAs are conducting deliveries in secrecy for fear of being arrested.

He said expectant mothers prefer getting maternity services from TBAs because their services are cheaper and nearer compared to government health facilities.

“As leaders, we are calling upon the government to have the basics in health facilities, so that mothers can seek help from trained medical practitioners,” Mr Ongom said.

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