Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Wetaya Richard

Wetaya Richard

I have more than five years’ working experience in the media industry in Uganda.

I wield a skilful pen as a writer and Iam presently one of the most proficient features writers at the "Features Desk" of the “New Vision”- Uganda’s leading premier Newspaper.

At the “New Vision”, I have given a good account of myself as a features writer and that has shown in my well thought out and deeply researched human interest stories, which have been published on topics such as maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancies, climate change, the importance of cultural customs, rising sexual harassment in Uganda’s health sector; amongst other topics.

I have also written human interest stories for several nongovernmental organisations like IntraHealth and World Vision.

Several of my standout feature stories have been published in the "Big Read" section of the New Vision.

I also write for my personal blog called MasaabaChronicles.com.

Before I joined the New Vision, I had worked a broadcast Journalist with Signal FM radio in Mbale, Eastern Uganda.

My weekly show packed a punch and was very popular with the youth demographic in Eastern Uganda.
It was an informative and educative programme that essentially encouraged the youth to embrace initiatives that bring a value to their lives.

I am also into worthy causes.

Last year, I was awarded a medal and certificate for my participation in the Journey of Hope marathon walk; a walk whose set objective was to reverse the flow of child trafficking and unsafe migration from Karamoja-in the North-East of Uganda.

The 18 day- 467 walk began in Kampala-Uganda’s capital city and ended in Napak-Karamoja.

Iam also into marathon running for worthy causes.

For the last two years, I have excelled in the MTN Marathon.

I was the best runner from the New Vision and have gotten medals for my efforts.

My professional goal is to be able to open new horizons for myself as a multi media Journalist and to spread my wings as a writer; beyond my current environment.

I want to be able to bring my writing skills to bear with other platforms.

I believe writing further beyond my current environment will sharpen my creative writing skills for the better.

Other interests

Playing basketball-Several medals and Certificates recieved for playing the game
Philanthropy
Traveling
Writing Poetry
Hip Hop

Wednesday, 24 April 2019 11:25

Save Uganda's rural teenage girls

Uganda has since 2015,  had a national strategy to end teenage pregnancies but that strategy has, largely, come up short, as teenage pregnancies in several disadvantaged areas of the country-continue to rise way above the national average of 25%.

Last year, for instance, Agago district in the North of the country, registered a 28 percent teenage pregnancy rate, according to Statistics from its Health department.

Similar statistics ring true for districts such as Amoro [28% teenage pregnancy rate-last year], Kole, Kamwenge, etc.  

What that means, in essence, is that little has changed since the Uganda Bureau of Statistics released the 2016 Uganda Demographic Survey Report, which indicated that 25 percent of teenage girls aged between 15-19 in the country were pregnant.

The same report indicated that 19 percent of teenage girls, aged 15-19 had given birth; and another 5 percent were pregnant with their first child-at the time of interview.
IMG 5917

An earlier report from the country’s Education and Sports ministry on the linkages between teenage pregnancy and school dropouts in 2015 -had indicated that over 97% of adolescent girl’s drop-out of school, due to early pregnancies.

Masaabachronicle looks at some of the reasons-a well intentioned strategy has not brought significant change to bear.

Uganda has through the years, scored high points, in expanding enrolment and ensuring gender parity in its education system, but the same can not said about its efforts to curb teenage pregnancies.

In many disadvantaged areas of the country, attitudes towards girl’s education, remain low on account of counter-productive cultural and traditional norms and practices.

“On the whole, it is the reason; the replication of the successes registered under enrolment and gender parity has proved hard,” Charles Wabwire, an educationist with Opportunity International, tells Masaabachronicle.
“Deeply entrenched negative traditional and cultural norms, which encourage teenage marriages and relegate girls to domestic roles in many poor areas of the country, lie at the root of the problem.”


Lydia Nakaweesi, an education consultant with the East African Partnership for education in Kampala, says the strategy has faced long odds, owing to the few and far between-engagements with local and traditional leaders, plus parents, in areas where teenage marriages and pregnancies are rife.

“In the Karamoja, Acholi, and Elgon sub regions, there are few engagements with local leaders, yet teenage girls in these places remain vulnerable,” Nakaweesi says.

Nakaweesi also adds that the strategy has been ineffectual, largely because if poverty.

“It is the preeminent driver of teen marriages and pregnancies in high risk areas.
The families that marry off their daughters early are, in most cases, living in narrow circumstances.”

Two experiential Anecdotes that speak to the tragedy of teenage pregnancy in some regions of Uganda

In a halting low toned voice; betraying anxiety, 17-year-old teenage mother Fortune Kansime points me to a wooden bench; outside her grandmother’s hovel in the sun drenched village of Rwengobe in Kamwenge district, in the west of Uganda.

Teenage mother Kansime with her child.jpg1

Just inches away as I prepared to sit, was her visibly apprehensive grandmother.

Seated on a papyrus mat, she repeatedly clutched at her rosary as I said my salutations.

Unable to hold back tears, Kansime plaintively narrates how she unwittingly became a young mother at age 15.

BLOG

“I was sexually exploited by one of the men, involved in the construction of the Fort Portal-Kamwenge road in 2015,” Kansime says

Needless to add, Kansime became pregnant.

Kansime says she was naively cajoled and later pressured into sex in a dark place where her cries for help went unheard.

I deeply regret the ordeal as it ruined my education. It shattered my dreams,” Kansime laments.

By then, Kansime was in P.6 in Rwengobe Primary school.

The experience of being a teenage single mother and not being able to continue with her education has admittedly eaten away at Kansime’s conscience.
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Kansime has however not faced this challenge, alone.

Recent studies have shown that many other Ugandan girls, whose stories may not be reflected in this piece; have had their school careers cut short because of early unintended pregnancies.

The Population Secretariat indicates that of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually, 25% are teenage pregnancies.

A 2016 education ministry report shows that of the 28% girls who were sexually active, while still at school, 80.1% were pregnant. Of this, 97% dropped out of school because of pregnancy.

“Uganda has had a high prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the last decade. The prevalence is particularly high in poverty stricken rural areas and on occasion, in urban areas.As a result, a big number of adolescent girls, especially in the North, East and the West-as Kansime’s narrative shows; have had their education journeys prematurely ended,” says Wilfred Onoria, an education consultant in Mbale.

In the worst case scenarios, adolescent girls who get pregnant often bear the brunt of stigma and ostracization from their communities, peers and family members.

“Some few years back, in Kamwenge, Kibaale and Fort Portal, many school-going girls had their school journeys cut short after getting impregnated by men involved in the construction of Fort Portal-Kamwenge road.

18-year-old Harriet Kayesu, who now survives on earnings from odd jobs, was one of the victims.
Blog ready

Kayesu is from the placid village of Itaali, in Kamwenge and like Kansime, she dropped out of school on finding out she was pregnant.

“I did not want to drop out of school but I often felt tired in class.

After I gave birth, I found handling the double responsibility of motherhood as a student really hard. Seeing my peers still in school really puts a damper on me,” Kayesu says.

“There are many other disadvantaged young girls across the country with similar experiences like Kayesu who can be helped to rebuild their lives from a place of strength.

As the 2013 Adolescent Girl Vulnerability Index, showed, many of these vulnerable girls face disproportionate risks and distinctive consequences from their vulnerabilities,” Wabwire, says.

“The statistics of teenage pregnancies in the country are compelling enough to take action. There is a need to act now, especially in areas, where the issue is often glossed over and treated lightly, because of backward cultural norms.”

“In many ways, rural adolescent girls remain the most vulnerable segment of our population. Pregnancy affects not only their health, educational and social progress, but also their empowerment.

It is time to let our girls be girls, not mothers. A better future has to be prepared for them,” Angel Nakafero, the technical advisor in the gender unit at the education ministry says

Expert propositions on how the problem can be solved

 “With the education of young girls at stake in many disadvantaged areas of the country, there is a need to go beyond the clichés, we-keep hearing from Education Ministry officials-regarding teenage pregnancies. The government has to recruit guidance counselors in schools to teach adolescents important life skills and to empower them with information about the dangers of early sex,” Onoria says.

“An education sector response in the form of sexuality education is needed. Sexuality education is still a point of contention in Uganda, but it can be an effective program in postponing sexual initiation among teenagers and youth.”

 “Granted-there are already nation-wide community based initiatives to enhance girl’s education. More however, needs to be done to address the issue in the far-flung areas of the country, where girl’s education is trifled with,” Wabwire says.

“There is a need to more engagements to specifically pick the brains of local leaders in areas where the vice persists. They can provide the best ideas on how the vice can be dispensed with.”

“In the North and East, there is still a lot that needs to be done to educate the communities on the need to keep adolescent girls in school. Adolescent girls in these areas often walk long distances to school and are not supported enough by their parents. That predisposes them to rape,” Nakawesi says.

“The education ministry should as suggested in its 2019 National Strategy for Girls Education review report; earnestly create links with programs such as Operation Wealth Creation, the National Agricultural Organisation and the Uganda Women’s entrepreneurship Program to provide support to poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged girls,’ Onoria stresses.

Johnny Backri, a parent and teacher at Morulem Girls S.S in Abim district, says teenage pregnancies pose a challenge to the educational empowerment of young girls in the North.

“Child marriage and pregnancies have real trouble in the North, mostly because of poverty. More efforts need to be directed into tackling household poverty in the less privileged parts of the country,” Backri says.

Ugandan government policy 

The government developed the National Strategy to end teenage pregnancies in 2015.

The National Strategy on Child Marriage is a holistic, comprehensive framework that reflects the commitment of the Uganda Government to end the practice of child marriage and other forms of violence against girls.

The goal of the strategy is to end child marriage in Uganda for enduring prosperity and social economic transformation.

The policy’s main focus areas are; improved policy and legal environment to protect children and promotion of the girl child’s rights; and improved access to quality sexual and reproductive health services, education, child protection services and other opportunities.

The others include changing dominant thinking and social norms related to child marriage in the communities; and then the empowerment of both girls and boys with correct information to enable them recognize child marriage and early pregnancy.

The Government, through the education ministry also introduced the Seed school programme where girls who drop out of school are helped to re-enroll in school and the guidelines on the retention of pregnant girls and their re-entry of child mothers in school settings, last year.

Under the guidelines, schools are required to amongst other things; create early safety nets for the prevention of early or unintended pregnancies in school settings and to support local by-laws that prevent teenage pregnancy.

There are also guidelines on how to re-admit teenage mothers into schools.

Uganda’s state minister for higher education Dr. DR. John Muyingo says that the Government has made considerable progress in improving the status of the girl child over the last decade.

A number of programmes started include Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education together with initiatives such as the additional “1.5 Points Scheme” for girls entering university to bridge the gender gap in higher education.

“These programmes,” Dr. Muyingo says, “Have led to an increase in girls’ enrollment and completion of school.”

 In addition, numerous pieces of legislation that have been passed including the Penal Code Act, the Children’s Act, the Domestic Violence Act and the Female Genital Mutilation Act have all worked in synergy to create a sense of increased protection of the girl child in Uganda.

 

 

Since the likes of GNL Zamba, St Nellysade, Burney M.C, Cyno, etc, quietly took a hiatus, as it so often happens in the checkered Ugandan Hip Hop landscape, the genre has, for the most part, lacked that fresh and exciting spark.

In many ways, the bloom has been off the genre's rose.

Masaabachronicle assesses whether the new crop of rappers; such as 7 year old Fresh Kid, St Maxi Mayne, Judas Rap Knowledge, Fefe Busi and Recho Ray have what it takes to keep the genre's flame burning and whether they can bear the Ugandan Hip Hop flag for the long haul.

Is Fresh Kid just another nine day’s hip hop wonder; more like Raymond Kamara of the “Amasanyalaze negagenda fame or is he talented enough to be the bellwether that Ugandan Hip Hop so desperately needs to elevate it to greater heights?

It is a question, I, like many others, have been asking myself.

Fresh Kid 1


A gaze into Masaabachronicle’s crystal ball serves to re-assure that Fresh Kid; unlike other child rappers-such as-Babaluku’s Ship crew; is not after-all over rated.

[For starters, the Ship crew were a group of young rappers, who were under the stewardship of Luga flow wordsmith-Babaluku].

Given his gift of gab and rhyming talent, a bright future is on the horizon for the boy wonder-Fresh Kid.  

“Fresh Kid is not only way ahead of his time but he is as real as they come. That shows forth in his commanding voice, exciting rhyme skill set and stage presence. It is incredible for somebody of his age to possess such flair,” Ronald Odongo, a seasoned Blogger/radio host, explains.

Right now, there is a lot working in the Kid’s favour and if his minders are wise, they should be taking notes, on how they can take over the industry.
 
“A word to his minders, though, encourage Fresh Kid, not only to go to school, but to write more rhymes, or to hone his “on the spot” freestyle skills [more like those of Fefe Busi] because, let’s face it, the Kid seems to recycle, two of his verses, from his debut song, whenever he is requested to freestyle on shows,” Shawn Kiberu, a Hip Hop producer/ artist, says.

But why are we even talking him-honing his freestyle skills, yet we all know Hip Hop, has for a long time, faced long odds in striking a chord with the rank and file Ugandan.

IS GOING THE TRAP WAY THE BEST WAY FOR UGANDAN HIP HOP


The love for the genre in Uganda or what is left of it-like the trap genre in the United States has belatedly been shown forth; only when guys like Gravity, Mun G or Fik Fameica have recorded their watered down-rhymes on dancehall beats.

“Here is a fact, though-Hip Hop in Uganda, does need a saviour; because much as he tries to lay claim to the Hip Hop throne, Gravity inwardly knows he does not personify Hip Hop artist. As for Fik Fameica-it’s a moot point,”
The saviour of the genre, will sadly however, only be accepted in a watered down and not in a pure or thoroughbred Hip Hop way,” Kiberu says.

The reality now is that the Ugandan Kidandali music fan has at least, accepted to listen to some of the poetic braggadocio, hyperbole [Fresh Kid-nyingidde ne tanka], word play, metaphors, that are associated with Hip Hop; which the likes of Fresh Kid, Fefe Busi, Rachel Ray, Judas Rap, Jim Nola, JK Lubanto and Fik Fameica are showcasing.

“In the Ugandan setting, it is that danceable/dancehall beat/instrumentation, which will tickle the fancies of fans, not a Dr. Dre-like beat.
Fresh Kid’s minders seem to have figured that selling his rhymes, over pure Hip Hop beats would be as hard as nailing jelly to the wall,”  Chris Okwalinga, an artist manager, says.

For Ugandan rap purists, the idea of having some Johnny come lately hip hop artists-rhyming and rapping over dancehall beats; instead of rap beats, is farcical.

Time has however shown that their reading of what Ugandan music fans are partial to is wrong.

Of late, guys from the GNL era, like Big Trill and Mun G, have predisposed to that dance-hall formula, to get into the good graces of Ugandan music fans.

“Mun G seems to have gotten some love for it; but the jury is still out, however, as to whether Big Trill-who raps in English-will have similar results with his dancehall-ish-Giddem song.
If my reading of his blueprint is accurate, however, Big Trill is looking at the bigger picture; more like what GNL has done, with his world fusion music formula with his wife-Miriam Tamar.
Their means to an end now is getting their music appreciated, not only in Uganda but in other countries across the globe,” Kiberu says.

FRESH KID’S STAR HIGH IN THE ASCENDANT

Is it possible, however that Fresh Kid will sink into the kind of oblivion; some erstwhile Uganda’s hip hop artists have sunk into?


“That Kid’s star, at a time, when he only raps in Luganda is that high, up in the ascendant.
 Just ask yourself, how high that star would ascend if he learns some English and starts dropping some few rhymes in English, for good measure,” Arnold Muduni, a Hip Hop producer at KYA studios in Kirinya, Bweyogerere, says.


OTHER NEW HIP HOP WORDSMITHS WITH THE POTENTIAL TO PUSH UGANDAN HIP HOP’S ENVELOPE


Aside of Fresh Kid, there are other capable wordsmiths, with the knack to represent Hip Hop to the fullest.

 The Who is whorap battle song-stood Hip Hop in a good stead in terms of publicity, eliciting media coverage and radio debates about who had the best punch lines, metaphors, flow, delivery, etc.
“More importantly, however, the song spawned new talent, personified by the likes of Fefe Busi, Fik Fameica, Da agent, Rechel Ray, etc,” Muduni says.

In the aftermath of the battle, Fefe Busi, Da agent, Recho Ray and Jim Nola were heralded as the new Hip Hop protagonists.

Busi aka the “smallest rapper” sounded more than convincing with his rhymes on his who is who version and on his breakthrough song-Yes/no.
Fefe Busi


Though Busi has for the most part, played second fiddle to Fik Fameica, he is one versatile guy who, barring any unforeseen circumstances, can surely keep the genre’s flame burning, for the long haul.

His draw card is his commanding voice, on the spot-spontaneous freestyles and a knack for witty punch lines.
To stand a treat, check songs like Iddi Amin Dada and Nawambye.
Fefe Busi 2


“If he does not completely go the Kidandali way, Hip Hop should be in safe hands,” Muduni says.

Busi has six awards under his belt, including the 2019 MTN hip hop awards male rapper of the year award, 2017 BTA teens hottest song award 2017, 2017 High Skool awards Hip Hop artist of the year,  Central Rapper of the year, Hip Hop awards Uganda and to boot, he is a best Male rapper nominee in the 2019-256 Uganda Hip Hop awards.

That awards and nominations speak to the guy’s talent.


The other guy with flag bearing flair is Jim Nola [James Bulega].

Nola’s replete with clever punch lines version of “Who is who” was in every sense, rewind worthy.

“Nola’s voice may not be as strong as Busi’s, but he more than makes up for that with his lyrical creativity, interesting metaphors and good delivery, on either a pure hip hop beat or a Kidandali instrumentation,” Kiberu notes.
Jim Nola 3


Songs such as wrap up 2018 and Babeleete, speak to Nola’s talent.
He has also got a nod for the best male rapper in the forthcoming 256 Ug Hip Hop awards.


By now, everyone must have heard Mirembe Recho Ray’s trending song-“Guma Bakunyige.

The MTN hip hop awards Rookie of the year award winner has gotten herself many fans [even those averse to Hip Hop] on the strength of that groovy song alone.

Ray’s Who is who” rendition was also equally entertaining, though her delivery was lacking.
Recho Ray
Needless to say, she has got a nod for the best female hip hop artist in the forthcoming 256 Ug Hip Hop awards.
She had earlier won the MTN cipher-Uganda Hip Hop award.
Recho Ray 2


“If she keeps her focus, she will reign as Hip Hop queen for long,” Odongo says.


The other Hip Hop wordsmith who will be a constant blip-on the radars of many rap fans, for the long haul, is St Maxi Mayne.

“Be on the lookout for this guy because he is a ball of fire with the rhymes as exemplified in songs such as "Lemerako", "Horror city" and his freestyle teaser for the 2019 Ug Hip Hop awards,” Kiberu says.

St Maxi Maynejpg


The 23 year old Masaka bred-wordsmith does a blend of Lugaflow, afro-trap and urban hip hop. 


From the North of Uganda, Gulu to be exact; there is Judas Rap Knowledge aka Lapwong or teacher.

Judas Rap Knowledge Emerging Rapper from Gulu


“I put respect on Knowledge’s name after I listened to his “Labong and Gipir” album.
Judas’s strength is that he is adept at rapping in both Acholi and English.
If there is one person, Hip Hop can look up to in the North, after the demise of Lumix, it is Judas,” Muduni says.

The Judas Rap Knowledge Labong and Gipir album cover

Nearly 17 years ago, the Ugandan education ministry closed half of the country’s national teachers colleges (NTCs) on the basis that demand for Grade 5 Diploma teachers had dropped.

However, the Government recently launched a sh96b reconstruction project

to revamp the country’s remaining five NTCs.

Masaabachronicle analyses the reasons behind this change of heart.

It is rare to find a Ugandan secondary school of repute, these days advertising teaching positions for diploma holders.

Almost two decades ago, the Government realised the dwindling demand for diploma-holder (Grade 5) teachers and scaled

down the number of national teachers’ training colleges (NTCs) by half.


However, through a €23m grant from the Belgian government, the Ugandan education ministry has embarked on an ambitious programme to rehabilitate the five remaining NTCs-Mubende in central region, Kaliro in the east, Unyama in the north, Kabale in the west and Muni in West Nile.


The project, which is being jointly executed by the aforementioned ministry and Enabel, the Belgian development agency, will see infrastructural improvement and expansion works in the five colleges over the next 18 months.
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Kibedi Nkuutu, the Coordinator of the Teacher Training Education project at the Education ministry says tells Masaabachronicle that under the project, each of these NTCs will have their classroom blocks and halls of residence rehabilitated.

New structures will also be built. The Government is already working with the Belgium government to improve the training of secondary school teachers in the five NTCs.


“The project focuses on how to make teacher training better than it has been. Under the project, there will be improved ICT and library facilities and increased human resource capacity building,” Nkuutu tells Masaabachronicle.

Are the NTCs worth the investment?


Several experts have however expressed cautious optimism about the future prospects of the revamped colleges, given the earlier government move to slice the number of NTC’s from ten to five, citing low demand for NTC teachers
  
Reuben Wanasolo, an education consultant and researcher, argues that the Government will likely have its work cut, in terms of staffing at the refurbished NTCs.


“It is one thing to have shining structures and another to have enough tutors to teach the teachers who enroll. There was a challenge in the early 2000s when tutors deserted their work because they were paid poorly. It was and still is one of the challenges causing understaffing at most of the NTCs,” Wanasolo argues.

In many respects, the million dollar question remains- “Will the billions spent on revamping the NTCs really guarantee that the teachers who graduate from them will be absorbed into the teaching service?

“I am skeptical,” Wanasolo says.
 
“The funding gaps that have long hindered the recruitment of well-trained teachers will have to be discussed first.
If that is not done, majority of the teachers who will graduate from the NTCs will face the same predicament as all their colleagues who qualified earlier,” he adds.

Education Ministry defends investment

Nkuutu, however defends the government move to revamp the NTC’s.  
 
“Some secondary schools are partial to university graduate teachers but it is not entirely true to say that most secondary schools prefer university trained teachers to NTC trained teachers. That could be the case for some urban schools but, not entirely true for schools upcountry, which still heavily rely on teachers from NTC’s,” Nkuutu says. 

“Originally, the Government’s blueprint had it that grade 5 teachers would teach O’ level and university graduate teachers would teach learners from S5-S6. It is in the Government’s interest to employ more teachers, but the hindrance for now is the inadequate wage bill,” says Nkuutu, adding that Uganda currently has 160,000 teachers in both private and secondary schools.

Beyond infrastructure

Dr Jane Egau Okou, the commissioner teacher/instructor of education and training at the education ministry, says the project will stand Uganda in good stead in terms of strengthening the professional competencies of its teacher trainers and teachers.

“Training at the revamped facilities will be improved, meaning the country will have a steady supply of good qualified teachers, who will deliver the curriculum more effectively. The upshot of that will be learners receiving worthwhile and meaningful education,” Okou tells Masaabachronicle.

Speaking at the recent breaking of the ground ceremony for the rehabilitation and construction works at Mubende NTC, John Chrysostom Muyingo, the state minister for higher education, said the revamped NTCs will have the ability to produce proficient secondary school teachers for the future.

“The teachers from the revamped NTC’s will promote quality education and ultimately improve on instructive service delivery across the country. This project will give Uganda mileage in its quest to achieve the 4th sustainable development goal of providing quality education by 2030. It also ties in well with government efforts to improve the Post Primary Education and Training project (UPPET),” Muyingo said.

Reality on the ground

 Despite some progress, Uganda still faces a significant challenge of teacher shortage in its secondary schools despite the increased uptake in teacher training courses at both universities and NTCs.

Although the number of secondary school teachers on government payroll stands at 14,000, the shortage is as high as 19,000.

The Government is, however, in the process of recruiting another 3,000 arts, science and BTVET teachers.

UNESCO, the United Nations specialized agency for Education, says Sub -Saharan Africa, which presently only accounts for two thirds of the new teachers needed by 2030, will need a total of 17 million primary and secondary school teachers.

The agency has designated Uganda as one of the many countries that will need more trained teachers by 2030 because of its growing secondary school age population.

Based on current population estimates, the total population in Ugandan secondary schools could double from the current 10 million to 20 million by 2025.

The project

It is harsh realities in the teacher quality and gaps that laid the ground work for the four-year project for the improvement of the teacher and instructor training project.

In hypothetical terms, the refurbished NTCs will not only increase Uganda’s trained teaching manpower vis-à-vis government plans to set up secondary schools in every sub-county and parish around the country, but will also offer better training facilities.

The trained teacher gap has in the past been made worse by funding gaps that have hindered development and retention of teachers.

According to the education ministry statistics, the student-to-teacher ratio presently stands at 21:1.

By all accounts, however, the ideal ratio is 15:1.

The teacher training project targets 7,235 teachers and students in the five NTCs across the country.

For good measure, 17-partner secondary schools surrounding the NTCs are also targeted.

Hugo Verbist, the Belgium ambassador to Uganda, during the launch said the project would help Uganda in its quest to improve its education human resource before 2030.

“One of the critical barriers to the growth of Uganda’s education sector has been the lack of quality trained teachers. To improve the learning outcomes of Ugandan learners and to ensure Uganda achieves sustainable development goal 4, these kinds of facilities will serve a useful purpose. The Belgium government remains committed to supporting the Ugandan government to that end,” Verbist said.

According to education ministry statistics, Uganda has 300 teachers in the five NTCs.

The long view

Okou says emphasis for the future will not be on the numbers of teachers the Colleges spawn, but on the quality of education the teachers who graduate from the revamped NTCs will provide to learners.

 “Teacher quality will be the focus vis-à-vis achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4. There are credible international studies that have shown that teachers taught in adverse environments do not teach well. It is the reason the ministry, in partnership with Enabel, is laying great store on the NTCs’ rehabilitation and construction.”

Thus far, 4,445 prospective teachers, principally those pursuing diplomas in secondary education and 263 teachers in the five NTCs have benefitted from the TTC project.

Side bar

UNESCO, the United Nations specialized agency for Education, says Sub Saharan Africa, which at present only accounts for two thirds of the new teachers needed by 2030, will need a total of 17 million primary and secondary teachers.

The agency has designated Uganda as one of many countries that will need more trained teachers by 2030 because of its growing secondary school age population.

Based on current population estimates, the total population in Ugandan secondary schools could double from the current 10 million to 20 million by 2025.

Teaching training in Uganda is overseen by Kyambogo University and the Ministry of Education and Sports teacher instructor education and training department (TIET).


Kyambogo University handles the University training of teachers, whilst the TIET oversees the teacher and tutor training institutions which include the PTE or the Pre primary education.
The PTE involves training of early childhood development and Primary school teachers.

The secondary teacher education (STE) handles lower secondary school training.

The Tutor and instructor Education division is responsible for training of teaching personnel for BTVET institutions.

It is a tad old now, but that Kendrick Lamar-classic Song-“b**tch don’t kill my vibe” still resonates heavily. 

In my deduction, it is a song that speaks huge volumes about the male psyche.

For starters, Lamar [in the song] expresses his desire to be left alone; on occasion that is.
The lyricist tells his hypothetical beau to eschew killing his vibe [ruining his mood].

You may be a certain man’s beau, but here is one thing you need to cognizant of.

There are days, it will seem like you are speaking to the hand, or to a brick wall, however much you try to spark a conversation with him.

THINKING MAN.jpg2


Now, I don’t claim to speak for every male, but here is the thing; there are those off days, when guys are just indisposed to having a conversation.

Today’s world bears down hard on a male mind and it sure does put a damper on many men, in my part of the world.
Mood disorders are rife in my part of the world and though women also bear the brunt, it is nothing compared to what, today’s young men face.

To that end; and depending on one’s character, things that are out of the ordinary stuff will happen; like for instance, he may predispose to aloofness and as a result, he may not be his usual talkative, friendly, caring or cheerful self.
I stand corrected but no amount of cajoling, flattery or persuasion will make him snap out of it.
He ought to be left alone for a while.

Because the female mind is wired differently, some of y’all [women] make wrong readings of it.
At worst, your minds put false constructions on things; thinking if your man seeks some time alone, he is probably two-timing you.
 
Credulous thinking like that leads nowhere just like a person who heads up a blind alley or who drinks on the Kool Aid.

Desiring time alone-without being disturbed is an occasional male mood that happens when one least expects.
Well, sometimes, it is expected, especially, when days do not go as you anticipate.

Not by any long shot, does a man’s silence mean he doing stuff behind your back or that he is deliberately acting out of character to make you angry.
Far from the truth.

And it is not that he is miserable and needs your company.
That is often not the kind of misery that needs company.
 
At times, those lonely as a cloud moments are all men need to get their mojos back, with the pressures they face.

Author John Gray couldn’t have brought it out better in his book “Men are from mars and women are from Venus”

In it, Gray mostly talks about male and female relationships and how we defer.
 
He describes men as sly; saying little and having a tendency to get away if they feel too closed in some space.

Women on the other hand are described as outgoing, good humored and social.
Now that is the distinction.

The desire by some men to have time off alone has nothing to do with emotionally immaturity or introversion.

It has everything to do with laying to heart one’s deepest fears, inner battles, frustrations, insecurities, struggles, challenges and failures.

Because men have been taught to show-fortitude in the face of adversity, and misery, they won’t, in most cases, just lay bare their feelings or poignant thoughts.  
No man wants to be looked at a wussy or a wimp.

Here is the take-home-the “unspoken word does no harm”.
So if he has not spoken daggers at you, take a chill pill and put all your hunches on the back burner.

  

 

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