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Friday, March 23, 2012

YES, THERE ARE GAPS IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM



Header teachers and District leaders agree that there are gaps in the education system in the Rwenzori region. This was realized during the leaders meeting on the opening of computer for schools projects in Kabarole District. This project is sponsored by Computer for Schools Uganda [CFSU] in Partnership with Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competency [RWECO].
The meeting took place at the municipal Yard Kabarole district on 23rd march 2012. CSFU PROJECTS; “Improving effective teaching- learning processes through ICT enabled innovative methods”.“Improving literacy and proficiency levels in English language by enhancing communication skills in 30 primary schools in the Rwenzori region”. The project is narrowed down to English language. It’s being piloted in 6 schools in Kabarole and Kasese districts. This is based on the survey conducted which showed that most of the students fail because of poor quality
The projects are based on the Problem that; Teaching-learning process is still based on method of Talk and Chalk. Which method is more tradition and thus this project will supplement the method to increase efficiency in the learning-teaching process. It’s based on the Objectives: Building the capacity of 30 English teachers and 10 English Tutors in the teacher training colleges. These shall be trained on how to use the innovative method of teaching and learning, encourage the participation of parents and other stakeholders in the teaching-learning process [district leaders, community, SMC, parents].
According to Mrs. Grace Baguma of National curriculum development center, pupils fail to achieve literacy and numeracy skills in schools. She attributed the problem to unclear policy on the language of instruction, inadequate teacher knowledge of the basic techniques of teaching literacy and numeracy, the time allocated to teaching reading, writing and developing numeracy skills and the shortage of teachers to teach in local language.
The question from the above is how we can solve the literacy level in the region. The government has put in more efforts to provide materials [books, paying teachers and providing other scholastic materials] but above all the level of education is still low. There are many drop-outs from primary and secondary schools.
In support of the notion the CAO Kabarole mentioned that, Much as education is decentralized, there still exist some tendencies of centralization in the entire system. Government should allow competition which is the basis of decentralization in the school and districts. Curriculum should be reviewed at the district level. Some languages are static as compared to languages like Kiswahili and French. Thematic curriculum is good but not transitional. The curriculum needs to be enforced even in the private schools. We should consider the level of schools and the environment where we’re operating. Some schools have got light, other children do a lot of domestic chores while other are just there to read. The issue of staff sealing affects some schools. In this case district should be allowed to recruit according to the need.
The header teachers mentioned that, the curriculum in place has been examination driven hence does not give teachers the opportunity to develop numeracy and literacy skills, the government develop a curriculum and fail to orient the teachers and above all does not provide the materials to support the curriculum e.g. the kajubi report was not implemented by the government with all such rich content in it. Some many reviews have affected performance at both secondary and Primary.
It was suggested that, certain programs should pass through the curriculum center to avoid such programs that are not productive and increase the work load for the school and the students. Teaching should not only be to pass exams but to increase knowledge among the students. The ministry should establish courses that encourage the teachers to be more innovative in the teaching learning process. Professionalism should be encouraged among the teacher to determine whether learning has taken place or not. With the ongoing review of the Secondary school curriculum, the NCDC has plans to orient teachers, education officials and all the stakeholders across the country. The MOES should monitor the implementation of the entire education e.g. the language policy No 3/05 of 10/1/2005, deploy your best teacher circular No 2/2005 and other circulars.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Launch of the Second E-Society in the Rwenzori region

Kabarole District Local Government in partnership with RWECO/RIC-NET have launched yet the second E-society center in the Rwenzori region at Kabarole District Local Government headquarters.



The function held at Tooro club yesterday was witnessed by the Local Government technical staff from Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge and Bundibugyo Districts, political leaders of the Kabarole District led by the Chairperson LC5 who was also the Guest of honour for this function, representatives from the media houses and representation of the Civil society.

A number of activities were carried out including the speeches from different stake holders.

The District information officer Kabarole Ms Lillian Nkwenge introduced the whole concept of the E-society center to the invited guests’ right from inception to the set up. She noted and recognized the efforts of RIC-NET for this noble cause right after the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) late last year (2011). She noted that the E-society was going to be one stop center at the District for information sharing, trainings and other related services.

In his opening remarks the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kabarole Mr. Juma Nyende expressed his gratitude to RIC-NET as development partners thanking them for all the tireless efforts to see that this dream of the E-society has come to pass.

He noted that Kabarole as a district had started an idea to have a Local Area Network at the District which was already being implemented to avoid use of public internet cafĂ©’s by their staff since they handle sensitive information. He also asked the District staff to fully utilize the center. He noted that the District website online was to be continuously updated and edited and that therefore all staff should comply whenever approached for information.

The chief Administrative Officer also informed the guests of the commitment they (District) had shown by offering space that houses the E-society center, some staff and other logistics.

In her speech the Program Manager RIC-NET who represented the Executive Director thanked all members for having honored the invitation to come and attend this important function. She explained how RIC-NET a member organization of RWECO came into partnership with Kabarole District Local Government and later the setup of the center. She also said that this ICT hub was among other services going to facilitate information sharing for a poverty free society, become one stop center for research now that Kabarole has two Universities and that it would serve as training center for internship students in some occasions. She also said that consultative and round table meetings had been held for Kyenjojo and Bundibugyo Districts for the establishment of the E-society centers and that an official visit had been done for Kamwenge.

She requested for their cooperation and concluded with the signing of the dedication document of the E-society center to the people of Kabarole. It was received and signed by CAO and District chairperson Kabarole on behalf of the people of Kabarole and later read to the guests by the RWECO coordinator Mr.Jimmy Odyek who later handed this document to the District Administration officially. The document also contained a detailed list of all equipment in the E-society resource center.

In his closing speech the District chairperson who was also the Guest of honor thanked RWECO through RIC-NET for all the efforts of having this center a reality at the District. He pledged that the District was going to continue supporting this center to see that it is sustainable and continuously runs and can also be used by the other leaders who may come after them.

He emphasized maximum utilization of the center and was happy by the 296 users who were reported to have used the center form November 2011 to date. He said that since this has officially been published more users of this center will come on board.

He later launched the kabarole website “ I therefore officially launch this website that is hosted at www.kabaroledistrict.go.ug “ he further opened the E-society resource center officially at the end of the function and departure was later after lunch.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Connecting Girls, Inspiring Future


Connecting girls, inspiring future was a theme on international women’s day celebration held in Nyamiseke primary school Kiyomba, Buhesi sub county Kabarole District on 8th March 2012. The guest of honor was Honorable MP Mrs. Victoria Businge Rusoke commonly known as maama wabana Woman Member of Parliament Kabarole District. she noted that Girls should be protected against all forms of destruction like rape, early marriages among others, but this could only be done by encouraging them to study and working hard while in school as parents provide scholastic materials, like books, pens, lunch, sanitary pads, uniforms among others to facilitate them do well at school for the good future since girls are future mothers and have the potential doing all things as boys can do. She also encouraged women to check cervical cancer for a bright future and, to always go for antenatal check ups when pregnant as directed by health workers to produce health babies and also have health bodies them selves but not going to hospital at delivery time. Disabled children should not be neglected by their parents in education and home care services because they are also gifts from God as other children.

The Guest of honor encouraged women to form groups to be able to access women funds that can enhance development in their homes since the district receives 2,500,000UGX every month as support for women in Kabarole District.
RIC-NET as an NGO working towards millennium development goals (MDG 1 and 3) of eradicating poverty and hunger, empowers women and girls to participate in development activities through information sharing on health and education. In the past years that women were excluded and taken as minorities in society but since 1986, women were liberated by NRM Government to eradicate poverty for development. In Ugandan parliament, 376 Member of Parliament 1/3 of them are women because they are trust worth in all their activities, So RIC-NET in its programme area of social inclusion, health and development encourages women to participate in education and health activities for a bright future for sustainable development.
Several documentaries have been shot on antenatal service delivery and maternal health care from Buhinga Regional Referral Hospital and Rwengoma Health Center to share information with the community on service delivery. Girls have accessed information on how to care for them selves while in their menstruation periods and how breast feeding mothers can care for their children till maturity.
If women and girls get engaged in accessing information on health and education as it is quoted in the Bible that “my people perish because of lack of wisdom and Knowledge”, a step forward will be taken in our communities and homes for sustainable development and prosperity.

Monday, March 12, 2012

KABAROLE JOINS THE REST OF THE WORLD TO CELEBRATE THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY







8th March 2012 the International Women’s Day was a remarkable one for the women in Kabarole district.

The day was celebrated with the theme, “Connecting Girls, Inspiring the Futures!!”

Over 10,000 people turned up for the celebrations at Nyamiseke Primary School, Buheesi sub-county, Kabarole district, where the district celebrations were held. The guest of honour was Mrs. Businge Rusoke Victoria, the woman Member of Parliament for Kabarole district. Other guest speakers among others included; Mr. Topista Ket Tinkasimire Chair person L C II, Mr. Masa Robert Chair person L C III, Mr. Rwabuhinga Richard Chair person L C V, and Mr. Birabalema Elijah RDC, Kabarole.

The celebrations started with the Tooro Kingdom Anthem, and the National Anthem. Later, the guest of honour inspected the parade composed of the Police officers, Prison officers, Security officers, women Groups, Students, and pupils, which was accompanied by a brass band.



Other activities done were award of certificates of recognition to different women who have excelled in various fields in contributing towards the development of the country such as leadership, education etc There was also exhibitions by different CBOs, NGOs, women groups and companies; the exhibition contained women hand crafts such as baskets, paper jewelries etc.

In their speeches, both the L C V and the RDC urged the community to work together to promote the rights of women and education of a girl child. They urged those who have been violating women rights to repent and live in harmony and avoid negative behaviours such as defilement, rape of women, domestic violence and any other practice that may lead to abuse of human rights. They promised to work with the community leaders to ensure that who ever violates the rights of women faces the law and urged women to always report any cases that violate their rights. They also asked women to always seek maternal health services in Health centers, since; the health centers are now equipped with medical personnel and drugs required.

In her remarks, the Guest of honor, Mrs. Businge Rusoke Victoria thanked the participants and organizers of the function for the good work done and for honouring her as the guest of honour. She also thanked the government for recognizing women and gave them to an opportunity to participate in various capacities of service; in civil service and private sector. She urged parents to educate their children and also given them the scholastic materials as required.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BWERA COMMUNITIES RISE AGAINST POOR SOCIAL SERVICE DELIVERY

Communities in Bwera, Kasese District have engaged stakeholders and government leaders in finding lasting solutions to dangers associated with poor water sanitation and poor academic performance of schools.

Bwera, Mpondwe and Lhubiriha community members gathered on Tuesday 29th 2012, with their local leaders and civil society organizations to discuss and establish ways of improving the use of Maizi marungi water project and Education service delivery in rural primary school. The dialogues took place at Bwera sub-county head quarter in the morning and Kalongoire Catholic Church in the after noon.

There has been an out break of cholera and other water related diseases due to poor water sanitation in the area, which has threatened people’s lives and contributed to individual deaths. Dr. Gatare S. Alphonse the medical superintendent of Bukonzo West Health Sub District reports; 4 cases dead at the Cholera Treatment Center out of the 256 registered at the center since October 2011. Most community members attributed this to poor maintenance of the Maizi marungi water source that experiences lack of routine cleaning and regular water treatment. Since the project monitors are not paid, they don’t have the courage of cleaning the dirty stones at the main supply point, one of the community members said. He said that a debt of shs 10million is standing UN cleared which is part of the monitor committee payment.

However, the Town Clark Mpondwe Lhubiriha town council Masika Eve reported that, the source of this new Maizi Marungi Scheme is 11.5kms a way from main supply point at Kihondo with 436 connection points, a reserve tank at Bwera hospital, water kiosics well maintained, cleaned and treated for safe use and the worker are paid for their services.

On the other hand, increased number of parents, children, teachers, and other stakeholder attended the neighborhood assembly meeting known as “Ekyaghanda Kyabataka” to discuss Education issues that affect performance of children at PLE.

Mrs. Kapere Janet a community member attributes poor performance of children at PLE to; chasing children from classes that make them miss lessons, sexual abuse of girls by their teacher that makes girls develop fear for those teachers, then parents involving children in house work that reduces their revision time. Kabajasi Dan a parent added that, most teachers sleep in bars, attend classes while drunk therefore they can’t teach well.

Though the deputy District Education officer Kasese District Mr. Baluku Mustafa attributes the Child’s academic failure to weaknesses of both parents and teachers, there is need for the entire community, Government Leaders and stake holders to join hands to improve the Education standards of children in rural schools.

It is a role played by the CSOs in Bwera in mobilizing the community to raise their voices and air out community problems for leaders to take action. These CSOs include KALI and BIC which have guided and facilitated the formation of community Parliaments Known as “Ebyanganda Byabataka” where leaders, stake holders and members of the community meet to discuss community issues and find ways of solving such issues based on Health, Education and Agriculture etc for improved service delivery. And the participation of the community has realized increasing members day after day which shows people’s concern to cause change.