Cry with me for real education in Uganda

While Cabinet minister, I twice offered to resign because I saw that things were not going on well in the ministries of which I was head.
In one of those cases, government changed the policy and in the other, President Museveni called me and revealed good reasons hitherto unknown to me which prevented me from resigning. In the last 30 years of government, I have only known four other Ugandan Cabinet ministers to resign.

Be that as it may, if I were the incumbent minister of Education, I would resign now. This is on the assumption that she has proposed remedies to cure the current transparent problems in her ministry which have effectively barred it from giving tiny minimum delivery of services.

In my case when I was minister of Commerce, bureaucrats failed to implement government policies and the government gave them the option of performing or quitting their job. It is noteworthy that none quit but all chose to comply with government policies and directives.

I have seen scathing criticisms of the ministry of Education prominently discussed in the media. The critics have included renowned scholars and educationists such as professors Fredrick Kayanja, Abdu Kasozi, Mondo Kagonyera and George Kirya.

One would expect a seriously led ministry of Education to surface from the woodland of financial rewards and defend or propose radical changes to the way the ministry is miserably performing presently.

Unfortunately, today there is no government leader or courageous bureaucrat to come out and bravely demand government policies or performance. Every criticism against the misery of Education in Uganda does not seem to bother the minister or her officials.

Only last week, Prof Mondo Kagonyera bemoaned the sorry state of Kyambogo University and appealed to the ministry to revert it to a polytechnic. We know of tertiary colleges whose graduates perform worse than primary and nursery schools.

Recently, a holder of a diploma in business and marketing from a well-known university was appointed manager in an established firm which employs a dozen or more employees. Within a week of engagement, other workers of the firm discovered that the manager was totally illiterate and could not write or read. He soon resigned from the firm.

Perhaps the worst example of this phenomenon is a high profile senior judicial officer who had his PhD studies done for him by others, but who may soon be presented by others through forged documents as worthy of that award.

It cannot be too much to ask for the minister of Education to humble herself and comment on these sorry episodes or offer her well-deserved resignation.

Perhaps the worst example is the recent presentation at Nkumba University by two graduates who had done economics and marketing. They were asked to budget for a restaurant. They failed to produce even one proposal because they said afterwards that they had no money to budget with! This is incredible.

Prof Kanyeihamba is a retired Supreme Court judge. gwkany@yahoo.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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