MinBane

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Archive for the category “Education”

Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU): Message from UNATU National Chairperson to the entire leadership, membership and staff of UNATU on 27th March 2020 (27.03.2020)

South Sudan: Communication from the Presidency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic (20.03.2020)

Zimbabawe: President Emmerson Mnangagwa – Press Statement – New Dates for Closing of Schools and Teritary Institutions (19.03.2020)

Opinion: The “Zaake Parliamentary Report” reads like a hit-job

After reading the bleak 23 pages report on the “misconduct” of Hon. Francis Zaake during a meeting of the Committee on Educations and Sports, as they were investigating into the violence, the army presence and the raising intuition at Makerere University. This report was made in January 2020, but was published now recently.

What is striking is that everything is pointed at Zaake from the get-go. There is no denying in it. You can read that this was pre-programmed. Even if there was questions into the manner and ways Professor Nawangwe as well. Still, his all of the hook, no questions into his lacking will to answer or even say what really was going on there.

This was at the heights of it all with all the massive reports, speculations and even the horror viral videos of what was happening at the halls of Makerere University. While the Professor didn’t want to answer to this. That is why the Parliamentary Report on the actions done is toothless too. Just like the Professor said the MPs where. They are spineless and won’t have the ability shift the power, which is from “high above”. That evident with this report too.

Because, it points to Zaake. Not the reason behind it all, the stress of an MP who is in direct connection with the youths and students of Makerere. A man who cares and who isn’t ruthless. This is how it all seems now.

Zaake is the fall-guy. The guy to pin blame on for shouting, interrupting and questioning the Professor. As he was supposed to be accountable and transparent.

It is funny that the recommendations speaks of the integrity, decorum and manner of which a committee should work. They are pinning blame on Zaake without any consideration. Even when there are other allegations put on him with no evidence and not even captured on CCTV cameras. This all seems more like they had a pre-disposal and planned effort. That Zaake was a bad boy and need to punished.

While they can so easily do this to him, they didn’t do anything and haven’t pushed for the Recommendations in the Parliamentary Reports on the strikes and violence at Makerere University. These are just briefcase reports, but when it hits an opposition character like Zaake. Than, he will be muted and silenced by some manner. Because, protocol and decorum matters in the likes of him, but expect that a NRM MP can scream and shout. Expect a Cabinet member being allowed to go all “gung-ho” and “an-march”.

Yes, there’s is a need in a meeting for protocol, respect and manner. This is well-known, but that is from both parties. And the other MPs should know the invested interest for Zaake in this matter. It is not like his a total outsider and activists he knew was in trouble there. That is why, the army acting out and speculations into the vile activity would make anyone spark at a leader of the institution deflecting the questions.

Zaake might be wrong, but at the same time. He has done it with a purpose, which the report never states. Neither does the Vice-Chancellor or Professor deserve to let of the hook. Because of his reluctance to answer the committee and the allegations against him. What is striking is that the other members didn’t address that, but asked for human treatment. Meaning they are really weak and not bothering about gathering evidence towards Makerere. When they are just addressing Zaake and not even considering the actions that triggered him.

That is why this Report is a hit-job. It was meant from the get-go. There was no other meaning of this one. To censor or to give Zaake a message. That he got to relax, be more chill and just watch Netflix. Peace.

Obwakabaka Bwa Buganda: Woofisi Ya Katikkiro Mayiga letter to Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni – RE: New Lower Secondary Curriculum (04.03.2020)

Janet Museveni: A familiar family affair

President Museveni today morning summoned Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to State House ahead of the appearance of the first lady, Janet Kataha Museveni, before Parliament. Janet Museveni, who is the minister of Education and Sports, is scheduled to appear before Parliament to explain why cabinet ignored a resolution of parliament regarding the implementation of the new lower secondary school curriculum” (Amon Katongulu – ‘Museveni “summons” Kadaga hours to wife’s appearance before Parliament’ 20.01.2020, Nilepost.ug).

When your reading things like this, it should boggle your mind. It shouldn’t be like this, first and foremost, any minister should answer for their work in Parliament and accept scrutiny of it. Any minister should be accountable to the parliament and be asked in a plenary session about the work been done in any given ministry. However, because of her peculiar position and placement in the world, Janet Museveni can get off the hook.

Instead, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has to answer the call of the husband and President Yoweri Kaguta Musveni. She got to show up, when the “high above” calls her. Kadaga was summoned and had to answer it, if not she would be in big trouble. Even if Janet never has to answer to anybody and only dwell about the troubles inside the Kitchen Cabinet at the State House.

At this point, Janet can act like “Gucci Grace” or Grace Mugabe could in her hey-day. Because, as long as her man, Yoweri is in power. She can do whatever and get away with it. She can get people in prison, sentence and be the most insulting character in the public. Still, no one will dare to push her limits.

That is why Kadaga has to answer; she’s in that place because of loyalty and need. Janet will live on in power and maybe change a post, but will not without power as long as the husband has it. Yoweri want to give her anything. Last time it was ability to squander Karamoja funds, now it is education funds instead. A different ministry, but still the same outcome.

Janet might look supreme and act supreme, but she’s not. She’s part of the household of the President and reign because of it. However, she has no grounds for it. She could be on the pedestal and do the acts of VP Ssekandi as the First Lady, but instead she wants actual power and that been granted by the husband. There is no initial merit to her position nor her skill set. Except for being the bedmate of the head of state.

So, if your insulting her intelligence, which I am sure not so hard to do. You can get summoned and get into legal trouble even. Because, no one should dare too do that. She’s a Museveni and the second in line of the First family. No one should even question them and that’s why she never answers to calls of the Parliament. Nevertheless, the Speaker got to run like Usain Bolt to the State House, when they summon her.

Yes, the First Lady and Minister after the summons of Kadaga showed up finally in Parliament, but after ditching previous attempts to get her there. Clearly, indicating more to this. However, don’t be fooled. The Janet and Yoweri doesn’t thread this lightly, they have some ammo behind their movements.

Herein, lay the problem, the issues of having your wife in government. Herein, lay the grounds for mismanagement and lack of oversight, which can only be stated repeatedly. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Press Statement by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Ambassador N.C.G Mathema (19.02.2020)

Makerere University: Parliament Report strikes hard at the authorities

The Parliament made a report into last year’s violence and demonstrations at the Makerere University. The Report was made in December 2019, but only released in public now in February 2020. Therefore, I got it in hand today and will dwell on some aspects of it. As it shows what sort of fashion that went down and what the MPs see as vital information for the public to know after the deeds was done at the campus.

As the report states: “the demonstration led by the 85t1, Female Caucus was legitimate in nature [Article 29 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda] and did not merit the brutal conduct of the University administration and the security operatives in managing the protests” (..) “there was lack of evidence to suggest that the University Students’ Disciplinary Committee headed by Justice Precious Ngabirano had convened meetings to hear and determine allegations levelled against the affected students. The Committee notes that it is now coming to two months without any report from the University Disciplinary Committee” (Parliament Report, 2019).

Just by these simple paragraphs shows the extent of force used to a demonstrations that had merit, which the University combined with the authorities escalated. As we known by following the events to a violent path.

As it further states: “The Committee observes that the deployment of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces [UPDF] to participate in the management of the protests at the University were not justifiable” (Parliament Report, 2019). With these words in mind, it is not strange that the UPDF and the authorities, which was not justified, misused their means on civilians and students alike. The acts of ill towards citizens and students demonstrating at unfair raise of student fees. Which is a natural reaction to sudden change of livelihood.

While the minority report stated this for instance: “the senior Minister of Education and Sports makes a public apology in light of the statement she made depicting Makerere University as a drug infested institution. We presume the statement is an indictment to the students and the university at large, and her apology would restore confidence and trust on Makerere University” (Parliament report, 2019).

Also, states a reason why there was no evidence in the majority report of sexual harassment: “The Committee on Education and Sports did not spare time to specifically inquire and interface with alleged victims of sexual harassment at the Campus of Makerere University” (…) “One female student [names uithheld] testified that she was subjected to verbal sexual insults inside the hostel and at Wandegeya Police Station after her arrest. Among the insults, a uniformed security officer threatened called her a prostitute and threatened to put his genitalia in her mouth” (Parliament Report, 2019). Therefore, the concerns of these actions made by security personnel, neither police nor soldiers on the ground. Show, that there was no actions being done to ensure their hurt nor their stories to collaborate with the alleged sexual harassment. This could have further shown the ills that were done and the amount of pain the students went through those weeks of last year.

Let me end with a final statement from the Minority report: “The recent students’ demonstration at Makerere was indicative of the fact that some interests were ignored by the University authorities” (Parliament Report, 2019). That is enough. Peace.

Breaking down Okurut’s Ghetto gimmic

It is that season again, especially in concern that National Resistance Movement (NRM) is trying its best to fit a new demographic and look like its sincere with their policies towards them. That’s what they do, when a new front and a opposition is fielded. This time the NRM and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are working hard to be viable for the Ghetto.

The Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Mary Karooro Okurut have written the piece in New Vision Newspaper, which was published yesterday. Today, I am breaking down the vital parts of this. As I have done similar in the past.

On the Ten-Point Programme:

These are the very same issues that motivated NRM’s liberation struggle, and formed the original blue-print of its governance agenda once it emerged victorious in 1986. Indeed, the restoration of democracy to enable popular political participation, the building of an inclusive, integrated self-sustaining economy to enable equitable access to economic opportunities for all, and the fight against of all forms of corruption that eat away at the State’s ability to provide social services were all high-ranking action points on the NRM 10-point programme” (Mary Karooro Okurut, 2020).

The first breakdown can be read in my old piece from 2014:

https://minbane.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/dismantling-the-ten-point-program/

This one here describe the shortcomings of the NRM and their lacking results in concern of that. The sort of issues, the NRM will never tell. A year later I made a newer and a fresher edition.

This is the second breakdown of the Ten Point Programme:

https://minbane.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/dismantling-the-ten-point-program-2015-edition-uganda/

Here I could easily assess that the NRM only could after 29 years in power say they had achieved 2,5 points. Which is a disgraceful attempt of doing their flag-ship operation and their mission for governing.

Now, I will go off on two themes from the Minister and address them. First her statement in the piece, than some evidence and my little comment. After those, I will end with a short final thought. Just take a look.

Statement today on HIV/AIDS:

In terms of social outreach, the biggest beneficiaries of President Museveni’s bold awareness campaign against HIV/AIDs in the early 90s that won him international acclaim were the poor and uneducated, who were either ignorant about the causes of the disease or unable to afford the scarce and expensive treatment at the time” (Mary Karooro Okurut, 2020)

On HIV/AIDS:

The severity of HIV/AIDS was driven home to Museveni even before he came to power in 1986.50 Within months of taking power in Kampala, Museveni’s first Minister of Health, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, was sent to the World Health Assembly in Geneva where he announced the HIV epidemic facing the country.51 This was in marked contrast to the attitude of other African leaders when confronted with the first hard evidence that HIV/AIDS threatened an epidemic” (…) “The donor community clearly played a role in this process. UNICEF was present at the inauguration of the NCPA and, in January 1987, the World Health Organisation sent a mission to lay the groundwork for cooperation with the government. In February, an issue of the Health Information Quarterly was published documenting the severity of the epidemic, which was followed by the publication of articles in the international press. That month, a second WHO team arrived, including Robert Downing who had played a role in identifying the presence of HIV/AIDS in the country, which assisted in drawing up a five-year action plan, published on 2 April 1987. This formed the basis for a donor conference organised by the Ministry of Health and WHO in May 1987 and the launching of the first AIDS Control Programme in Africa, which was based within the Ministry of Health. Donors pledged $6.9 million to fund it through its first year, with $14 million for the following four year” (Dr. James Putzel – ‘‘HIV/AIDS and Governance in Uganda and Senegal’ May 2003).

Comment: The donors brought this, the donors paid for the HIV/AIDS. Yes, the state was positive to do it and tried to forge a plan. So, the NRM has done a lot here and the numbers are getting better. Both with the amount of people dying per year and the progress of more people getting the treatment they need. But that would not be possible if the donor community, Multi-National Aid Organizations and the UN stepped in to intervene. The NRM would never say that, they would take the whole credit. Just like the Minister is doing and that is insincere. Like the GoU footed the whole bill. PREFAR states this: “Uganda has almost met its HIV resource need for the current (2014/15) fiscal year, with an estimated resource gap of only US$10-12 million (not including household financing sources). Under both scenarios, where the value of estimated available resources is assumed as constant over the next five years, the financial gap grows steadily over that period. By FY 2019/20, the resource gap under the NSP scenario is US$346 million, or an additional 60 percent of total estimated available resources (Figure 7). For the same year, the resource gap for the 90-90-90 scenario is US$409 million. In other words, the total value of committed resources for FY 2014/15 will only meet 62 percent of the total resource need under the NSP scenario and 58 percent under the 90-90-90 scenario by FY 2019/20. Over five years, the total resource gap will amount to US$964 million under the NSP and US$1.09 billion under the 90-90-90 scenario“ (Koseki, S., T. Fagan, and V. Menon. 2015. Sustainable HIV Financing in Uganda. Washington, DC: Futures Group, Health Policy Project, P: 9). So, we can see the lack of funds needed to fund the works still are coming elsewhere from. The state still lack it, but the Minister wants to take the credit for that.

Today’s UPE statement:

So were the beneficiaries of Universal Primary Education. In spite of the challenges, the now more than two-decade policy has been able to grow literacy levels in the country, from about 57% in 1997 when it was introduced to now an impressive 76%, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics” (Mary Karooro Okurut, 2020).

On UPE:

In the Ministry of Education, early NRM it was 13,7%, while the rise in budget facilitation in 1998 it became 24,7%. By the time of 2017/18 it turned down to 11,37% and by 2018/19 it declined to 10,87%. While UBOS claimed this not so far ago: “However, the education facilities including classrooms, teachers’ houses and libraries have not matched the upsurge in the number of pupils. In 2004, provision of classroom space remained an enormous challenge. Table 2.2.2 shows that, only about half of the pupils had adequate sitting space” (UBOS, 2006).

Will not dig deep into this one. Even at one point during the last two years, the President said. If you wanted your kids to succeed with their education, send them to private school. Therefore, the state has given up this project. It is to costly and the state doesn’t want to invest in it. They tried to a point, but somewhere they didn’t want to foot the bill or continue to fund the expensive school programme for all citizens. She cherry picks the good numbers, but not showing the reality of what the state has done. It is like they are living on past glories. Because that makes the NRM look better today. Which it doesn’t, because it has given up on the UPE. At least not worked sincerely to deliver it.

Final thought:

Enough of this nonsense from the NRM. Therefore, do yourself a favour and aluta continua. Peace.

Reference:

Mary Karooro Okurut – ’The NRM is no stranger to the Ghetto’ 27.01.2020 link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1514072/nrm-stranger-ghetto

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calls South Sudan to increase its public spending in education (20.01.2020)

2.2 million children do not have access to quality education in South Sudan, jeopardizing the future of the entire country.

JUBA, South Sudan, January 20, 2020 – South Sudan is not sufficiently prioritizing children’s education, UNICEF said today. While the internationally agreed international standard for education allocations is 20 per cent of the national budget, South Sudan only spends 5.6 per cent for 2019-2020, according the national budget. This is the lowest public education spending in East Africa, recent studies say.2.2 million children do not have access to quality education in South Sudan, jeopardizing the future of the entire country. As the country prepares for a new academic year, UNICEF is calling on the Government of South Sudan to prioritize education in its government spending.

“Education must be a top priority for the Government in South Sudan and sufficient allocations must be made to ensure every child in the country can go to school and learn,” said UNICEF Representative in South Sudan Dr Mohamed Ag Ayoya. “By investing in the education of its children, South Sudan is investing in the future and development of the whole country.”

The call for more public spending on education in South Sudan, comes as UNICEF is launching the global report ‘Addressing the learning crisis: an urgent need to better finance education for the poorest children’. Nearly 1 in 3 adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world has never been to school, the report says – launched as education ministers from all over the world are gathered at the Education World Forum, ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting.

Poverty, discrimination due to gender, disability, ethnic origin or language of instruction, physical distance from schools and poor infrastructure are among the obstacles that continue to prevent the poorest children from accessing quality education. Exclusion at every step of education perpetuates poverty and is a key driver of a global learning crisis.

The paper notes that the lack of resources available for the poorest children is exacerbating a crippling learning crisis, as schools fail to provide quality education for their students.

In South Sudan, lack of public investment in education is contributing to the critical shortage of qualified teachers. An estimated 62 per cent of primary teachers and 44 per cent of secondary teachers are not qualified. Also, many teachers leave the profession due to salaries not being paid on a regular basis.

UNICEF calls the Government of South Sudan:

  • to progressively increase the education share of the national budget to the international agreed standard of 20 per cent.
  • to ensure salaries of qualified teachers are paid and paid on time to increase teacher retention.
  • to allocate adequate resources to pre-primary education to ensure children are starting primary school well prepared.

“With South Sudan’s academic year commencing in a few weeks, it is prudent to commit to realizing every child’s right to an education, by ensuring the education sector has the necessary resources,” said Ayoya.

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