On 19th July 2014, Mr. Kenneth Bajenja, a local citizen of Hakibaale Sub County in Kabarole District indicated how the present modern education was not born in Africa. “Modern education was not born in Africa, it was introduced by colonialists through the Christian Missionaries in 1877. Uganda was under colonial dictatorship from 1894 – 1962, and it was during this time that modern education was introduced, which was modeled to fit in the interests of the colonialists”. The local citizen was discussing on ToroDev’s supported live radio discussion called ‘Orukurato Program’, a two hour weekly program that discusses issues of accountability every Saturday (08:00 – 10:00) pm on HITS FM.
The live radio discussion was also attended by Mss Basemera Nesta a senior teacher, Mr. Businge John, a lecturer, and Mr. Rwamuhumbu Davis, all from Kabarole District.
During the program, Mr. Davis highlighted the major issues under the education sector. “The education sector has three major issues which include school drop outs at primary level, secondary level and university level. Basing on the UNESCO Research 2013, 71% of Ugandan children don’t finish primary level of which 65% are girls. This has highly been caused by the poor culture and the poor education system that is aided by the government”.
Mr. Businge also participated in the live radio discussion by indicating how lack of funds has highly caused school dropout. “The main issue causing school dropout is lack of school fees. The education system is so expensive most especially at university level yet both parents and the government have no funds. There are also other activities like child labour, betting, peer pressure and gambling activities that are causing school drop outs”.
Meanwhile, Mss Basemera indicated how the poor attitude towards education by the local citizens is also affecting the education sector. “Local citizens are passive learners and their attitude towards learning is very low. That is why they fail to even incur a few school related costs like books, pens, uniforms, among others for their children. The International Research Committee’s report 2013 shows that 52% of school dropout in Northern Uganda is caused by school related costs. People therefore need to be motivated through sensitizing them on the use of education”.
Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins and using the SMS plat form to raise their issues and concerns. “Many dilapidated schools in villages are affecting the education system. These schools are mainly holding children of the poor”, said Kyomuhendo from Fort Portal Municipality, “The government system itself is letting the education system down. Nyakatoma Primary School in Kyenjojo District has only two teachers yet with seven classes”, said Kaija Pasco, “Lack of funds and child labour are the most issues causing school drop outs”, said Kasaija Adolf, “Government aided schools have ruined education because of their poor performance”, said Bright.
The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Kasigazi Willy Donanto and is supported by SIDA/CIPESA and SPIDER/Stockholm University on a project aimed at using appropriate ICT tools to promote democratic engagement in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.