Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
UPE FAILURE IS A FAILURE OF GOVERNANCE
01 Apr 2009
- In his characteristic style of putting blame on others shoulders instead of accepting responsibility, President Museveni has called for a review of his failed flagship, the Universal Primary Education, (UPE).
- While presiding over a fundraising ceremony at St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church at Namabaale, Masaka, the NRM supreme lamented thus:
“I am going to sit with the district leaders and other stakeholders. We shall find out whether the problem is caused by insufficient funds or whether this money is being misappropriated”.
- There is no need for an expensive grand meeting to review the sufficiency of UPE funds. The patriotic NRM Government that affords to buy a new state of the art Presidential jet and to construct a hotel size palace called state house for one sacrificing family worth billions, only spends not more than three thousand shillings per school term of 82 days on each UPE pupil. In his patriotic care for UPE, President Museveni cannot afford the cost of one chicken per pupil per term. No wonder, schools have no basics like books, pens, chalk and paper.
- On the misappropriation of the already meager UPE funds, anybody who cares knows that since corruption and graft is the main pillar of NRM governance, the politicians both at the centre and in the districts and the civil servants in the Ministry of Education and in the Districts habitually steal the UPE funds. As corruption and graft have worsened over the years, so has the quality of the UPE.
- The NRM government was forced to introduce and implement the UPE haphazardly without any planning for political expediency. It is a political gimmick to tell a massive lie to the poor people of Uganda, that the government has unburdened them from the responsibility to educate their children. Ultimately what UPE offers is not education but a psychological to the deprived people relief. Many parents and pupils of course realize the lie and opt out of the hopeless scheme hence the astronomical drop out rate. In the meantime, the NRM leaders, cadres and those who scavenge on the UPE spoils send their children to private schools where quality education is provided at market rates. The children of the millions, whom the NRM has kept in poverty, remain in UPE to fail even by NRM standards.
- The failure of the UPE, which UPC and other Ugandans who know the NRM record predicted, is a failure of the NRM system of governance. The NRM system is based on selfish greed and plunder. It knows no planning and is not people-centered. The NRM which set up a flawed UPE cannot review its own failure. The NRM is incapable of straightening up the UPE because to do so requires straightening up the governance of Uganda. That is suicidal for the NRM!
- UPE is an international programme which, in Uganda was first seriously propounded by the UPC in its 1980 manifesto. At page 10 of that manifesto, the UPC was clear. UPC asserted:
EDUCATION AND MANPOWER
For a long time students came from many parts of Africa to our schools and institutions of higher learning as they were among the finest on the continent. In the sixties, the UPC government greatly expanded, diversified, improved and strengthened schools and colleges. Moral and academic standards were high and so was the quality of staff and student life. All have sadly deteriorated.
The UPC is committed to raise moral and academic standards in schools, colleges and all other institutions of learning to vastly improve the environment in which the staff work and the students study, play and contribute to nation building. The UPC government shall cooperate with religious bodies in the national task of building an educational system the products of which would have high moral standards, a sense of humility and dedication to serve fellowmen and the country.
Education, in the view of UPC, is a very important investment to produce men and women who can maintain and advance specific and the sum total of our achievements, and provide solution to our needs. The UPC government will review our education system so as to establish a firm relationship between education and employment in government and para-statal organizations, private industry and commerce and self-employment. The UPC government shall appoint a commission to study and advise on the matter. Private industry and commerce as well as religious bodies shall be asked to provide representation to serve on the commission.
The terms of reference shall include curriculla appropriate at every level in our educational system. The structure of that system, financiang educational institutions and in particular the financing of free-education from primary to university levels; and the role and extent of government contribution in the financing of private schools and other institutions of learning”.
- Under the UPC government, salvage operations in the rehabilitation of schools, colleges, training institutes and the university will emphasise:
- To actualize the UPE programme, the UPC embarked on the rehabilitation of the economy under the Rehabilitation and Recovery Programme (1982-1984) to lay a firm basis for a vibrant economy capable of generating private and public funds for the planned UPE. UPC took specific care to plan and implement necessary infrastructure in terms of expanding institutions for teacher training, producing text books under the Second IDA Programme, revising the school curriculum and improving remuneration for public sector workers including teachers (do you remember, the 1983/1984 kakobogo budget?). the stage had now been set for implementing the UPE before those who bear arms overthrew the UPC government and handed it over to their ilk in the NRA. That marked the death of the real UPE.
- To revive the UPC scheme requires to first free Uganda from the abuse and injustice of Yoweri Museveni’s bondage. General Museveni who is responsible for the death of UPE is a cynical instrument to review his own mess up. The people of Uganda should join the UPC campaign to resque Uganda from the failed state it is now. Only a free Uganda under democratic governance can revive a genuine UPE programme as part and partial of a well conceived “Recovery and Development Plan”. The UPC is working on such a blue print to implement once we are again trusted by the people of Uganda through the ballot to offer the badly needed leadership.