Taking the #UpForSchool message to schools in Uganda
On February 27 and 28, I visited two schools – City Land College, Matugga, and St. Joseph’s College Namugongo. In both schools I met students of forms I, II and III.
The human rights training I conducted at these schools was mainly based on the right to education. I always use a participatory approach in my training because I want to hear from the young people on how their rights are enjoyed or violated.
The training enabled me to share with the students about the global education crisis we are facing today and Uganda’s educational future. These young people also had heated discussions on what problems they are facing with our education system.
Students at City Land College are #UpForSchool
Among issues that were highlighted were:
- Early pregnancies which are forcing many young girls to drop out of school and become mothers at a teenage age
- Caning, defilement and early marriages was also highlighted
- The high rate of school fees, mostly in the private schools
- Limited scholastic materials
- Limited number of qualified teachers – it speaks volume to here a ratio of one teacher teaching 100+ students.
- Absenteeism of teachers was also talked about and this is because of the small salaries given to teachers who have lots of responsibilities. This has forced some to look for alternatives to increase their monthly earnings, such as teaching in two or more schools.
I did some motivational speaking to these young stars of today and shared with them Malala’s past experience in line with education. They were indeed moved and this made it easy for me to explain to them the motive of the #UpForSchool Petition that is aimed at ending the education barriers preventing children fro going to school.
Students from St Joseph’s College show their support
From the two schools, I collected 427 signatures – 276 from St. Joseph’s Senior Secondary School Namugongo and and 151 from City Land College, Matugga. This has encouraged me to make more appointments with different schools and ministers to collect more signatures this month. I am looking forward to meet the Prime Minister and Minister of Education to also sign the petition.
Our signatures for #UpForSchool may look invisible now but the impact tomorrow will give each child the right to education
This message was on my mind as I was walking through a narrow path to reach one of the schools. Some children were bare-footed and busy fetching water while their colleagues were in class. As Global Youth Ambassadors, we should always remind our governments, the parents, religious and cultural leaders the fruits of educating all girls and boys.