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CHAKITAU calls for directive to make Kiswahili compulsory

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The association of Kiswahili speakers in Uganda through their umbrella body, CHAKITAU, have asked the government to pass a directive making the language compulsory in schools and higher institutions.

CHAKITAU is a Swahili word which stands for Chama Cha Kiswahili Cha Taifa Cha Uganda.

The members said if Kiswahili is integrated in teaching and learning at all levels, Uganda will then realize the East African Community goals and objectives.

 Dr Levi Masereka Kahaika, a lecturer of Kiswahili at Makerere, said the government should think about introducing the language at nursery level.

The Guest of Honour, Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke (Right) at the Conference. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

This he believes will make learning Kiswahili easy since it is believed the learning rate among children is higher than their older counterparts.

“Our research revealed that if a child is introduced to a language when he/she is still young, chances are high they will speak it fluently,” Dr Masereka said.

He further noted that a child is capable of learning six languages at a time, and Kiswahili should be prioritized alongside English, the official language.

“At the regional level, we are talking about free movement and free residency so we need to start now and everyone learns Kiswahili since it unites the East African Community,’ Dr Masereka said.

The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Kiswahili speakers raised the concern during the 17th annual Kiswahili conference which was held at Makerere University from 23rd to 24th March, 2024.

The conference was graced by students taking Kiswahili language at higher institutions of learning lead by Makerere University, the host institution, Kyambogo University, Metropolitan International University, Bishop Stuart University, Mountains of the Moon University, Uganda Martyrs University, and Pentecostal University among others.

Schools including St Kizito SS Bugolobi, St Joseph Naggalama, Archbishop Kiwanuka Masaka, and Kampala Parents’ school among others also participated.

Some of the participants included students from various universities. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr Muhammad Kiggundu, the Head of the Department of Humanities and Language Education at Makerere University officiated at the conference on the opening day as the guest of honour.

In his remarks, Dr Kiggundu said despite the integration of Kiswahili in the Ordinary level curriculum, many teachers have remained unemployed, posing a risk to the future of the language in Uganda.

He asked the government to reconsider recruiting Bachelor’s degree holders saying the majority of the recent teachers recruited on government payroll were diploma holders.

“Government recruited diploma holders to teach students in lower secondary leaving out the bachelor’s teachers, most of whom are on the streets of Kampala searching for jobs,” Dr Kiggundu said.

He noted that since Kiswahili was introduced at Makerere University, they have passed out 40 percent of Kiswahili teachers in the country but only 10 percent have since secured jobs.

The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Dr Kiggundu asked the government to take immediate action and have those idle teachers deployed in schools countrywide to enable them spread the language to other parts of the country.

Dr Boaz Mutungi, the vice president of CHAKITAU, expressed worry over Kiswahili being taught in only central and Western schools and institutions.

“All universities in the North and Eastern don’t offer Kiswahili as one of the subjects in schools,” Dr Mutundi said.

He asked the government to absorb the available teachers and put them in vacant schools and institutions.

According to the statistics presented by CHAKITAU as of 2024, they have a total of 2,401 teachers as registered members of the association but 2,056 of them are unemployed.

Pupils perform during the Conference. The 17th Annual Kiswahili conference, 23rd-24th March, 2024, Big Lab, Block B, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The statistics further reveal that only 345 teachers are employed by the government countrywide. 57 of these teachers are diploma holders, 23 of them are Master’s degree holders and 19 teachers have Doctorate in Kiswahili (PhD), with one Doctor still unemployed.

The rest of them who are the majority have bachelors from different universities.

Dr Martin Mulei, the patron of CHAWAKANA Uganda, lauded primary and secondary schools that have already started adopting the language policy of teaching Kiswahili.

In 2022, cabinet approved the implementation of the 21st East African Community Summit directive in Uganda to make Kiswahili the official language and they also approved compulsory teaching of Kiswahili in primary and secondary schools.

However, the directive worked well in lower secondary schools after making Kiswahili compulsory for seniors one and two.

Education

Government Asked to Make Fine Art Compulsory in Secondary Schools

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Group photo of workshop participants. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Government through the Ministry of Education and Sports has been called upon to find ways of popularizing the subject of art and crafts in lower and higher secondary education.

Prof. Anthony Muggaga, the Principal of the College of Education and External Studies at Makerere University, said yesterday that the government should explore measures including making the subject compulsory.

“We should have at least a module for one term like we have General Paper or computer,” he said.

Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga.

Prof. Mugagga believes that without popularizing Fine Art, the education sector will continue churning out students who lack critical thinking.

“Fine Art is what will cultivate a critical mindset amongst our learners. That is why we encourage children in nursery school to draw; we are trying to bring out what is in their minds,” he said.

“It is the same reason that art is considered therapy for mental health patients. When they draw, they express what is taking place in their minds.”

Prof. Mugagga was speaking at the launch of the findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review.

Dr. Julius Ssegantebuka. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Julius Ssegantebuka.

Dr Julius Ssegantebuka from Makerere University College of Education and External Studies and the lead researchers said the curriculum review project is intended to prepare secondary school art and design teachers, by equipping them with practical skills and values that match the modern world.

“During this second phase of the project, we had trial lectures and discussions with the teachers. We also embarked on removing obsolete content and replaced it with new content and also separated some of the art disciplines that were formally combined,” he said.

The updated curriculum he said, puts emphasis on research, group discussions, and field studies among others.

Dr. Grace Baguma, Director NCDC. Launch of findings of the pilot report for the Visual Arts Curriculum Review by the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) on 17th April 2024, E-Learning Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Grace Baguma, Director NCDC.

Speaking as chief guest at the launch, Dr Grace K Baguma, the Director National Curriculum Development Center commended the initiative.

“I commend Dr Ssegantebuka and the team for this initiative, which is aimed at contributing to the development of quality curricula that employ modern pedagogies that respond to societal needs,” she said.

On her part, Dr Moreen Muwanga from Kyambogo University called for the integration of ICT in the teaching of visual arts.

“Many of us have a phobia of handling a computer. Yet the students we are teaching are flexible and conversant with ICT,” she said.

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Vice Chancellor Meets Delegates from German Adult Education Association

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The Acting Vice Chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Umar Kakumba has welcomed a delegation from the German Adult Education Association (DVV International) led by the Board Chair Hon. Martin Rabanus. The delegation was in the country to assess the impact of their partnership with Makerere University and the community.

DVV International and Makerere University, Department of Adult and Community Education have been partners since 1986.

The support has been in the areas of teaching and learning. DVV International supported the development and launch of the Master of Adult and Community Education (MACE) in 2007. Makerere University has since graduated many who now work as lecturers in Higher Institutions of Learning, programme managers, development workers, adult education trainers and so on. Before then, DVV International was supporting undergraduate students of the Bachelor of Adult and Community Education (BACE) with financial support towards internships and practical training during the Recess term of Year 2.

Speaking in his office on April 15, 2024, Assoc. Prof. Kakumba appreciated the Germany government for the support over the years. Saying through this support Makerere has continued to foster adult education by settling up Adult Education centres in Lira and Mbale for this purpose.

Hon. Martin Rabanus (L) receive souvenirs from Assoc. Prof. Kakumba

DVV International has over time supported staff in the area of research and publications. Some of the beneficiaries include Dr. Stella Achen, Dr. Twine Banakuka, among others. In early 1990s the organization helped to renovate the building housing adult and community education. The organization has also previously supported staff to acquire Masters and PhDs.

Prof. Kakumba appealed to Hon. Martin Rabanus to consider renewing the MoU between the two institutions in an effort to continue training adult educators.

Hon. Martin Rabanus applauded Makerere University for the achievements obtained so far and the contribution the partnership has enabled. “We are happy that we were able to provide adults an opportunity for them to get a certificate and improve their lives,” he said. “Thank you for the corporation for the last 40 years.”

Present in the meeting were the Principal of College of Education and External Studies(CEES), Prof. Anthony Mugagga, the Dean of the School of Distance and Lifelong Learning, Dr. Harriet Nabushawo and Dr. Stella Achen – Head of Department, Adult and Community Education.

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Scholars call for incorporating patriotism in education curriculum

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Group photo of the workshop participants. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Scholars have called for the inclusion of patriotism in the country’s curriculum, arguing that starting as early as nursery school will go a long way in transforming our society. The call was made during a stakeholders’ workshop organized to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF).

Lack of a shared Ugandan culture, beliefs & national value system is one some of the things that were identified as those that hinder the spirit of Patriotism.

Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba.

It was also noted that the sense of patriotism demonstrated by most students who graduate from universities in Uganda is at its lowest. This, Dr. Dorothy Kyagaba, said is manifested in the persistent riots, rise of the crime rate, vandalism, rampant students’ death, Individualism which are detrimental to the nation.

Although legal frameworks & initiatives, National Patriotic Programs, trainings in secondary schools, and patriotism clubs in high schools exist, the sense of patriotism among universities is still disturbingly low, Dr Kyababa said.

To this end, the research teams seeks to analyze the teacher education curricula to ascertain aspects of patriotism among selected Public Universities in Uganda, to establish teacher trainees’ perception of patriotism among selected Public Universities and to build capacities of teacher trainees in integrating Patriotism among selected Public Universities in Uganda.

Prof. Mugagga, the Principal of CEES. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Mugagga, the Principal of CEES.

Some scholars have argued that using practitioners & teacher education to build a sense of patriotism in preservice teachers as a community of practice increases the odds that future generations will care about each other and love their country.

Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting on April 15, 2024, the Principal of CEES, Prof. Anthony Muwagga Mugagga, said that many people confuse patriotism with being a member of a political party. This he said is far from the true meaning of the word. Patriotism according to scholars’ entails living in harmony with each other, limited violence, sense of unity, peaceful environments with each other, preserving a county’s heritage, interests, respecting each other’s culture, values, and love and commitment to the country’s democratic principles. To achieve this, Prof. Mugagga advised that people ought to be taught about self-management, honesty, emotional intelligence, etiquette, hygiene, entrepreneurship, soft skills and survival skills among other things.

Assistant Commissioner of the National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Dr. Tibamwenda Brenda. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

In her remarks, the Assistant Commissioner of the National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Dr. Tibamwenda Brenda demystified the Misconceptions about Patriotism emphasizing that it is not an NRM agenda or a recruitment group but it is rather a program that would help learners better through protecting the environment, cherishing hard work, honesty, accountability and fairness.

Prof. Betty Ezati, who also attended the meeting advised that patriotism ought to start at home. “Patriotism should start at home and pre-primary. For higher institutions of learning, let us train the teachers to love their country and in so doing, they will pass this on to the young generation,” she said.  

Prof. Betty Ezati (Left) and Madam Kawuma Caroline (Right) at the event. Stakeholders’ workshop to discuss the integration of patriotism in the teacher education curriculum among selected Public Universities a project supported by the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) at the College of Education and External Studies (CEES), 15th April 2024, Telepresence Centre, Senate Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

In her closing remarks, the Principal Education Officer, Teacher Education Training & Development, Ministry of Education and Sports Mrs. Elizabeth Kisakye Nsamba emphasized “a need for a think tank to re-conceptualize Patriotism in Teacher Education with a well-structured programme”

The Stakeholders’ workshop was graced by key Stakeholders from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education, Uganda National Teachers’ Union, National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Teacher Educators and Preservice teachers among others.   The study will be conducted at the School of Education Makerere University, Faculty of Education, Kyambogo University and Faculty of Education, Mountains of the Moon University.

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