Reports from Uganda newspapers show that our traditional Muslim founded schools such as Kibuli S.S, Kawempe Muslim, Nabisunsa, e.t.c, aren’t doing as well as they used to in the past. I’m a little conflicted about the whole issue but part of the problem has allegedly been put on the teachers who teach there and at the same time own and teach in private schools elsewhere. They(teachers and headteachers) reportedly use our public foundation schools as recruitment centers for potential students and teachers. Yes, every school needs good teachers but that’s not the point. Our schools once did a better job than they do now, and something deep is happening in our Muslim schools as compared to Christian foundation schools.
Basically our teachers are in business, not teaching. Students are a cost.Businesses are service-motivated ONLY to the extent that it serves their deeper motive, which is, of course, profit. Profit is the end, the “service-motive” is the means.
Nearly all our headteachers own private schools, and it is suspected that they aren’t putting as much effort in our public schools as their private schools. For instance, Kibuli’s reputation as a successful school in the past is enough for a lot of parents to try to get a place there, but not everyone does get a place. So, they are recommended to the private school owned by the head teacher somewhere.It is a “bait and switch” tactic and its effective.On the surface, it shouldn’t be a problem at all but it becomes a problem if the headteacher becomes more committed to his private school than the school he’s heading.
While these teachers have strong financial motives to admit unsuccessful students in their private schools, for failing students the experience can be devastating.There is possibly trauma and poor self-esteem for having failed, and perhaps embarrassment for their families and friends. I remember the ‘KABAZI’ at Kibuli S.S. made us lose friends forever.
Either way, Private schools make money whether students learn or not.Problem is that concentrating education at the end of one set of purse-strings includes NO checks and balances. Meanwhile, we are all watching and literally doing nothing about it.Obviously,the profit-motive is instinctive, we all have the craving to own property, and thrive and prosper, but It needs to regulated.
The idea of “taking away resources” and ‘sharing the same teachers’ between foundation schools and private schools is actually quite dangerous.Dangerous because the foundation school budgets are stretched and the teachers concentration is so divided,and in the end it will come back to bite us, as it always does.
It is said that capitalism civilizes greed as marriage civilizes lust. I don’t think the kind of capitalism we are entrenched in now is civilizing greed–I think it is applauding it, relishing in it and holding it up as an aim to strive for. Every teacher wants to start up a school to be considered successful. Imagine owning 3-5 private schools but you are still a head teacher of a foundation school, where do you commit your energy more? By the way,this has nothing to do with so-called “laws” of supply and demand, this has to do with the application of greed at the expense of the many.
Sorry to ramble for so long with so little in conclusions.As I said much earlier, I am still very conflicted about this whole issue. Perhaps this will give a little food for thought as this thread continues.
I apologize in advance if I have rubbed anybody’s feathers but I consider this a very important issue that requires people on the ground to advance their thoughts. Hello UMTA?????
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“My journey is long and my preparation is so little, and weakness has gripped me and death is chasing me!”