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UGANDA: Museveni;s wife shocked parents can’t feed own kids – I AM THINKING THEY MAY BE RAN OUT OF CAKE????

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First Lady Janet Museveni displays the containers which parents should use to pack for their children food. Photo: Nicholas Bamulanzeki

What a shame parents can’t feed own children – Janet

THE OBSERVER – First Lady and Education minister Janet Museveni has said it’s shameful that some Ugandan parents have skedaddled away from the responsibility of looking after their children including sending them to school on empty stomachs.

Addressing journalists at State House in Nakasero today, Ms Museveni said that the failure of “selfish” parents to feed their children at home and in schools continues to affect the education performance of those children and eventually national development of the country.


“It is a shame that parents cannot feed their children. Birds in the air feed their young until they are adult enough to feed themselves; but a human being created in the image of God ignores to feed their children and sends them to school all day on an empty stomach,” Ms Museveni said.

“What shame is that? Fathers have money to drink; mothers can afford to do their hair and nails but have said they do not money to pack for their children food.” She added that no parent should be reminded about feeding their children because it is their right to be fed, have a home, treated when sick, among others.

According to the minister, while government has introduced initiatives like Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) to uplift poor families, many are still unable to meet their needs while those trying to feed children are not feeding them on nutritious foods.

On April 24, 2018, Ms Museveni started a countrywide campaign aimed at sensitising parents on their role and the importance of feeding children on nutritious foods. According to the minister, she was hosted on 16 radio stations and three televisions countrywide. During the campaign, she also engaged local government leaders, traditional leaders and women groups on their strategy to sustain the campaign.

According to the Education Act, 2008, the responsibilities of the parents and guardians shall include registering their children to school, provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care and transport while government shall be responsible for financing of education through fees, grants, learning and instructional materials and teachers welfare, among others.

When asked why the ministry does not penalise parents who violate the law, Ms Museveni said there is a possibility that parents are ignorant about its provisions. She explained that with introduction of universal education, there has been information mismatch with some leaders saying government would feed children which forced many needy parents to neglect their roles.

“Personally, going out and talking about what the law provides for is not called for now. I thought it is better to start off by informing the public about their roles and correct what may have gone wrong at inception. We wanted to give parents a benefit of the doubt that they did not know,” Ms Museveni said.

She, however, reiterated that once local governments are ordered to enforce the law, they should not hesitate to do so after the public has been sensitised.

Asked why it’s now becoming increasingly difficult for parents to feed their children unlike in the past yet currently all official development and social indexes show progress, officials from ministry of Education, who answered on behalf of Ms Museveni said it is down to parents now selling off most of their agricultural produce.

Some journalists suggested to that schools be forced to make use of school gardens as a solution to solving the feeding problem.

Ms Museveni however said the danger in that is that, some schools might be tempted to condemn their students to the gardens more than in classrooms so as to meet the feeding targets. She said students should only go to the schools gardens for educational and practical purposes only.

54 SCHOOLS REFURBISHED

While traversing the country during the feeding sensitisation campaign, Ms Museveni also commissioned 54 schools that were refurbished under the Uganda Teacher and School Effectiveness Project (UTSEP).

Through a $100m grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) with supervision by World Bank, 356 classrooms, 53 administrative blocks, 108 five-stance latrines, 63 two-stance latrines for teachers, nine teachers houses and 63 water-harvesting tanks have been constructed across the country.

Under phase two of the same grant, she said completion of 83 other schools is underway and expected to be finalized by December 2018. Initially, the ministry had planned to furnish the 54 completed before the start of second term this year but this has not been achieved.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Alex Kakooza, said the grant was provided for furniture but attributed the delay to implementation of the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy.

“We have already signed a contract with a supplier and we expect furniture to be in place by third term [2018]. We have to respect the BUBU policy because furniture has to be done locally,” Kakooza said adding that the contractor has embarked on the manufacturing process.

Ambrose Ruyoka, the deputy project coordinator of GPE, said the UTSEP programme considered only schools that did not meet the basic minimum requirements.

A countrywide research found that 962 schools had only two permanent structures but the funds could not afford to facilitate construction.

This led to scaling down of schools by considering the less and most needy, something that saw the total number of schools constructed under the grant to 137.

“The selection of schools was not based on regional balance and geographical location but its needs,” Ruyooka said. “If a school was found with a school management committee that had not met for the last one year, it was deleted. Dilapidated schools with less than two acres of land were also not considered.”

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: June 01, 2018 at 03:31PM

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