I too used to walk 4kms to school in Uganda. Wapi, I did not walk, I used to run. Each morning 1-2hrs depending on if I felt like not faking a stomach ache or getting malaria or hiding in the bushes. Back then if you got a belly ache, you would be given a coca cola and be sent to school. And if you got malaria, the mother would carry you on her back to Bududa Hospital for needles for 7 days daily.
I hear now there are no bushes in which kids can hide to avoid school. Apparently the hospitals do not have medication to treat even fake malaria.
Our generation was tough.
The first lady also said that parents need to feed their kids or buy a flask. I come from a generation of kids who used to get 3 meals daily and our parents used to warm up mawolu for our breakfast. Now some of you say your parents do not have food to feed the kids!
Then the parents who can afford food send kids to school with cold food! So this makes no sense because if you all bought food flasks, you could put the food hot the night before or in the morning and send the little monsters to school with hot food. But alas, apparently far too many Ugandans cannot even afford food.
The First lady is also right on not putting your children on boda bodas to send them to school. When we grew up, no parent would have put a kid on a boda boda to drive them to school. We walked or we were driven to school. So she is not telling Ugandans anything different from how life used to be. Our parents were civil servants, some even teachers or some working for corporations like Uganda Posts and Telecom and could afford everything under the moon for their kids. I hear all parastatals were sold and civil servants go many months without being paid. As if that is even a problem. Why do they not grow and sell coffee the way Mzee Daniel Nangalama did if his salary with UPTL was insufficient to pay all the fees? But I hear that even coffee no longer has the option of BCU (Bugisu Cooperative Union) and CMB (Coffee Marketing Board).
Then the Pads. This is another story coming soon.
The First Lady has touched something very crucial that we are not paying attention to. School used to start at 8:30am or tops 9:00am. Why do you think that kids must be in class at 6:00am? This is a CRIME. Kids need sleep. Please do not make kids hate education. I swear there is no way I would have woken up at 4:30am to be in class at 6:00am. If you do not believe me, locate any of my teachers. Kids need a lot of sleep.
It is preposterous to even attack her on her on evening and weekend studies. When exactly do you expect kids to learn chores if you keep them in classes all the time to learn the ABC when they will be sold to Arabs as slaves anyway? Some schools keep kids as late as 10:00PM for night prep and then wake up those kids at 4:30am to do morning prep and then expect the kids to become geniuses. Why do you think you should deprive your kids of much needed sleep all in the name of making them become the next set of curers of cancer?
Closing down schools which are unsafe for the kids is perfectly justified. Why do you send your kids to schools which are ramshacks with no toilets or water and have no school supplies and make kids use sticks to write in the dirt as they are running? Why do you send kids to schools that teach kids under trees? Why do you accept cheap international schools like Greenhill Academy to come in and corrupt your children and teach them using technology? As if we learned on computers! Stop exaggerating. We turned out rather well. This is likely the reason why we all send our kids to the most expensive schools in Uganda and abroad. So your problem is that your village school just got shut down and exactly what is your issue?
Ugandans must learn to be grateful. We have some of the best schools in Africa where kids can learn very well under govt approved structures and excel. Why do you just not sell your land and cows and put them in such schools? Your excuse of mbu your land was grabbed is not enough. Did they also grab your cows? And if they did? Did you try to own a boda boda to earn income? And if you did and it was labeled as a Criminal Activity, did you try to sell your produce from your now tiny land on the streets of Kampala or in the surrounding markets?
And if you could not sell your merchandise in the markets in Kampala or on the streets of Kampala, then why do you just not pay for space in Usafi or the Arcadia Mall? Better still, take over the abandoned places by Uchumi and stop all the complaining.
Temutusamuliza ennaku yamwe. Eyaffe etumala.
God Bless you all! Go buy some miracle rice and enjoy the miracles from the 77 DOGS.