Museveni wants double shift in schools
Thursday, 9th October, 2008
Museveni, flanked by Police chief Kale Kayihura and army chief Aronda Nyakairima, inspects a guard of honour at Kololo ceremonial grounds

Museveni, flanked by Police chief Kale Kayihura and army chief Aronda Nyakairima, inspects a guard of honour at Kololo ceremonial grounds

By Cyprian Musoke

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has called for improved quality and efficiency in the education sector, including the re-introduction of the double shift system in secondary schools.

Addressing the 46th Independence anniversary celebrations at Kololo ceremonial grounds yesterday, he also assured that the global financial crisis would have a limited impact on Uganda in the short term and only affect exports to the US and Europe.

�With the successful commencement of Universal Primary and Secondary Education, the NRM Government will now focus on improving quality, efficiency and learning outcomes�, the President announced before a sizable crowd.

Among them were ministers, judges, army officers, MPs, religious and traditional leaders, and diplomats.
He called upon the implementers of USE to build more classrooms, recruit and train more teachers, and provide enough text books and science equipment.

He also directed the Minister of Education to ensure that the construction cost of classrooms would be reduced to �reasonable levels� to allow more units to be built.

�I also support the idea of applying double shift policy in USE schools to allow increased use of the same facilities by more students and teachers�, he said.

�This must also be done in tandem with the reform of the curriculum to provide for fewer core subjects to be taught and reduced time for a shift at school.�

The double shift system is where some students study in the morning, while others study in the afternoon. The system was operational in Uganda in the past but was scrapped in the early 1980s.

The Government, the President further announced, intends to increase the number of technical schools from the current 62 to about 90, one in every district.

Besides the traditional subjects like woodwork, metal work, ceramics, brick-laying, electrical studies, motor-mechanics, they should teach new subjects like food technology, industrial chemistry and ICT, he noted.

The function, which started at about 11:00, was preceded by the �trooping of the colours�, in which the parade saw off the UPDF old flag, and welcomed a new one.

The old all-army green flag was replaced with the �joint-service flag�, a navy-blue and green flag with the UPDF emblem emblazoned in the centre.

Army spokesman Maj. Paddy Ankunda said the new colours symbolised the transformation of the UPDF into a bi-service force, combining the land force and the air force.

The President then inspected a guard of honour mounted by the UPDF, Uganda Police, Prisons, and Uganda Wildlife Authority, followed by a colourful march-past in which a brave show by the NSSF group excited guests.

Museveni assured Ugandans not to panic over the financial crisis rocking the US and other developed economies, saying Uganda�s financial sector was strong and sound.

�The immediate spill-over effects are likely to be minimal in the short-run.�
He said that although Uganda�s exports to American and European markets may be affected, Uganda had diversified its export destinations, with a large proportion going to the regional markets.

�A potential reduction in foreign aid is not likely to affect us much because our domestic revenues now fund a bigger portion of our expenditures and grants from donors have been reduced to only 28%�, he further noted.

On transport, the President announced that the construction of dual-carriage highways, linking the main towns, would start next financial year, as well as the construction of five major rail links.

The President briefly touched on the threat of international terrorism when he said the transformation of the UPDF had provided Ugandans with a �powerful hammer to deal with terrorists and other traitors�.

Apart from the Lord�s Resistance Army, he said, �other urban-based terrorists may try to infiltrate in the towns. We shall, however, be able to deal with them using our vast security network we used during CHOGM.�

Independence celebrations went on peacefully in most parts of the country. In Lira, drama ensued when the Police attempted to block a group of UPC supporters from entering the venue of the function at Akii Bua Stadium, reports Patrick Okino.

Dressed in their party colours, the group assembled outside the stadium with an intention to march through the stadium�s main gate but the district Police commander, Raymond Otim, blocked them saying they would dis organise the event.

The group, headed by Godwill Acai and Patrick Ogwang Apala, protested his directives, accusing the Police of treating them like thieves. After a tense verbal exchange of words, Otim consulted with top security officers and later allowed them to enter.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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