Access to quality education is every school-going human’s dream however, just like any other dreams due to a number of reasons, a fraction achieves it while another does not. This is mainly due to the prerequisites set by the ‘Golden Schools’ of this world.
Attaining quality education comes with prerequisites including a certain number of grades, tuition among others. As a mammoth of students is returning or has returned to school in Uganda from the past two weeks, apart from tilted tuition fees, schools have added a long list of what they term as “School Requirements.” These school requirements stretch from a student’s personal tools of study to nonplus items.
Last week as I was running my daily errands around the Central Division, in the proximity I drew my eyes on students carrying luggage in which were brand new hoes possibly from one of the branches of HardWare World.
So many questions ran through my head like,
“really, in this age where a student does over 15 subjects running from dusk to dawn, is there any time for digging?” or “is it that kids are now finally practicing what they are studying?” that is hoes are helping them implement what they study from Wheat Growing in Canada yet farming in the 1st class world is mechanized.
I am perplexed by how far these schools have gone and flamboyantly the Ministry in charge of Education is signalling no red cards. At this rate don’t be surprised if schools in islands like Buvuma and Kalangala start requiring students to report with wood to make boats or even actual boats at the beginning of every academic term.
On the other hand, I decided to carry out a simple interaction among a few pals about these bizarre “School Requirements.” One told it all started with rural schools which used (or even still do) ask students to carry cow-dung to school to work on the floors of the dusty classrooms to which the students always cooperated with a lot of ease.
Where are your school requirements? Let’s hope they can fill up a truck.
On the other side of the coin, urban schools’ have used the section of “School Requirements” for exploiting students, parents and guardians by sending them things which only benefit one group of stakeholders.
In case a school has a new project going on, they tend to ask different groups of students’ various items to power the project. For example, if there is a construction of a new block, one group will be tasked to bring cement, the other hammers and hoes, another paint among others.
It is right for students to contribute to the development of the schools in which they attain quality education but some things should be declared OVER THE BOARD. Tuition should be able to cover some of these things while school requirements should include only those items students should have on a personal basis so as to avoid inconveniencing others in their quest for academic success.
In the same way, the Ministry of Education has come out with strict guidelines on Government Schools on how to increase school fees and they should also try to restrict private institutions from exploiting children for personal gains or else I think it is time lower institutions of formal education need to copy a thing or two from tertiary institutions like replacing school requirements with some kind of functional fees with strict stewardship from the Government to avoid this dramatic turn of events.
Author: Katende Basajjabaka
Katende writes about sports and occasionally technology.