President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said that the four core principles of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are crucial in promoting prosperity among Ugandans.
The four principles include; Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Socioeconomic Transformation and Democracy.
The President however said, the principles can only be fully achieved through promoting the ideology of interest against identity.
“By 1965, partly due to the exposure we had from learning about the rest of the world, our students’ movement started saying that this emphasis of identity is incorrect. If you belong to a certain tribe are your needs different? Do you have Karimojong hunger and Teso hunger? Hunger is hunger. How about thirst? How about poverty? Do we have catholic poverty or Protestant poverty? If there is no road coming to this side, does it affect people of this area or a certain religion? We said no, these people are misleading us, instead of emphasizing identity, why don’t we emphasize interest?” President Museveni said.
The President made the remarks today while addressing Head Teachers from the Eastern Region who have been attending a capacity building retreat at the National Leadership Institute (NALI), Kyankwanzi. The retreat attracted 371 Head Teachers from both government and private schools in the Eastern Region.
“We said, you people who are talking of tribalism, you are a danger to our interests. That is how the first principle of Patriotism came about,” H.E Museveni noted.
After overcoming the challenge of the politics of Identity, President Museveni told the participants that his government developed a questionnaire that would in turn help Ugandans achieve prosperity.
“Prosperity cannot be achieved by begging. The only way you can get prosperity sustainably is if you produce a good or a service and sell it and get money. If you are a teacher, you are providing a service by teaching. If that is the case, then you need a market because if you produce something, and nobody buys, you will not be prosperous,” he added.
“For the Banyankore to be prosperous, they produce milk, beef, bananas, coffee, ghee and others but when you go to Ankole you find out that the Banyankore don’t buy so much from one another. Why? Because they have got similar products. Now if the Banyankore don’t buy from one another, who then buys from them? Most of the time, it is the non-Banyankore buying from them. This means that the prosperity of the Banyankore depends more on Uganda than it depends on Ankole.”
The President also urged the Head Teachers to help the societies they serve to join the money economy in order to fight poverty. He further tasked them to help the government to spread the message of NRM Ideology to other Ugandans to avoid ideological mistakes which the country faced in the past.
President Museveni on the other hand told the Head Teachers to desist from interfering with free Universal Education both at primary and Secondary levels by charging learners fees.
The First Lady, also the Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni assured the Head Teachers and teachers at large that the government recognizes the central role they play in the delivery of Education to Ugandans.
“We remain committed to working with you to improve both the welfare and quality of Education to ensure service delivery. I also urge you to promote Patriotism values in schools as you interact with your teachers, learners and the communities you serve,” Maama Janet said.
“The new lower secondary curriculum introduced 21st century skills which include critical thinking. This was in order to open up children’s minds so that they stop learning by cramming but they may begin to ask questions and feel free to give their own opinions instead of cramming to produce other people’s ideas for the exams without doing anything of their own.” Maama Janet also cautioned the Head Teachers to be vigilant due to the current terrorist threats of attacks on the country.
“While the government is doing its part to provide the necessary security, as leaders of schools you are the first security officers in your institutions. Therefore, I call upon you to be vigilant and enforce necessary security measures within your means so as to ensure that no wrong characters enter your school to cause havoc on our learners,” she stated.
The Minister also expressed concern over the immoral acts such as homosexuality and drug abuse that have infiltrated schools around the country.
“As head teachers, you should be the gatekeepers of our culture. Let us not allow our young generation to get derailed under your watch. Together let us put up a system that cannot allow those behaviors to flourish in our school environment and communities.
On salary disparities among teachers, Maama Janet said, “The issue will be solved with time.”
“Additionally, the implementation of the National Teachers policy is underway, and the future of our teaching profession is very bright.”
Brig. Charles Kisembo, the Director of NALI first commended President Museveni for being a champion of family and National values before congratulating him and the First Lady upon celebrating their 50th marriage anniversary.
Brig. Kisembo informed the President that during the retreat, the teachers proposed that some of the modules taught at NALI should be integrated into the primary and secondary school curriculum so that they intensify Patriotism ideology among the Ugandan children.
The Head teacher of Butebo Secondary School, Mr. Kiyega Robert, who spoke on behalf of his fellow Head Teachers pledged to pass on the knowledge they have received from NALI to their learners and other community members.
“We promise to keep the Patriotism program very active in schools with guidance from your office so that we groom Ugandans who are ideologically oriented.”
“We also appreciate salary enhancements to science teachers as the arts teachers wait patiently for your usual goodwill.”