Wednesday August 27 2014

Arts are necessary to fight poverty

By Christopher Akampurira

Thank you for the editorial titled, ‘Source local solutions to Uganda’s problems’ in the Daily Monitor of August 25. I wish to add my voice and dissatisfaction to what seems to be a deliberate move to abolish the study of some of the Arts subjects as was the case with Political Education in secondary schools. Now the focus is on Development Studies which the President has persistently referred to as “useless”. Is the study of Development Studies useless? I say no!

Development Studies provides content and skills for the study of development by setting out key concepts over the ‘meaning’ of development, examining different theoretical approaches to development, tracing the history of development as an idea and a practice, and discussing contemporary issues in development. Most of these subjects/courses referred to as ‘useless’ by the President, essentially, show an awareness and continuity to the ethical, cultural, historical and political issues arising in the process of development and the movement towards transformation. I wonder why anyone would discourage the study of these courses so that students do not gain this awareness and start to critically analyse and find solutions to some of the main underlying causes of poverty that include:

• Current high budget allocation to public administration of more than 65 cabinet ministers, more than 330 Members of Parliament and more than100 RDCs and so many district officials as new districts are being created every now and then;
• Weak democracies and lack of committed leadership to fight corruption and
• Incompetent economic policies and inefficiencies in targeting public expenditures towards poverty eradication.
• Environmental degradation.
• Political instabilities and conflicts.
• Social and cultural factors.
• Unemployment and underemployment, etc.
All the above causes are associated with leadership and governance. Our leaders should do this country a favour and address the causes of poverty and under-development.
Business development specialist