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Idi Amin signed my appointment letter

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Mr Mokosa during the interview at his office at Adjumani Elders Forum in Adjumani District. . PHOTO by Martin Okudi 

By Martin Okudi

Posted  Saturday, August 30   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Series. The greatest responsibility of head teachers is to nurture the talent of their students and staff. Martin Okudi caught up with Vuso Paulino Mokosa, the man who started his teaching career as a secondary school teacher and concluded it as a primary school headteacher.

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He began his career as a secondary school teacher. However, 62-year-old Vuso Paulino Mokosa retired as one of the famous primary head teachers in Adjumani District after 38 years of service.
He was among the teachers whose appointment letters were signed by former president Idi Amin in 1974.
“I personally got inspired because my first appointment letter into the teaching profession was signed by the head of State,” Mokosa says.
Born in 1952, Mokosa began his career as a Grade Five teacher, teaching mathematics and Physics at St Aloysius College Nyapea in Nebbi District in 1974.
A holder of a diploma in Education from Makerere University also taught the same subjects at Old Kampala Secondary School between 1975-1976 before he was transferred to Adjumani Secondary School.
Mokosa was among the many Ugandans who fled to seek a safe haven in the present South Sudan in early 1980s following the political instability in Uganda at the time.
Later when he returned to the country, he resumed his teaching career at Adjumani Secondary School.
With his earlier experience in secondary school, in 1999, Mokosa applied for a position of a primary headteacher, which he got. “I shifted from secondary to primary section because of the declining performance of primary pupils,” he reveals. He said he wanted to build strong foundation at primary level.
He was first posted as a headteacher at Gwere Primary School in Dzaipi Sub-county in Adjumani District. He later served in several primary schools like Kureku Primary School, Ayeri Primary School, Biyaya Primary School and Magburu Primary School from where he retired in December 2012.
In all the primary schools where he served, Mokosa taught Mathematics, Science and Christian Religious Education.

Challenges
Unlike in the past where people have respect for teachers, Mokosa says these days, many people do not have respect for teachers since majority of them are looked at as low income earners. He also says there are limited capacity building opportunities for teachers
Achievements
Mokosa says he was among a team of district officials who pushed for school feeding programmes which has improved enrollment in schools.
Mokosa is the founder member of Adjumani Primary Head Teachers Association (APSA).
He is also a founder member of Adjumani teachers SACCO, which received Shs30 million support from the President in 2013.

Fact file

Vuso Paulino Mokosa, former headteacher
Age. 62
Family. Married to Lucy Mokosa, with five children - two girls and three boys. His first born is a veterinary doctor while his last born is pursuing BBA at Makerere University Business School in Kampala.
Residence. He is a resident of Ciforo central village in Ciforo sub-county in Adjumani district.
Current occupation. - Member Adjumani
District Public Accounts Committee.
- General Secretary Adjumani Elder’s Forum which is currently promoting peaceful co-existence in all the South Sudanese refugee settlement camps in Adjumani District and a prominent farmer at Agojo mixed farm.

What they say

‘He was an obedient civil servant who had no disciplinary case brought against him up to the time of his retirement,’
Mark Ambayo, Adjumani district education officer

‘He is a tolerant, cooperative and hardworking man who love his family because he has educated most of his children and close relatives,’
Angela Kaba, chairperson Adjumani elder’s forum

His advice to retired teachers

‘Retiring does not mean you are tired, put your experience in use for the benefit of the society.’