St Kalemba beats 10 schools to German festival crown

Students of St Kalemba SS celebrate their win at the Annual German Language Festival recently. PHOTO/DEUS BUGEMBE.

What you need to know:

  • Schools took part in the German language completion and the best won.
  • Through this competition, the organisers realised a need  to have German added some school curricula.

The seventh German Language Festivals saw  up to 11 schools at St Kalemba Secondary School, Villa-Maria Campus, Kalungu District to exhibit how proficient students are in German.

In the end, the hosts owned the bragging rights of the Germany Embassy funded event. Martin Kabuye, a Senior Two student at St Kalemba Secondary School, could not believe his ears when his school was announced the winner since it was their first time to participate. 

“Prossy Nakagera, our teacher, had briefed us on what to expect and we began serious practice last term. In the beginning, we looked disorganised and struggled because we practiced at night but it paid off,” he said. At some stage, they were discouraged that their work was not good enough to win anything but their belief brought them glory even after learning German for just a year.

The participants
The hosts welcomed Archbishop Kiwanuka Secondary Kitovu, Kako Senior Secondary School, Kibuli Secondary School, King’s College Budo, Kitamba High School, Mengo Senior School, Philadelphia Secondary School, St Michael Vocational Butende, St Jane Frances Kirimya and Queen of Peace Vocational to get the competition going.

Alice Kibombo who has worked with the Uganda German Cultural Society since 2016, was one of the judges. Kibombo was more than impressed with what different schools presented. 
“In terms of the degree of the language, the students did so well.  Another thing that stood out was that a number of these students had not encountered the language for so long but they were comfortable with it. It is testament they have been consistent with the language and the results showed,” she told Daily Monitor, adding that “All the students had exhibited a high level of German in terms of the grammar, vocabulary and syntax.  They also displayed a high degree of originality,” The theme was Ten reasons to learn German and students were also expected to break down various practices used to combat climate change.  Kibombo also lauded the hosts for putting together an event she referred to as a hit. 

“I have been to other festivals before but this one was different, the host was extra ready right from the marching band that played the anthems, the discipline, time management and organisation made it a big success,” she added.

Each school had three tasks to perform with a panel of judges keenly following. The first was to present a skit, the second was an exhibition focusing on the activities each school had held in the Germany week and lastly, they had to come up with a creative piece where the students were given the liberty to perform anything in the German language.

In one of the most outstanding performances, Philadelphia Secondary School who finished second overall designed a percussion instrument using local items that could probably have been discarded. The drums, nails and saucepan tops used, showed how creative the students were. “We practiced for only a week and were ready to go. We had to be creative because the new curriculum pushes you to think critically and that inspired us,” said Elphaz Kezimbira, a Senior Two student.

Kibuli Secondary School also scored highly in the exhibition because of how they applied technology.

They were able to take us back in time from the material and tech used then, to the current trends. 

St Jane Frances Kirimya also ticked the creativity box on top of doing enough research to get their skit right. They enlightened the audience about the era of a divided Germany. They also painted a picture of how the Uganda German Cultural Society was formed. The students went on to present art and culture that explains the bond between Uganda and Germany, quashing notions citizens from both countries might have about each other. 

Mathew Ainembabazi, a Senior Six student from Mengo Senior School, was in awe of their third place finish. 

“Coming third means so much to me. We put in so much effort. I was in charge of preparing this and ensuring we pull it off well.  This has been a group effort,” said Ainembabazi, continuing: “I am so thankful to fellow students for the time they put into the extent of missing meals.” 

The event was also evidence of how the Greater Masaka region has more schools adding German to their curriculum than any other part of the country.