What you need to know:
- I am not familiar with this curriculum stuff and looks like there are several different types of curricula; but I had always been seized of the view that it is merely overrated and much overhyped ado about nothing.
I get surprised only twice a year. And losing a mother and a sister in two months, had actually used up my surprises quota for 2022. But for the first time since (oba when?) – surprise forced its way this week Tuesday, at the funeral of my elder sibling, Dr Rose Gawaya, in Jami, Kamonkoli, just a few kilometres before you enter the town of Mbale. Did I say ‘town’? No…that should be ‘city’!
I had just finished making a speech – if it could be called that – when my wife came forward, our last born, Rhine, in tow.
She explained to me that Rhine wished to make a speech. The young lady is five and half years old. Mine was supposed to be the last speech, upon which we’d hand the ceremony over to the clergy to continue the service.
Turned out that over the previous hour, she had three times made the demand to her mother. As the hundreds of kids present were wondering what time soda would be served, Rhine was wondering what time she’d address the assembly.
At first Allen took it casually, as the banter of a little girl just kidding. But Rhine soon pointed at the dark clouds overhead and expressed her concern that the rain would soon fall and the proceedings would soon end and Dr Rose would then be buried…without her delivering her speech.
It was at that Allen realised the little girl was serious. The funeral, which A-Plus Funeral Services live-streamed in cyberspace, was graced by hundreds of people and the compound was packed to capacity.
But Rhine was completely unfazed and asked for the microphone. I had to oblige.
“Mummy Rose loved us,” she began in what was a brief but very touching tribute to her auntie. The confidence, the articulation and the presence of mind blew me away.
It was a pleasant surprise, but it got me thinking: how exactly had we got here? After much contemplation, I zeroed down on the events of the last few months. Last year, in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, Ms Christine Jaggwe, the proprietor of Marigolds Christian School, in Kira, did announce that the school was changing to “international curriculum”.
I am not familiar with this curriculum stuff and looks like there are several different types of curricula; but I had always been seized of the view that it is merely overrated and much overhyped ado about nothing.
I have on occasion in fact declared it absolutely useless, pointing out that no one in Uganda’s three arms of government went to an international school. Most of them actually attended village schools, including the President. If what they have achieved can be called success, then the international curriculum is nothing to die for, I always maintained.
I had only allowed my kids to continue with Marigolds Christian School, after change of curriculum, because I believed and still believe in Ms Jaggwe. She understands children’s needs and her heart is in the right place – a very rare find at a time when most people who begin schools have only one objective: get good grades and make good money.
We had noticed an immediate change in Rhine as soon as school resumed, having launched the new curriculum. Every time she returned home she’d put everyone under pressure: declaring that she had “research” to work on and demanding she be given internet.
Later she began demanding her own email address, as she felt she was missing out on assignments sent via the email of her parents or siblings, because they seemed to be inefficient.
It was clear that the curriculum – by whatever name called – had worked wonders in the young lady. She was research-minded, constantly in inquisitorial mode and always probing everything about her. Her appreciation and articulation of issues were in the clouds; and she began to reason on a higher plane.
We are, quite obviously, paying a little more than before; but whatever the curriculum that Ms Jaggwe introduced, it is churning out really super kids and is worth every penny.
Mr Tegulle is an advocate of the High Court of Uganda