What you need to know:
- Was the State minister throwing innuendo that his senior minister is generally too busy?
Is there anything wrong with an impertinent, pen-totting, coffee-sipping, grey-haired old timer asking a few questions on some small, small issues?
Well then, someone tell me, why would a well-known, otherwise highly respected educationist and State minister for Higher Education, Dr Chrysostom Muyingo, thank and praise the minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, for “finding time, amid her busy schedule”, to attend the launch of the national Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) results?
Like seriously? Someone tell me, why would the minister of Education whose husband the President (aah, long live His Excellency!) feels able to leave Kampala and drive upcountry to a small, windswept excuse of a town to launch a new market (that traders will, after three days abandon and go back to selling by the roadside), somehow be too busy to grace one of the most important events in the national education calendar, an event that, you can be sure, the whole nation is eagerly watching on television?
Was the State minister throwing innuendo that his senior minister is generally too busy to attend to her docket? Or was he simply caught in a moment where one has to say some very nice words to a dignitary, but somehow has run out of anything particularly clever to throw in?
Who of the two is unsuited for their portfolio – the honourable minister, or her junior, the State minister? Or both perhaps, no?
Hey, is it still okay to…er… ask?
Well then, what value has Ms Museveni added to the ministry of Education ever since she became minister? Is she in charge? Has she positively altered the strategic direction of the education sector? Has she provided strategic leadership that addresses the core needs of the sector? Are teachers happier ever since she came in? Has the future of our children brightened? Do we have better schools?
Speaking of which, would the honourable minister of Education be able to name any government school – forget about the church-owned schools – that any of her children has attended? If she cannot, as I suspect, and yet her government has “transformed” this country, what problem does she find with these government schools? If she has been successful in her tenure as Education minister, can she name a single Universal Primary Education (UPE) or Universal Secondary Education (USE) school that any of her grandchildren ever attended?
Let me ask; would the honourable minister feel able, as a person proud of her husband’s “transformation” of Uganda generally and her own accomplishments as Education minister in particular, to hand over her grandchildren to any of the UPE and USE schools?
Would she, in doing so, proudly declare that the future of these children is secure because they are attending schools which are the direct handiwork of herself and her husband (aah, long live the President!)?
If none of her kids or grandkids has been shipped to these schools, why does she as a woman, cook food that she dare not eat?
Are we together?
Let me ask, is the honourable minister aware of the strategic importance of education to a country and that the best way to foster under-development is to keep the masses from accessing quality education?
Does she feel proud of herself and her husband (long live the President!) when she drives past these shabby schools all over the country, with poorly paid, completely unmotivated teachers?
Does she imagine kids in such schools have a future? Can the minister feel able to propose a policy and law that everyone who is paid from the Consolidated Fund must take their kids (and grandkids in her case) to government schools?
When will she and her husband (long live the President!) finally begin to understand that to sustainably transform a country, the most basic ingredient is human capital development, which essentially means guaranteeing that every child has access to a first rate education that enables them to exploit their God-given potential and then be everything God made them to be?
So again, I ask, is there anything wrong with this impertinent grey-haired old timer asking?
Mr Tegulle is an advocate of the High Court of Uganda [email protected]