If you have known me long enough you know I have failed over the years to live a life that leaves my emotions away from what I do and who I am. I am not sure how politicians are able to do that. I am who I am and what I am because of the quality of education I have had and that’s largely because of when I had that education. As I write this the education that I got is not out there for the getting for children like myself. Let me elucidate what I mean by children like myself.
I did not come from the very top echelons of life as I went to Nakasero Primary School back in the day. Yes my dad was not very humble of means but he was not the wealthiest I knew. There was much we did not have. Nonetheless he took me to a top primary school in the country at the time because he knew the beauty of having me in a space where I would share time and space with kids with a world and life I only dreamed of. So when I went to school I found kids who had been to places I only heard of. They had bags and contents of those bags that blew my mind. I read their comic books like Tintin, Asterix and Obelix and stories of nations where they had been with their parents away from Iddi Amin. They taught me how to pronounce English words I did not know how to and made me love to see a world bigger than one that I knew. As I spoke about what my friends had my dad also worked hard to narrow the gap between what I had and what they had. See now my school world was changing my real world! I also taught them about my world and my life. Taught them games we played in the small humble world I belonged to. We exchanged worlds and became one. I am sure they spoke to their parents about me and my world and that was not without effect.
Now you want to know that my class had the Opio and Ocheng twin boys of the Prime Minister Otema Alimadi. I went to school with children of military generals who were dropped off with guns once in a while. When we met to play with them we were kids and that was all. Our worlds met even when our parents were seeing a very different Uganda! It’s just sad that right now there is not a single primary school where the children of the rich and those of the poor can ever meet. None I can think of. What we have lost is humongous and we do not know the danger of what is happening to us. I am what I am because of who I met and when I met them at the formation time of my life.
We have allowed that it is OK for a minister of Education to have her own grand children in schools administered by people in lands afar whose interest cannot be Uganda. When will these children ever meet the ordinary regular Ugandan and know their real life and the struggles they go through? Are we saying that such a meeting is unnecessary and irrelevant?
How can the minister of education who is in charge of our education accept that its OK for her to sit in cabinet with members of the same meeting who have chosen that their children cannot subscribe to the education that Mrs.Museveni offers on the menu? I have been to a school and seen how many vehicles line up with government plates and official drivers to drop off kids from Cabinet members being taught Cambridge Curriculum. What is wrong with what we have? Who will fix what we have when cabinet does not know what is going on? How will cabinet know the pain of other kids they do not hear of?
What I am mourning about is that we are losing meeting places and I don’t have to say that lately the churches are also no longer a meeting place either of the poor and the rich which is a story for another day.
We are now slowing and surely becoming a nation of strangers who do not understand each other sadly.
These kids who do not know each other will blame each other for their misfortunes and soon there will be bitterness and the war between them will not be worth righting home about.
I wish I was sure that we have a way away from this and sadly I do not see one.