For a number of years, higher education and research have come to the forefront of international debates regarding economic growth.
There has been a growing compromise among key policy-deciders that post-industrial society requires more highly educated people with technical and professional skills in a knowledge-based economy.
However, Pontian Kabeera, a student who has just attained a PhD in Education at the Beijing Normal University in China has come up with a household education model aimed at providing quality education.
“As an avid teacher who believes in the transformation of teachers for quality education to be realized in Africa, I realised there is need to think way beyond the classroom and that teachers should not be utterly blamed for poor quality education,”Kabeera says.
He adds that towards the end of his first degree at Makerere University, he developed an education model which he termed as “Household education empowerment” as the solution to Uganda and Africa’s education problems.
“ This model was based on the assumption that quality education can better be established from a household setting.”
According to Kabeera, he then presented his model to Mityana District headquarters which also doubles as his birthplace to seek support and begin empowering families to understand the relevance of education in totality.
However, his plans were shattered by authorities who didn’t seem to understand the logic behind his model.
He later enrolled for a PhD program in China but after completing studies, he says he is ready to convince authorities that his education model is what the county and continent have been looking for.
“I will do whatever possible to empower the populace about education, I started this model while in Makerere University ten years ago and it has now been tested and approved by six full professors as a relevant dimension in establishing quality education,”Kabeera says.
“ This model directly communicates to me. We tend to think that all people are informed about the relevance of education but it is a wrong perception and to some, the concept of education is very foreign,” he says.
Kabeera says that according to his model, through helping parents especially those in rural areas define education in its rightful manner, they will be able to send their children to school and also help them throughout their education cycle.
Who is Pontian Kabeera?
Born 32 years ago in the then Mubende district currently Mityana district, Pontian Kabeera experienced a divisive childhood that saw him leave his parents at the age of 7 to start living with his grandmother.
“I don’t really know what happened then but my mother just decided to take
me to her parents’ home and asked me to remain there forever,”Kabeera says.
He stayed with his grandmother for one year and when she denied him the chance to go to school, he left and started living with one Dominic Walakira who educated him throughout primary school.
“A lot was said against me when I left home to live with families they never knew, but again it is a decision I had made in order to be able to study up to at least primary seven since they seemed not to support my idea of participating in learning or any education practice”.
Kabeera’s blessings later blossomed when he finished primary seven and later enrolled at Kisubi minor seminary for O’level but after four years, he joined Mityana SS before joining for his first degree in Arts at Makerere University.
He later enrolled for a Masters Degree at the Tsinghua University and for a
PhD at Beijing Normal University both in China.
Kabeera says he is determined to implement his household education model for he believes it is an ignored dimension towards quality education by the mainstream education policymakers.
“First of all, we are in the global family, I won’t mind whether am practicing it in my home country. If it is accepted to operate home it will be better, but if it is not, I will try it somewhere else, be it Burundi, DRC, Tanzania,”he says.
He notes that he has already prepared content and other training manuals.