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I weep for my nation Uganda: Our Education system is failing us.

I only heard, learned and studied about them in high school back in Africa; The Atlantic Ocean, the snow, the Hudson bay, Appalachians …….. e.t.c and now  am right here seeing them with my very own eyes and having the actual picture of what I only had an opportunity, to see in text books and on Television some years ago. Yes, I am writing this from Nova Scotia Canada.
When I left Uganda on 1st January 2011 for North America, in pursuit of a Masters’ degree, all I could think about was, what lay ahead of me and how I would cope with the new education system which I believed was so different from that in Africa, specifically Uganda.

Just one week and a half into the semester at St. Mary’s University Halifax, http://www.smu.ca/ My thoughts are turning into reality. The education system, the style of lecturing and the reading culture are not only different from those in Uganda but far way advanced.  On the first day of my class, I missed two lectures because I was not up to speed. I was still figuring out how to register myself online for the courses I was supposed to take, which I did not complete in time to attend both lectures. When I finally got registered and started attending my very first class (Human and Computer interaction), I was impressed by the method of teaching, it was so inclusive, participatory and practical (though with gender issues in terms of students taking on the course). It even involved live streaming of vidoes on Youtube  about the importance of  observing human behavior when planning to design a system . See highlight of Vidoes 

Lots of interesting sessions followed.
But the only thing that came to my mind was Uganda’s education system. It’s true that it  experienced a major expansion when it started implementing the Universal Primary Education programme in 1997. Enrollment figures increased enormously and there are now about 8 million children enrolled in Primary schools but quality didn’t improve at the same speed. Current characteristics of education in Uganda include high absenteeism rates for pupils and teachers (up to 20%), low completion rate (54%) especially for girls, prevalent violence against children in schools and lack of sanitation (1 latrine for 66 pupils)-UNICEF, Kampala. I just had to lament to myself.
Until now, even as I write this short blog, I can’t help but weep for a nation full of young energetic and brilliant citizens whose energy is wasted as a result of unemployment that stems from the poor education system (FYI, I have been through the whole system) and who are being slowly but surely weakened and killed by the AIDS epidemic.
“The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda: 1.2 million HIV-positive adults, 150,000 HIV-positive children, 120,000 new infections per year, 64,000 deaths per year, 6-7% of adults HIV-positive, 350,000 in need of antiretroviral drugs and 1.2 million Orphans due to AIDS”
As a young woman, I will devote my time and energy to try and help fellow young people in my country change the future of our nation. FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY!

WATER IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS. WE ALL NEED IT TO SURVIVE!!

Putting a price on Water will make us aware of its scarcity and make us take better care of it” Agnel Gurria, Secretray –general of the OECD,quoted in The Guardian.’Experts call for hike in global water prices’. April 27th,2010.’”
Water is being referred to as a new oil, says Edith Van Walsum the Director ileai.  The UN declared that access to water and sanitation is a fundamental human right but millions around the world still lack even the most basic access.
With over 88% of Uganda’s population of 32 million being rural based and depending almost entirely on agriculture at various levels of livelihoods. It is widely held that access to clean water for both domestic and agricultural purposes by rural communities can not only increase agricultural productivity; it can also result into improved health which in turn would enhance economic and social development.
Millions of people in Uganda do not have access to clean water for both domestic and agricultural purposes and due to the high costs of conventional piped water, Rain water harvesting, a low cost technique is a valuable alternative to overcome the growing water shortage. People collect and store rain water in buckets, tanks and ponds which they use for multiple purposes ranging from irrigating crops, washing, cooking, bathing and drinking. This collected rain water can supplement other water sources when they become scarce or are of low quality.  
The Technical Center for Agriculture and Rural Cooperations ACP EU(CTA) through her CTA2010annual seminar has dedicated this year’s theme is ‘Closing the Knowledge Gap: Integrated Water Management for Sustainable Agriculture’ to make the world aware of the importance of water  also, this year’s BlogActionDay them is WATER  and all bloggers world over are invited to have their say.