UCU hosts 2021 Church of Uganda head teachers’ conference
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2021/03/ucu-hosts-2021-church-of-uganda-head-teachers-conference/
Story By John Semakula; Photos by Sam Tatambuka
French Painter Alfred Agache says, “Saying thank you is more than good manners; it is good spirituality.” Agache’s quote had added sense when Ugandan head teachers of educational institutions under the Anglican Church of Uganda committed to prompt payment of the foundation fee to the Church during their annual conference held at the Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Mukono, from February 3rd -6th, 2021
The foundation fees are paid in recognition of the role the Church played in establishing the schools, which are now managed in partnership with the government of Uganda.
Since 1887, the Anglican Church has founded and owns over 40% of Uganda’s schools – 2,000 pre-primary schools, 5,200 primary schools, 630 secondary schools and six universities.
The prompt payment of the foundational fee was part of the 14 resolutions the head teachers, under their umbrella organization, Church of Uganda Heads of Education Institutions Conference (COUHEIA), made at the conference.
They also resolved to uphold Christian values in their schools, by being exemplary and further agreed to be steadfast in the fight against Covid-19 in the Church-founded schools.
The conference that attracted over 100 participants from different parts of Uganda, was held under the theme, Improving Professional Training of Teachers for Better Learning.
The Rev. Paul Kakooza, the head of Church of Uganda’s directorate of education, thanked UCU for hosting COUHEIA’s annual conferences without attrition. Kakooza noted that the ambience at UCU makes head teachers look forward to attending their annual conference whenever they receive invitations.
“The natural beauty at UCU, punctuated with a well-designed landscape and buildings makes the university one of the most beautiful places to stay in,” Kakooza said.
He thanked the deputy vice-chancellors in charge of academics and that in charge of finance and administration; the chaplaincy and the entire UCU team for the “splendiferous” working relationship during the conference.
The head teachers also congratulated UCU’s new Vice-chancellor, Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, upon assuming the office. Mushengyezi was installed as UCU’s third vice-chancellor in August last year. He attended the opening and closing sessions of the four-day conference held at the UCU Mukono campus’ Nkoyoyo Hall.
Mushengyezi told the head teachers that UCU was ready to partner with them, to take short courses to Church-founded schools in a bid to impart more skills on the teachers.
He noted that the Faculty of Education and the Bishop Tucker School of Theology and Divinity had quality short courses that suit those who teach in high school.
The closing ceremony was graced by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu and the ambassador of Germany to Uganda, Matthias Schauer, who was the chief guest.
Kaziimba asked government to prioritize the teaching of Christian Religious Education and to support the section of the chaplaincy in schools. He also appealed to government to expedite the reopening of schools, arguing that the move will save young girls who are getting unwanted pregnancies during the Covid-19 lockdown in Uganda. Uganda Police records show that at least 547 girls were defiled in Kampala from April to July 2020, when the country was under lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Learners in the final years at the different levels of education in Uganda returned to school in October last year. Starting March 1 this year, those in Primary Six, Senior Three and Senior Five also will join those already at school as the rest continue with homeschooling.
Ambassador Schauer commended those who are teaching learners during the Covid-19 period, saying that he has “enormous respect for them.” He also urged teachers to be inviting to the learners since they are the latter’s role models in the absence of their parents at school.
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