Saturday, March 30, 2013


The meeting which had been organized by Rwenzori consortium for civic competence in partnership with karambi action for life improvement and member’s from the parliament took place on 28th /03/2013.
 The one day meeting organized in two places that is in Ntara sub county headquarters and kamwenge town council in the catholic social hall attracted over 300 individuals from the neighbouring villages of kicwamba, mahyoro, Nyabani and the local government staffs.whereby
Residents of Kamwenge district who attended the consultative meeting on the Marriage and Divorce Bill asked the members of parliament to remove the clause of marital rape from the bill.
Two Honorable Women Mps for Kamwenge and Kyeggegwa responding upon peoples reactions
Speaker after speaker during a consultative meeting at Ntara sub-county headquarters by the Kamwenge woman MP Dorothy Kashaiza pointed out that the inclusion of marital rape clause in the bill will cause more cases of domestic violence, she further noted that people are not sensitized on the types of marriages Article 26 of the Ugandan constitution allows every one irrespective of sex to own a property and most people especially women do not know their rights to owning properties.
RWECO member MR Jimmy Odyeki proposing the change of the title

and One of the participants MR Buswera kakwenzire the retired priest  of Ntara Sub county said that marital rape has to be excluded because it will be an advocacy for polygamy as men who will be punished by it will seek to marry other women and abandon their first wives and does not support the refund of bride price..
Majority of the people said that there is nothing called marital rape in their families only that most couples have not been sensitized on the value of conjugal rights.
The residents of Kamwenge also recommended that parliament should abolish the name bride price and replace it with marriage gifts because it has been realized that most parents have taken the marriage of their daughters as business.
YosintaKasembo, the vice Chairperson LC 3 of Ntara sub-county said that with the bride price being paid, the sons of the poor people will not marry the women of their choice because they cannot afford the demands of their in-laws.
The residents also called for the deletion of the cohabitation clause, the issue of Divorce and that widow inheritance should not be regulated by the government.
They also asked the MPs to increase the age of consent to marriage by a man and woman to twenty one years.
Also rejected by the people of Kamwenge is the title of the Bill as they urged that Divorce should not be included adding that it will be the cause of problems because it provides for the contentious issue of sharing property.
The Kamwenge woman MP Dorothy kashaizas aid that parliament will base on the majority recommendations on the different clause because every MP has been in their constituency carrying out consultations on the matter.
in the middle kyeggegwa woman mp presenting an article from the Constitution of Uganda ACT
 She was accompanied by the Kyegegwa Woman MP Flavia Kabehenda Rwabuhoro who said that the church has failed to protect families a reason why the state has come in, their main intention is not to promote divorce but to protect the masses from conflicts therefore calls upon religious leaders to preach against divorce in her words she said; “I have never divorced, never beaten and does not want to divorce at all”.
She therefore asked parents to always express love to their children so that they can be able to settle in their new families.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

70 per cent of pupils can’t read or count

70 per cent of pupils can’t read or count

Share Bookmark Print Rating
Pupils in Namutumba District being taught under a tree.
Pupils in Namutumba District being taught under a tree. PHOTO BY PPU  

Majority of primary school-going children across the country cannot read or deal with a simple arithmetic, according to Uganda National Examinations Board’s latest report.
The 2012 National Assessment of Progress in Education findings show that pupils in Primary Six from 68 per cent of the districts surveyed did not reach the proficiency in numeracy [See list on this page].
They were even worse in literacy skills in English language as the report records 75 per cent of the districts failing to acquire the required proficiency rate of 50 per cent at the same level.
For instance, the report shows that P6 pupils have difficulties in doing long division, measuring and drawing angles and length and rounding off decimals to the nearest whole numbers.
The pupils also find it hard to read a story and other texts and comprehend to be able to answer questions, identify opposites and write relevant composition with correct format.
However, this was different at lower primary where at least 81 per cent of the districts have their pupils in Primary Three able to read, count and write. Here, pupils could count ones and tens, add or subtract numbers, without carrying or borrowing.
A total of 1,232 primary schools were selected from the 112 districts across the country and assessment conducted in P3 and P6 in numeracy and literacy in English while 524 secondary schools were considered for the S2 English language, Mathematics and Biology tests.
Mr Mathew Bukenya, Uneb executive secretary, on Thursday reported that students are trained to cram instead of teaching them to learn, a practice he said had infiltrated the teaching of English language and is a threat to future creative writing.
“Many students have difficulty writing their own compositions. Instead, they resort to cramming those already written and supplied by their teachers or copying those written in text books with a view of passing exams,” Mr Bukenya said.
At the bottom of the list
The districts of Alebtong, Amolatar, Amuru, Bukomansimbi, Bukwo, Buliisa, Dokolo, Gomba, Kaberamaido, Kamuli, Kole, Kween,, Kyankwanzi, Lamwo, Luuka, Manafwa, Mbale, Nwoya, Oyam, Pallisa, Serere and Zombo had very few of their pupils in both classes rated proficient.
Only Mbarara District had the majority of their pupils in both P3 and P6 rated proficient with over 75 per cent.
“There was lower rating at P6 compared to the rating at P3,” Mr Amos Opaman, Uneb senior examinations officer, said. The officials attributed the challenges to the sudden increase in the number of districts from 80 in 2009 to 112. They said there is rising school enrolment which doesn’t match the available infrastructure.
At Senior Two, students’ achievement in all the three subjects; English language, Mathematics and Biology was below average. For instance, the students had difficulty in reading a text, using it to derive contextual meaning of words and phrases, write sequenced and relevant compositions.
“Students still find difficulty in answering questions requiring critical thinking and practical skills,” Mr Bukenya said.
Mr Opaman said 48.3 per cent reached the desired level of proficiency in English language, 43.3 per cent in Mathematics and only 17.7 per cent was attained in Biology.
He attributed the poor performance to lack of teachers and poor facilitation to those available advising government to resolve issues concerning teachers’ welfare in order to promote their efficiency while at work.
It was also noted that private schools performed better than their counterparts in government schools.

Accessed from Daily Monitor on Tuesday 26th March, 2013 from:

Monday, March 25, 2013

And the I.C.T wave finally sweeps Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo

“Enhancing civic competence for social accountability” has fully taken over Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa Districts. The four days activity for the two districts saw them fully connected after setting up the two E-society centers.
District Staff Kyegegwa expressing their gratitude after the set up of the center.
The activity that started from 19th to 22nd of March 2013 left both districts in jubilation as internet connectivity and trainings would be done at ease at any time. This is also the same project that will enable information sharing to all stake holders in the districts and all other international partners through the accompanied online platforms.
Staff at work during the set up
For instance kyegegwa can be accessed at and Kyenjojo at .
Speaking to the District planner Kyegegwa Mr.Kutesa Andrew who is also the focal person for this project, he expressed gratitude for the project in the District and thanked RWECO through RIC-NET for having availed such a big project to them.
Speaking to the C.A.O and Deputy C.A.O kyenjojo shortly before the set up, they expressed interest in the project and committed their full support to the project.
D.I.O Kyenjojo Mr. Kamara giving his remarks shortly after the set up of the center.
The District Information officer kyenjojo Mr.Kamara also in the same way appreciated the efforts of RWECO/RIC-NET for having established such a big project to the district. He also emphasized that the project would enable timely information sharing to the entire community.
Just like the already established centers, Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo will offer same services like;
·         Free computer literacy trainings
·         Access to internet
·         Updates of the online platforms (websites, e-libraries) among others
At work


A policy according to the Vice LCV Chairperson Kabarole district, who participated in this event, is a plan for action. In the bid to deliver services to it’s people the government of Uganda has set policies for the different sectors to guide their actions.
With the mandate to compliment government programs, RWECO conducted a participatory policy assessment in the water, health and education sectors; the assessment that was conducted in 10 sub counties  in five districts in the Rwenzori region aimed at linking the existing policies to service delivery  vis -a – viz the government manifesto (2011 - 2016).
Ø  Other aims were to find out feedback from the users of services in Education, health, and water sectors;
Ø  To find out practical actions that communities, local authorities, line ministries and other stakeholders can take to improve delivery of basic services at community level;
Ø  To come up with suggestions on policy alternatives on delivery of basic services in the education
Several findings were compiled, analyzed and summarized into a policy brief that RWECO launched on 19/03/13 at Gardens restaurant in Fort portal. 
Speaking at the launch meeting the RWECO Coordinator, Jimmy Odyek welcomed members to the meeting, highlighted it’s purpose and also welcomed Mr. Misusera Mukasa the lead consultant in the assessment to share some key findings in the report. They included;

 Photo showing copy of the Policy brief paper

 Education Sector
Ø  Poor performance in PLE Exams e.g Kichwamba btn 2009-2011 never got any first grades 
Ø  Bad staff welfare including ongoing professional development.
Ø  High girl child drop- out rate from  school
Ø  Insufficient fund releases
Ø  Automatic promotion; 100% of respondents described it as a bad policy that contributed to children’s failure in the exams. They added that children do not work hard enough to get promoted because it is automatic
Ø  60% of the schools visited noted poor parents support towards their children’s education
Ø  Irregular inspection of schools e.g - Kidudu –Kyenjojo, Hope in Kabarole, Kichwamba in Kamwenge
Ø  Facilities available in the school, number of classrooms, desks, latrine stances, essential text books;- Others were average except for Nyaruroma
Ø  PTA/SMCs exist but not doing the rightful roles
Health Sector
Ø  25% of the HC compounds visited were well maintained however Examples of poorly maintained Health units include Nyahuka HC4- Bundibugyo, and Kabaka in Kasese.
Ø  All health units visited were open at the time of visit which was a good indicator.
Ø  Understaffing in all the HCs visited.
Ø  75% of the health units surveyed had essential drugs.
Ø  Inadequate PHC releases.
Ø  Quality of Health facility structure: 42% were good, 50% were fair and 8 % were poor.
Ø  Lack of basic structures; placenta pits, kitchens, pit latrines, rubbish bins was observed in most HCs.
Ø  29% of the HCs had good houses, 39% were average and 25% were very poor.
Ø  58% of HCs surveyed had some form of power although quite many had only solar power which was fairly good. 
Ø  Prevalence of immunizable diseases was at 33% and yet services were available. Poor staff welfare.
Water Sector

Ø  52% functional, 18% occasional 30% non functional (Nyabusozi in Nyantungo SC Kyenjojo, Rutorwa- Busoro SC Kabarole .

Ø  Quantity of water (yield) was at 52% good, 39% was average 9% poor

Ø  73% of the water points committees had never been trained on their roles and responsibilities.

Ø  Quality of water. 64% said it was good, 13% poor, 23% was fair.

Ø  Usability of water facility- 74%  were congested and 26% were not.

Ø  Management of Water Point e.g. (presence of a caretaker). 32% were poorly maintained e.g Karaphael- katooke town council- Kyenjojo, Kangora borehole in Kamwenge, Kakoga Shallow well –Mubuku 2, Karusandara-Kasese

Ø  Payment of user fees- 68% of the respondents said users do not pay

Ø  Construction near pit latrines- 23% were only 100 meters away, which was dangerous and only 45% were far by 500 meters plus.

Ø  Catchment areas 59% serve between 3-4 villages
Wholesomely the assessment noted that, it is evident that certain Education, Health and Water policy provisions are not met. Whereas there is a big stride to meet some of them say in the provision of safe water to the people, management and mantainnace of those points has had challenges. And that increased enrollment has been achieved while at the same time performance and maintenance of children in school remains a challenge.   It is therefore imperative upon central and local governments to ensure that the gaps pointed out in the policy provision are worked upon.
Mr. Mukasa presenting at
Commenting on the findings, members thanked Mr. Mukasa for the information and appreciated that most of the findings were true although districts were doing all they can to address the service delivery challenges mentioned above.
For instance the Vice LCV Chairperson Kabarole explained that Kabarole had recruited more teachers, was conducting routine immunization, is building more infrastructures, although he decried other outstanding challenges like poor road network in the district, corruption and late release of funds.
He however thanked CSOs for always complimenting government programs, “NGOs work as blood vessels linking and developing every sector, in fort portal alone 7% of the district budget I funded by NGOs; the contribution of NGOs can never be taken for granted

Presiding over the function as Chief Guest, the RDC Kabarole district, also thanked RWECO for their efforts in monitoring public expenditure and ensuring that serves are effectively delivered to the communities. He challenged the people in attendance to ensure that what has been discussed is greatly achieved by the people they represent. The RDC regretted to note that some rich people in the community are mean so much so that they build so many  big storied houses and buy so many expensive cars yet they cannot out of good will build even a two roomed staff house for HCs or schools in their communities of which their own relatives are beneficiaries. 
The RDC crowned the meeting with the launch of the Policy brief paper.  (Copies of this policy brief  can be got at the RWECO member offices; KALI,GHRD,RIC-NET,RIDE-Africa and RWECO Coordinating Unit) 
The Kabarole RDC together with the LCV Vice Chaipersons Bundibugyo (left) and Kabarole (right) districts launch the Policy brief

The meeting was attended by approximately 35 persons from the Rwenzori region; they included District Executive Committee members, District speakers, CSO and media representatives, and RWECO staff members.

Monday, March 18, 2013


At the offices of young and Empowered (YAWE) located in Rwengoma, women, youth, development partners assembled to celebrate the international women’s day  in kabarole District.RIC-NET as  an invited partner  attended alongside other CSOs of RIDE-Africa, KRC, Kabarole District NGOs/CBOs Association and the District community development officer. 
  While listening to the speech of the Executive Director YAWE, Mr. Akooraebirungi noted that the organization was   founded on the principles of psycho-social support after he realized the need to further support the HIV/AIDs positive women and children; he mentioned the different programs offered as:
ICT trainings for the youth, talent development, handcrafts making, diabetes screening, HIV testing and counseling among others
 He called upon the community members to contribute to the health charges that are as low as 2000shs-3000shs for sustainability purposes. He appreciated the Australian based funders for enabling YAWE secure land and pay for staff to run the daily activities.
The day was graced with music dance and drama, Brass band from the YAWE talent program, presentation of gifts from the CA-Bikes (American based NGO), that awarded active students and pupils from far places with Bikes, free HIV/Aids  testing & counseling  services.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Ms. Medrace (seated) during the school visit at Alang Primary school, Kole District, Feb, 2013
  The Education Local Expertise Centre Uganda was founded by Edukans in the year 2010 as its front desk country office in Uganda. Edukans is a Netherlands based development organization with a unique focus on basic education. It recognizes that today 75 million children worldwide do not attend school although every child is entitled to high quality basic education.
The ELECU works with partners in Teso, Lango, and Rwenzori sub region to implement activities in support of improvement of quality basic education. The programme addresses gaps in community participation, literacy, and numeracy, vulnerable children and teachers’ capacity and motivation. In all, there is a strong link to conflict and peace building, food and nutrition and economic empowerment among others.  
In 2012, Edukans through the ICCO Alliance funded partners to implement programmes for an initial period of one year. RWECO which is a consortium of four Non Governmental Organizations (KALI, GHFRD, RICNET and IWDP) in conjunction with CfSU are in partnership and running EPP project with a goal: Improved literacy and proficiency levels in English language of 9000 primary school pupils and 450 teachers by 2014.  
1.0   Theme : Community involvement for improved quality basic education
All Edukans partners work directly or indirectly with communities to enhance the quality of education for all within the country’s policy  frame- work (Education Act; NDP;JAF;QEI)2 .

2.0   Objectives

1.       Exposure to different education initiatives focusing (among others) on increased and improved community participation in primary education;
        2. Interaction and consultation- also with district local government representatives- around challenges and opportunities, lessons learned, and good practices of on- going and new initiatives by Edukans partners.
Further strengthen strategic cooperation and complementarily among and between Edukans partners, district, local governments and Ugandan partner organization activities.   
Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence, on having received an invitation letter from Education Expertise Centre Uganda, on 25th/February/2013, two EPP programme officers :( RWECO, SfCU) ms Balira Medrace and Ms. Kamba Lydia respectively travelled to Lira to attend a 3 days’ Learning and Exchange visits for Edukans Partners. Thus: reporting day 25th, and arrived at exactly 5:49pm, closure was 28th at 3:37pm.
The Learning and Exchange visit and Program Review participants were hosted by Local Expertise Centre at Hotel Margherita Palace in Lira town. 
Ms. Connie (left) appreciating work done by CEASOP with the community in Kole district, Feb, 2013
 The Learning visit and programme Review started well on 26th Feb. at 8:30 am with a warm welcome and opening remarks by Connie Alezuyo , including brief introduction of the  participants as well as taking a cup of tea and   a brief on field visits and thereafter went to the field in two groups under two leading teams,  namely :    CEASOP, and TPO/POBEDAM. Group 1 departed for TPO/PODAM site at Alebtong and  group 2 went to CEASOP main vocational training center.
The major aim of the field visits is to enable all Edukans Partners access Rural Outreach Centres in Lango sub-region and see what is being done to ensure effective community participation in education delivery and how best to and collaboratively address the gaps in community participation, literacy, and numeracy, vulnerable children and teachers’ capacity and motivation which led to high quality basic education.
CEASOP Vocation training centre recruits drop outs especially primary pupils and vulnerable children plus orphans in and around Lira town. The institution provide basic skills such as; constraction and  brick laying and concrete practice, carpentry and joinery, catering, tailoring and motor vehicle mechanics, black smith metal fabrication, hair dressing, knitting business skills, bee keeping/apiary/horticulture and home management.
At 2:00pm, the participants visited  Alang primary school in Kole district and interacted with staff,  members of school management committee on school performance who appreciated the role played by CEASOP as : construction of a pit latrine, sensitization of parents about their roles as in providing scholastic materials and lunch for their children which in turn increased their concentration thus improved performance that enabled school reach  to a height of one pupil getting first grade, promising to get as many grades as possible the sky is the limit.   
-The strategies applied to improve the vocational training are: -village loans savings and schemes association.
-Use of technical personnel/ local resources to provide skills and follow up of training.
-Trade survey to aid trainers train on only needed skills within the community.
CEASOP has one major training center and three, outreach canters which have led to:
-Acquisition of skills that has led to improvement in trainees incomes for instance Abeja Brenda and Among Ruth of Kole training center testified that  parents give them clothes which they make into finished fabrics. Also brick laying skills acquired by Mary Rose and Okello Jimmy who have built a titanic house told their true story of how they earn Shs.8000  per day.   

-Shortage of sawing machines, show cased by eight machines being used by 21 trainees.
-High costs because trainees pay Shs.130,000  plus food items which is not always paid in time.
-Lack of teaching-learning materials like clothing, cookery ingredients, plus instructional materials as: designing chats with different modern fashions.
-Shortage of instructors especially in catering and home management department.
-Duration period for training basic skills is too long (2years)

-CEASOP in collaboration with ELECU should provide more tailoring machines to both main and outreach centres.
 Provide trainees with a variety of learning materials as fashion charts.  
 -Reduce on training period for basic skills instead introduce better training manual in patterning and designing to meet the community demand
The workshop was adjourned on 28th Feb./ 2013 with administrative closing remarks by Connie as follows:
-MOSIQUE  activities will start in March 6, 2013 and will deal with tutors (monitoring & sharing in education)
-Concerning ICT, the Donor (Jennifer) is likely to arrive on 18th march 2013 and will be visiting EPP and SfCU in the Rwenzori region.
A two day training workshop in April most likely he first week o last week the month in the Rwenzori region.
-Selection of  STAR SCHOOLS among EPP target schools  
-Edukans Partners to continue exchanging ideas and invite peer feedback. 
-Collect information in EPP target schools about data on school enrollment 2012 PLE results, SMC/ PTA, pupil: teacher ratio, gender and reproductive health (PIACY)
RWECO was given an appreciation for sending in their activity reports and documentation as blog stories, Rwenzori voice in time.

The project on improving the quality of basic education fits well in the National Development Plan and Education Policy priorities. The focus being the child in class and out of class, teacher and parents. The lessons in the first year are a real indication that education needs a holistic  approach other than looking at the child in class only. efforts must be made to follow the child during co-curricular activities.
The exchange visits also made it clear to the participants in integrating life schools and vocation education in the curriculum. A number of lessons were learned during the exchange visit. The recommendations of the exchange visit and sharing should inform the next programming for ELEC and Partners. 

Reported by

Ms. Medrace Balira