BY TIMOTHY KALYEGIRA
I hate to be the person who always rains on people’s parades and dumps wet blankets onto their beds just when life seems so promising.
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
UNEB has just released the national 2019 O’Level results as the usual celebration, posting childrens’ results online and schools and parents jubilating gets underway.
Let me ask a question, or a few questions:
a) Where do all those “radio candidates”, the aggregate 4, the eight-in-eight at S.4, the AAAA stars at A’Level go after their brief appearance on TV and the front pages of newspapers?
How many candidates who topped the country or their districts in these UNEB exams go on to become visible or influential figures in public life years later?
b) Why is it that coming to 60 years since independence, 80 percent of Uganda’s export earnings still come from agriculture as they did in the 1940s and 1950s?
Raw coffee grown by bare-footed rural farmers remains the single leading export product, at 22 percent of all export earnings.
Why is it that not a single one of Uganda’s leading export earners is of an industrial or intellectual type?
c) Why do we not feel the impact on the export economy by our secondary schools that go back over 100 years (Gayaza High School, Mbarara High School, St. Mary’s College Kisubi, Busoga College Mwiri, King’s College Budo, etc?)
We have all these expensive international schools in Kampala but they too don’t have any impact on the structure of the economy.
Clearly, our CANTAB or UNEB exams or the educational system or our society have a problem.
So much money poured by parents and guardians into educating their children, but none of this is reflected in the country’s economic output.
In my next post I’ll focus on Amazon, the world’s most valuable brand and one of the world’s largest companies by market capitalisation.
I will discuss what drives Amazon and why, when we understand what drives and shapes Amazon, we shall, hopefully, start to understand why even if all candidates who sit our P.7 and S.4 UNEB exams were to pass in first grade, Uganda would still have coffee as its main export earner.
We would see why we would continue to need Chinese to build our roads and Europeans and Americans fund our social services even if all our children were to score AAAA at S.6.