24 January 2013

Uganda: Teachers Told to Fight Drug Abuse

The Minister in charge of general duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, has praised teachers for their role in nurturing children and asked them to fight drug use in schools.

He made the remarks while passing out 618 head teachers of secondary schools and heads of teacher-training institutions at Merryland High School in Entebbe yesterday.

The ceremony marked the end of the National Patriotism Corps Retreat. Kabwegyere noted that there is increasing consumption of drugs in schools.

He observed that teachers, whom he described as transmitters of knowledge, need to take a lead in the fight against drug abuse in institutions of learning.

"Drug use has penetrated our schools to the extent that some of the teachers are involved," Kabwegyere added.

He praised teachers for the role they play in nurturing people in communities and asked them to try to be exemplary to their pupils. Kabwegyere amused the teachers when he said he stopped smoking after he found his former student smoking a pipe in Kenya.

The minister said when he asked his former student why he was smoking, he (the former student) replied that he was trying to be like him.

"From that time I struggled and stopped smoking," Kabwegyere said.

The commissioner for national patriotism clubs, Lt. Col. Henry Masiko, said head teachers, who completed the two-week retreat, were drawn from government and private secondary schools across the country.

He explained that the training, which is the fifth of its kind, aimed at equipping head teachers and heads of teacher-training institutions with patriotism values to facilitate the smooth functioning of patriotism clubs in their schools.

Masiko said the Ministry of Education has directed all schools in the country to integrate patriotism clubs in the annual school calendar as an extra co-curricular activity.

He said since the clubs were launched by President, Yoweri Museveni in 2009, patriotism has greatly contributed to children and teachers' knowledge on the role of patriotism in promoting love, harmony and development in the country.

The teachers hailed the Government for launching the patriotism programme and pledged to impart patriotism values into children.

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