Lyantonde — The national anthem should be included on the list of questions presented to Ugandans seeking jobs, Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Sseknadi has advised.
He said most Ugandans cannot sing all the three stanzas of the national anthem, an indicator that they are not patriotic.
Addressing the people of Lyantonde district after launching the Salaama Vocational Education Centre on Monday, Ssekandi said it is mainly pupils in lower primary who can sing the whole anthem.
"That does not show patriotism. According to what I have overheard being suggested by many employers, the national anthem would be among the many questions during interviews for job-seekers," he said.
"Initially, we were supposed to sing the first stanza at national functions and two stanzas whenever the President was present, but when its composer, Prof. George Kakoma, died coupled with the celebrations of Uganda's 50 years of independence, it was suggested that all the three stanzas be sang at all functions. Surprisingly, Ugandans do not know how to sing it fully," he said.
He commended the donors from Canada, who put up the vocational centre estimated at sh4.5b.
"The opening of Salaama Vocational Education Centre is timely in that it is in line with the Government's efforts to vocationalise education in Uganda in order to address skills gaps and problems of youth unemployment," Ssekandi said.
He said the centre would give hope to many children, especially those who can not continue with studies in tertiary institutions.
Salaama Shield Foundation country director Kenneth Barigye said the institute will offer vocational subjects at no cost, but the students would pay back when they get employment.
The centre will offer vocational training in carpentry, bricklaying and agriculture.
Later they will include auto mechanics, hospitality, hotel management, performance theater and also put up students' and teachers' residences.
Lyantonde resident district commissioner Pulkeria Muhindo expressed concern that armed UPDF soldiers assigned to guard farms of government officials had become a great source of insecurity in the district.
Muhindo demanded that the soldiers be withdrawn and taken back to the barracks or be changed from time to time to avoid danger in future.
The Uganda National Anthem
Oh Uganda! may God uphold thee,
We lay our future in thy hand.
Together we'll always stand.
Oh Uganda! the land of freedom.
Our love and labour we give,
And with neighbours all
At our country's call
In peace and friendship we'll live.
Oh Uganda! the land that feeds us
By sun and fertile soil grown.
For our own dear land,
We'll always stand,
The Pearl of Africa's Crown.