- The slots per district will vary from seven students to twenty depending on the population
- Over 320,000 senior six leavers have already been trained under the programe since its establishment seven years ago as per section 29 of the National Objectives Act
- Some of the institutions resist the training and are not yet covered by the programme, lack of provision for patriots in the national curriculum and limited resources to manage the huge number of clients
By Candia Stephen
Kampala-Over 1,000 Senior Six leavers from all the districts in Uganda are set to undergo a three weeks Patriotism Training Course at Luzira Prisons Academy and Training College.
Speaking during a Press briefing at the Uganda Media Center on Friday, the Commissioner National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps (NSPC) Brigadier Patrick Mwesigye said the training is aimed at guiding and equipping the students with capacity to manage transition from secondary patriotism to post-secondary study groups.
“In this training, students will be taken through theoretical patriotism and mind set transformation, governance, social and lifestyle topics and personal development as well as welfare,” Brigadier Mwesigye said.
According to the commissioner, the training scheduled to kick off on Saturday April 28th till May 15 2018 will be opened by Minister of Education, Janet Museveni.
“As we train these students, we are sure they will be better students able to take on national challenges in life, form a core of students to perpetrate patriotism message to the citizenry and prepare them for new environment in higher institutions of learning,” Brigadier Mwesigye added.
Commissioner National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps Brigadier Patrick Mwesigye speaking to reporters at the Uganda Media Center on Friday. Photo by Candia Stephen.
It is widely known that during the past regimes of Dr Apollo Milton Obote, Ugandans had love for their country but the loss of hope and trust in the current regime forced the government to start the Patriotism clubs that were formed in the schools. Although, there is still little impact of the formation of the patriotism clubs as strikes against school administrations have continued in the schools.
However Brigadier Mwesigye further noted that since the last seven years of its operationalization, patriotism training meant to instill the love of nation and willingness to serve voluntarily has been slowed down by negative perception among Ugandans and huge clientele of over 9-million secondary students with 200,000 teachers and limited stakeholder involvement to drive the programe forward.
Despite the challenges, the Brigadier says patriotism training has been able to re-orient ideologies of the youth towards their country and embed patriotism in their educational institutions curriculum.
He also added that those advancing negative attitudes towards the programme are not part of the sitting government and further dismissed reports that the applicants are often subjected to rigorous security vetting, making it politically a biased programme.