Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Schools under the Universal Secondary Education-USE program are likely to skip the national secondary school music, dance and drama-MDD competitions due lack of resources, the head teachers have warned.
The national MDD competitions, which were officially launched in Kampala on Monday, are meant to allow students to show case their musical talents. However, most USE schools are likely to miss the competitions, which are scheduled to start on July 1 due to lack of funds.
The Association of Secondary School Head teachers of Uganda-ASSHU, notes that several schools are kept away from the competition due to the funds involved. On average, Shillings 8 million is needed to pay trainers, buy, costumes and music instruments and facilitate the competitors.
Martin Obore Okiria, the head teacher Ngora High School and national chairperson ASSHU, says that most USE schools are going to find it very expensive to join the competitions.
Catherine Onen, the head teacher of Kitante Hill School, says in addition to buy instruments and costumes, they spend a lot of money hiring trainers. They want government to train Music trainers so that each school has one.
Each government aided school depending on its size receives Shillings 150,000 to cater for co-curricular activities like sports and MDD.
According to the Education ministry, the money is meant to supplement the costs of such activities and not fund them fully.
Aggrey Kibenge, the Undersecretary Ministry of Education, says that parents and other stake holders need to help government support such activities in schools.
Kibenge says this year; government has provided an additional Shillings 120million for the national competitions. According to the organizing committee, an estimated 700M Shillings is needed to organize this year’s competition but only Shillings 200million is available.
The funds are meant to cater for the regional competitions and the nationals. While some schools might not be able to participate due to financial constraints, some are just unwilling to do so.
David Mugisa, the MDD Coordinator Ministry of Education, says that even schools with capacity to fund competitions don’t participate. He says some schools look at the competition as time wasting with very little value to add onto the academic performance of their students.
According to Mugisa, less than 100 out of more than 200 schools funded by government, participate in the competitions.
This time round 117 schools are expected to participate in the competitions.
This year’s competitions will run between 1-15th June at the school level before they head to the districts between the 8-13 of July.
Regional competitions will take place between July 22-27 and finals 1-7 September. The competitions will be organized under the theme-“Achieving Uganda’s 2040 vision”.