By Kampala Post Reporter
ENTEBBE. The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has said she wants to identify with the Uganda National Students’ Association (UNSA) but only if they can be the transformation force in the country.
“Your generation must have the burden to change the quality of life of the people in Uganda, and you must start with your own families and neighbours”, the First Lady told the UNSA leaders during a meeting she held with them at State House Entebbe on Tuesday.
The UNSA leaders who comprised the National Executive Committee (NEC) members and staff of the national UNSA Secretariat were meeting their line Minister to update her about their activities since they took over office in February 2018 and their plans for the remaining time of their tenure which ends in October 2018. The meeting was also attended by Senior Officials from the Education Ministry led by the Under-Secretary Finance and Administration Aggrey Kibenge.
Among the activities the UNSA for 2018 has so far done include a nationwide sensitization of students in schools and institutions of higher learning on HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases, dangers of teenage pregnancy, and encouraging them to abstain from sex and to stay in school. They have so far covered the Districts of Karamoja, Bugisu, Bukedi, Sebei and Busoga sub-regions.
The First Lady commended the UNSA leaders for the spirit of caring for their peers in the country and said that what she desires is to see a generation of youth who not only think about themselves but also look out for what they can do individually to help others and can work to achieve what they need rather than beg.
“Your generation must start to think of what you will plant as a seed in your own people and influence at least two people to become better. By this you would have done a great service to God and to your people”, she added.
The First Lady discouraged the trend of Associations always living in debt and waiting on Government to intervene and urged the UNSA leaders to be the change agents of this negative mindset. “We need a whole generation of people who will detest and fight the current way of life and give hope to the hopeless”, she said.
In response to the request by UNSA, presented by the President of the Association Jothan Yamurebire Burobuto, for financial support towards their proposal of a project they wanted to do countrywide, Mrs. Museveni regretted that the Ministry of Education cannot support this venture because it still has monumental challenges that the sector budget does not cover.
She encouraged them to always consider working with communities whenever they have such good ideas and advised them to take this good project they had in mind to communities because they have a role to play in the educat5ion of their children. She added that Government emphasizes the need for every household to have an income so that parents can cater for such needs for their children. “Uganda is one of the blessed countries on Planet Earth and it is not difficult to earn an income if one is committed, but our people spend most of the time doing nothing”, she argued.
The UNSA leadership requested the Ministry of Education and Sports authorities to prevail over the headteachers of schools and tertiary institutions who have adamantly refused to remit the subscription fee of Uganda Shilling 2,000 per student in a Secondary School, Tertiary Institute and University to their Association. They said this has contributed to UNSA’s failure to implement the planned activities and the association accruing debts. The Uganda National Students Association is a democratically elected students council which acts as a voice and support for students in post primary academic institutions in Uganda.
Members also requested the Ministry to consider involving UNSA in the Ministry’s activities, pointing out that they can support career guidance, engage with their peers to avoid strikes and uprisings and also amplify messages from the Ministry. UNSA called for harmonization of the different sexual harassment policies in the various universities into one National Sexual Harassment Policy in order to close all the loopholes.