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Government Urged To Integrate Agricultural Models In Schools

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A section of teachers and parents from Sheema district recently appealed to the Government to ensure that all primary schools in Uganda teach agriculture and other models to enable pupils be equipped with the knowledge on commercial farming.

Robert Namurinda Karyongo, a parent at Rwabutura Primary School in Sheema municipality, said the Government should make it mandatory for all primary schools to have agricultural projects being managed by pupils.

“This will prepare them to actively participate in commercial agriculture and get to know that even if they don’t get employed, they can sustain themselves through agriculture by growing high value crops such as cabbages, tomatoes, dodo and crops like coffee and bananas,” Karyongo said.

He added that such projects at school help reduce on expenditure since food can be readily available for pupils and teaching staffs.

This call was made on during the launch of an agribusiness scheme at Rwabutura Primary School by the Rotary Club of Kampala South in partnership with the Rotary Club of Kabwohe and Kampala Springs. This was in memory of Aggrey Kankunda, who was a senior rotarian with passion for agriculture.

The project will involve running a coffee garden of about two acres, zero-grazing of two heifers, a modern banana plantation on an acre, as well as gardens for tomatoes, cabbages and dodo.

Rose Akantorana, the headteacher of Rwabutura Primary School, said the scheme shall help the pupils practice hands-on agriculture.

“Running projects at school which are managed by pupils themselves helps them to acquire skills in agriculture which will help to sustain themselves in future,” Akantorana said.

She noted that before schools were closed due to COVID-19, the vegetables such as dodo they would get from the gardens which were being run by pupils would be fed on pupils to improve their nutrition.  

Charles Odaga, the president of Rotary Club of Kampala South, said this pilot project is targeting about 12 primary schools in Uganda for the first phase and later will rolled out to other schools.

“We came up with this project to take on late Kankunda’s passion he had for agriculture and died before fulfilling his dream. We shall commit our resources to this project until it materialises to empower pupils with agronomic practices at an early stage,” Odaga said.

Dickson Kateshumba, the MP for Sheema Municipality, noted that the project is in line with government’s effort to cause socio-economic transformation by transforming people from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.

Kateshumba said the project will act as a yardstick to improve capacity, especially among young generation not only for Sheema district but other neighbouring districts.

“We shall ensure that this project is supported to ensure that it transforms not only the school but the entire community around,” he said.

Aine Katabarwa, the brother to late Kankunda, urged the school administration to ensure that they do not breach the memorandum of understanding about the project so that it serves the intended purpose.

“We shall do routine supervision and any diversion of the funds will tantamount to legal actions,” Katabarwa said.

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