Mixed reactions as Greater Nebbi leaders reject Kyambogo University study center 

By Mike Rwothomio

A section of Stakeholders and community in greater Nebbi are divided following last week’s decision by some leaders to reject the proposal by Kyambogo University to establish a study center at Paidha primary teachers college in the Zombo district. #WhisperEyeNews

During a second engagement meeting that brought together leaders of greater Nebbi, some stakeholders, and officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports to discuss the way forward regarding Paidha primary teachers at the college premises, A section of leaders from greater Nebbi when an idea of Kyambogo university was brought forth for discussion by Assistant commissioner teacher education in the ministry of education and sports Max Okiror, unanimously opted for the P.TC’.s upgrade to core P T.C.

However, Willy Ocaya, a teacher Of Jupumwocu Primary School in Zombo district who totally disagrees with the move urged that,  the decision was made without proper consultation and research.

” As a teacher, I totally disagree with these leaders’ unresearched move, they never even consulted us. Alur community needs a university since we have none. This move is totally biased and unacceptable” Ocaya said 

The District Education officer of Zombo  Nickolas Odeba noted that the Alur subregion has many teachers and the establishment of Kyambogo University study center could bring in options for students than A core primary teachers college being advocated for by greater Nebbi leaders.

However, Odeba added that for them they are technocrats that go by what the government plans for the people.

” We really need to rethink this decision, because a university would bring in more options here after all most of the tutors here at the college might even lack qualification for Core P.T.C but all in all we shall go by the views of the government since we are technocrats” Odeba added.

A source from the Nebbi church of Uganda’s education department who preferred anonymity disagreed with the leader’s move before proposing that the college be divided to host both affirmative action and Kyambogo University study center.

” I strongly disagree with our leader’s proposal of rejecting Kyambogo University study center here. As an Alur community, we are less privileged because we have few institutions. We shall really regret this in the future. Let them accept this facility to be shared by the college and  Kyambogo University ” He stressed. 

In 2021 When Kyambogo University’s vice-chancellor Professor Elly Katunguka visited Zombo district For a student graduation party, He was requested by the Retired Archbishop of the church of Uganda Dr . Henry Luke Orombi to establish the university branch at the college.

” Please Mr. Katunguka, take over this college, you will have many students from greater West Nile and even D.R.Congo,” Orombi said amidst applause from members of the public and Professor Elly Katunguka promised to look into the proposal later.

In a joint press briefing with journalists from Zombo press association at Gaf apartments in Nebbi municipality, the LC.5 chairpersons of Nebbi and Zombo districts Emmanuel Orombi and Oruna James Oyullu revealed that Kyambogo University had accepted to establish a study center at Paidha primary teachers college, a news that earlier sparked celebrations amongst a sizable number of Alur community.

The leaders added that Kyambogo University had an initial plan of establishing education courses at the study center with a future plan for other courses as well.

Oyungi Mike, A student punched holes in the idea of rejecting Kyambogo University study center at Paidha primary teachers college saying” The university was a better option because it would offer other courses for students in future than a core primary teachers college that will only emphasize on teaching course”.

Established in 1982, Paidha primary teachers college sits on 80.9 hectares of land in Dwonga ward Paidha town council,  is among the 23 noncore Primary teachers college across the country, government is to phase out in line with national teacher policy 2019 that recommends only core primary teachers college.

Leaders Say

Meanwhile, the prime minister of ALUR kingdom Opar Lawrence Angala maintained that they are not against Kyambogo University’s proposal of establishing a study center in Alur Land but they request the government to upgrade Paidha Primary Teachers college to a Core primary teachers college to serve the less privileged Alur community.

Opar stressed that as Alur kingdom, they are ready to offer land for  Kyambogo University to establish their own Study center.

” We are not against Kyambogo University study center plan, but as greater Nebbi leaders we request the government to upgrade this college. Phasing it off completely will make us less privileged since we shall not have any teaching institution around here, if Kyambogo University needs land, we are ready to offer them land to establish their own Study center but not Paidha primary teachers college” Opar noted

The Bishop of Nebbi church of Uganda Rt Rev Pons Ozelle Awinjo, relatedly proposed the idea of another space allocation for Kyambogo University to establish their own study center besides placing it at Paidha primary teachers college.

The Bishop adds that it would be costly for students in greater Nebbi to move to distant places like Arua, Gulu, Kampala, etc in search of teacher education thus the need for Paidha primary teachers college upgrade by the government.

” We have not rejected Kyambogo University but for now, I agree with the proposal of the Alur kingdom Prime minister and as the Diocese, we can offer Land to Kyambogo University to establish their own Study center. We really need the college for affirmative action” Ozelle Said 

The assistant commissioner of teacher education in the Ministry of Education and Sports Max Okiror, who during the meeting revealed Kyambogo University’s early approach to the ministry about their proposed plan for the college takeover assured Greater Nebbi leaders of tabling their concerns before the ministry.

“There is nothing much I can say for now, I will table the proposal of these leaders before the ministry since they don’t need Kyambogo University study center but instead A core P.T.C” Okiror noted

The Greater Nebbi subregion that comprises the Districts of Pakwach, Nebbi, and Zombo has only three notable institutions that include the soon-to-be-phased Paidha primary teachers college, Ora technical institute Warr and Uganda College of Commerce Pakwach.

Officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports with leaders of greater Nebbi after the second consultation meeting on the way forward for Paidha primary teachers college at the college premises recently.

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