The students protested against an education designed to further the purposes of the apartheid regime.
The brutal response of the apartheid security agencies to the unarmed students’ protests resulted in the death of a number of them.
Kampala Kids Club, an initiative that has rehabilitated many street child and school drop-outs in Kanyaya, one of the city suburbs, has appreciated several stake holders and government for ensuring that the children in the country live a better and pleasing life.
Simon Wambayo, the Executive Director, tasked president Museveni to drop the idea of scraping the UPE program that has helped to offer education to the less privileged child in the country.
Wambayo noted that the UPE program has been very profound in rehabilitating several street children hence providing a brighter future and a life worth living.
While addressing a gathering during the recent Heroes day celebrations in Mityana, president Museveni noted that the UPE program would rather be scrapped and funds injected in more productive programs, if it is not serving its intended purpose.
A perturbed Museveni wondered how a project initiated by his government to benefit the poor could be commercialized to the extent that pupils are nowadays paying fees as was the case before 1996.
He blamed this on parents in the country who have failed to play their part as was agreed at the commencement of the free education program.
Wambayo, however, called upon government to instead introduce new education reforms that are more learners’ centered and vocational in nature, providing a room for job creation other than majority remaining job seekers as it is currently.
Wambayo further encouraged all civil society organisations to join government in boosting education in the country by setting up several schools for different vulnerable groups.
“There is still weakness in areas like a need to expand on the accessibility of education to all vulnerable groups, to improve on the quality of education by making it more relevant in this globally changing world and need for policies that will ensure free pre-primary education.”
He has however condemned the act of preventing pregnant students from continuing with their studies by schools administrators.
“In an effort to foster girl child education, such girls that have got pregnant should be allowed chance to continue with their studies so as to achieve the millennium goal.”
This year’s celebrations were conducted under the theme: “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa.”
The DAC presents an opportunity for all Stake-holders on children’s rights, including government, non-governmental and international entities, to reflect on issues affecting children in the region. The DAC is an opportune moment to take stock of the progress made and the outstanding challenges towards the full realization of the rights of children in the region.