Gov’t ‘copies, pastes’ Besigye free laptops idea


Besigye “ideal classroom”

The ministry of Education is planning to supply primary kids with computers after FDC presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye, promised school going children free laptops.

James Mugerwa, the Ministry of Education assistant commissioner in charge of vocational education, made the revelation Wednesday at a feedback workshop organised by Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board for principals of vocational, business and technical institutions and the ministry officials.

Speaking at a rally in Busoga region, Besigye promised to avail laptops for secondary schools students.

He said while a brand new computer costs Shs1.2m, government can afford to spend Shs 760m on jets calling it unnecessary expenditure.

He emphasised that the “ideal classroom” which comprises of kids using their personal laptops is part of the FDC 2016 manifesto.

In what the FDC team claims is a “copy and paste”, Mugerwa is quoted by Daily Monitor saying the education ministry is already working on the costs to ensure that computers are distributed to every pupil in school next year.

The project, Mugerwa said, will be rolled out to secondary and tertiary institutions.

Addressing press at State House Entebbe and State Lodge Arua, Museveni said Besigye had nothing new to promise Ugandans.

Museveni sneered at Besigye’s promise to pay teachers Shs 650,000 and Shs1m salaries saying it was “reckless”.

Yet, the cost of the computers [Shs800,000 minimum] government is going to avail to primary kids nearly doubles the salary a primary school teacher is paid by the state.

In 2012, government made ICT compulsory for all students who joined A-Level only to create a crisis since schools didn’t have computers or computer laboratories.

Critics wonder how government came up with the idea of computers while majority of schools don’t even access constant electricity supply.

Is it a well-thought government venture or a hasty “copy and paste implementation” of Besigye’s manifesto as Museveni solicits votes?

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