Three reasons why I am in full support of Museveni’s Brainchild; Patriotism Studies in Kenyan Schools.’
In what seemed like an imperative burst of patriotism, one teacher in rural Kenya, after the March 5th elections, loudly declared to other staff members that ‘it is not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country that matters’. It was therefore, somewhat disturbing when the said teacher, a few months later, vehemently condemned the Jubilee government for failing to address what he called ‘the unending plight of every teacher’.
With such hindsight of shifting loyalty, I find reason to avidly admire Yoweri Mseveni’s think tank which must be full of brilliant fish. Let me explain.
Back in 2009, Mr. Museveni and his think tank, after observing signs that could be interpreted to mean Ugandans were on their way to disliking their beloved country, came up with the grand idea of teaching patriotism in Ugandan schools. Absolutely original!
This is how.
Schools were to launch patriotism clubs that would be overseen by a patriotism club secretariat headed by a military officer and housed at Museveni’s state house.
The patriotism clubs would be led by patriotic teachers, whose mandate was to pass on the patriotism mantle to future generation of Ugandans. The club’s mandate stretched from increasing national consciousness to consolidating unity, fostering peace and creating social, economic and political awareness for sustainable positive living. Sounds like vision 2030! Right?
The activities therein ranged from military drills, assembling guns and shooting, ideological studies; dance and drama, training camps and study tours.
If you ask me, this training model would be perfect in Kenya for three reasons.
The first would be to ensure that there is trickledown of taxpayer’s money to the first generation of taxpayers’ children. It is more palatable to imagine your child whiling away your hard earned money on a ‘patriotism excursion’ than it is to think of some insatiable county representative spending it on a holiday abroad in the name of ‘learning how Israelites manage this irrigation thing’ or worse still buying a shirt for kshs.350,000 and keeping it hushed until one Miguna unmasks it.
The other reason is that it would be totally acceptable to claim that the lost 300 billion shillings from last years’ budget, instead of dissipating into lucid air, went into enacting deep virtuous qualities in our children that would see them ‘do something for their beloved country’ and not vise versa.
The third reason I unquestionably would put in my vote is for the sake of the young’uns. If only to keep them off ‘keeping up with the kardashians and other programs that do nothing to enhance a Kenyan child’s creativity. It is particularly disturbing that the typical modern day teenager knows more about Kim kardashian and other meat-wearing horn-implanted celebrities than they do about the history of Kenya, not to mention the contents of the Vision 2030.
The challenge to this otherwise perfect mode of training range from anything to do with the reality that, after the failed July teachers strike, it is very unlikely that teachers rank highly on the Patriotism-meter; to the scary possibility of having the innocent-uns’ chanting Juliani’s ‘Sitasimama maovu yakitawala’ and hence turn into unfettered jingoists, becoming as zealous as Bonifce Mwangi only to heckle purported ‘traitors like Francis Atwoli and get clobbered by their ‘boys’.