October 05, 2017 found me in Kampala, at New Vision offices in the industrial area. I had been invited to attend the Teachers Making a Difference award ceremony. I was feeling happy and calm. Getting to be nominated for an award is easy, but winning that award is different. You may have heard how awards start well, and then later become very controversial because those who win happen to be those who don’t deserve the awards.
In Uganda, this happened to good Annual Communication Innovation Awards (ACIA). There was a time when a school with a “manila” project won the “Young ICT Innovators” award (I think that was 2015). I have also heard about people grumbling about the unfairness of the Young Achievers Awards Uganda – that the awards are given to “old people” instead of the young guys. And then the our national medals and awards have even been more controversial – with only regime loyalists getting them.
But it is not only in Uganda where awards can be controversial. Over the years, the BET awards, the Grammy awards, and even the world-famous Nobel Peace Prize have been quite controversial. Last year, the Nobel Peace prize went to an unknown Medical doctor in the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Away with that.
This year, my boss (now former) was also nominated for the Teachers Making a Difference awards. I know she is in good contention to grab an award. The record of the awards also favours her. The TMD awards have gone more to headteachers than to ordinary teachers. In 2017, in the top 12, there were only 4 ordinary teachers. And again in the top 5, there was only one ordinary teacher (that was me).
In fact, at the awards ceremony, some teachers were saying that the awards should be changed to “Headteachers Making a Difference.” If she wins, I have already told her that I will be happy to welcome her to Dublin, Ireland in January.
And again, I think the awards should have different categories for different education sub-sectors, for example, Secondary category, Primary category, Kindergarten category, and Vocational category. Right now, everyone is thrown into the same box. And you know it is very difficult to compete with primary and kindergarten teachers because the problems they gave at that level are quite different from problems in the secondary sector.
Click here to read a copy of the report I submitted to New Vision after the whole process.
Happy World Teachers Day.