Dear Readers and Friends December edition out , Dec 17 2018

Happy Reading!


Where exam failures become life sentence

Bill Milligan

The main character is a young man who goes by the name Peter Otim. When we first meet him Otim has just sat for a major national school examination. In this land of titles and certificates, the result of this single examination could spell his doom. 



Uganda Schools in the Early Days of Independence 1960 – 1970

John Otim

Evening time. A huge ball descends the sky. It looked incredibly huge. But it was not the sun. A man in white jersey stood in the middle of the ground. Before him a group of youths. All eyes were on the ball...

Ian Robinson and the alchemy that was King’s College Budo

John Otim

A large black Rolls Royce cruised slowly along the tree lined lane that lead up to the Big School. A lane usually closed to traffic. There it drew to a stop. Out came the Governor General of the newly independent State of Uganda, Sir Walter Coutts And there to receive him was Ian Robinson Headmaster of King’s College Budo

The experience of a young African teacher in 20th century British classroom

John Otim

A final year student of Bristol University stands before a class of teenage boys and girls at Cheltenham Demonstration Secondary School, the year 1965. He is young, good looking, well dressed in tie and suit. Beside him stands the school’s headmaster similarly attired

Why the school uniform is celebrated in Africa

John Otim

Today as a matter of course no school going child in Africa is complete without his or her school uniform. Adorned in often bright school colors, book bags dangling from shoulders, every day bright eyed kids take to school as their parents look on admiringly.

Pioneering a young university: Lira University three years on

John Otim

The Founders of the new Lira University were lucky in the near virgin piece of land they got. All 600 acres of it, perched on low rolling hills with a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside. To the south six kilometers away is the town from which the university gets its name, the town they call the bicycle capital of the world.

Pioneering a young University: one year on at Lira University College

John Otim & Ekkehard Doehring

In the aftermath of the awful tragedy that hit Northern Uganda, an idea took root in Lira. By 2010 it manifested itself as the Constituent College for Health Sciences of the well established and nearby Gulu University. Two years later it assumed shape as Lira University College. Knowing the facts on the ground the very idea of the College in the ruins that was Lira seemed at the time unrealistic.


The dictator in the African classroom

John Otim

In the early nineteen nineties a young artist came to the house where I lived in northern Nigeria on the Ahmadu Bello University campus. He grabbed a drawing pen and paper and within minutes had reproduced the exact replica of the Mona Lisa that adorned my wall. I taught creative writing and used the Mona Lisa as a kind of good luck charm to inspire me. The artist was five years old ...

Makerere: elite African campus in its golden decade 1960-1970

Dharam Ghai

The four years I spent at Makerere were its golden period. The College attracted outstanding scholars to its Faculty. A considerable amount of money poured in to strengthen its medical, agriculture and social science faculties. Many gifted graduate students from prestigious universities overseas came to work on their doctorates.

Postcolonial education in Africa: the imperative for theory and practice

Okello Oculi

How can higher education in Africa become more relevant in the face of the challenges and opportunities Africa faces in the 21st century? That is the theme of a conference planned for 2014 at Dakar Senegal. In the face of growing numbers of colleges and universities in Africa, organizers note, there has been a lot of focus on numbers and too little attention paid to quality, relevance and access.


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