Govt urged to reopen college in honour of Janani Luwum

Govt urged to reopen college in honour of Janani Luwum
Govt urged to reopen college in honour of Janani Luwum

Africa-Press – Uganda. The Church of Uganda has reiterated its call to the government to reopen Canon Lawrence Primary Teacher College (PTC) in Boroboro, Lira District.

During the 47th commemoration of Archbishop Janani Luwum Day last Friday, Archbishop Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu of the Church of Uganda appealed to the government to reconsider its plans to phase out the memorial institution where Janani Luwum studied.

The late Luwum was allegedly killed during President Idi Amin’s era in the 1970s for being critical of the regime, especially about human rights abuses.

“For you to have a person whose life is celebrated every 16th day of February is a good thing but to close the college, which trained him is to close his history…Canon Lawrence Primary Teacher College in Lango Diocese is where Luwum studied as a teacher, it was among those that were phased out. I request the government through the Ministry of Education to reconsider re-opening this college,” Archbishop Kaziimba said.

He added: “If we really want to keep his (Luwum) legacy, then we should reconsider reopening this college. This is my appeal.”

According to the archbishop, instead of closing the college, the government should find a way of maintaining and uplifting it to meet the current required education standards.

In 2022, the Greater Northern Anglican Bishops Fellowship led by Bishop Prof Alfred Olwa of the Diocese of Lango, also urged the government not to close the PTC for, among others, historical purposes.

Speaking as the chief guest at the celebrations to mark St Janani Luwum Day at Wii-Gweng, Mucwini Sub County, in Kitgum District, President Museveni concurred with Church of Uganda that Canon Lawrence PTC is an iconic college in Uganda.

Mr Museveni said he would have to sit down with officials at Ministry of Education and Sport to find a way of reversing the decision to close the college.

In November 2022, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament tasked the parliamentary committee on Education to probe the closure of PTCs after several MPs complained that the move would affect the quality of primary education in Uganda.

Mr Denis Mugimba, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Education and Sports, yesterday told this publication that the phasing out of Canon Lawrence Primary Teachers College is a policy issue and the Ministry will wait for the Archbishop to lodge his appeal formally.

He added: “The danger of beginning to give exception and permission to every appeal, you end up undoing the policy direction.”

The Ministry of Education and Sport announced its plans to phase out at least 23 PTCs in 2021 across the country as part of the strategy to phase out Grade III and Grade V teaching qualifications in favour of a bachelor’s degree in Education.

Among those PTCs to be closed is the Canon Lawrence Primary Teachers College in Boroboro, Lira District where St Janani Luwum, the former Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire (Eastern Congo) studied.

Canon Lawrence Primary Teachers College was founded in 1926 in northern Uganda by the Church Missionary Society.

Meanwhile, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, the minister of Internal Affairs, has urged members of the public to advance unity by getting rid of their religious and other differences.

“Those beliefs, traditions that divide us should be disregarded, let’s emphasise what put us together. My appeal to every Ugandan is to disregard all that put us backward. Let’s accept each other as we are,” Mr Otafiire said.

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