Tooro Kingdom launches cultural revival initiative in schools

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Tooro Kingdom launches cultural revival initiative in schools
Tooro Kingdom launches cultural revival initiative in schools

Africa-Press – Uganda. In an effort to rejuvenate Tooro culture among learners in schools and institutions under the Tooro Kingdom, authorities within the cultural institution have launched an initiative for all schools within its jurisdiction.

To nurture children that understand their culture and identity, the Kingdom expects schools to commence the hoisting of the kingdom flag, singing the anthem, and teaching all learners in their mother language.

During a meeting on February 19 in Fort Portal City at Muchwa with District Education Officers and School Inspectors from all districts of Tooro sub-region, kingdom officials expressed concerns over the diminishing respect for Tooro culture in some schools and society with a noticeable shift towards Western cultural influences.

Mr Ngabo Kwemara, the Kingdom’s second Deputy Prime Minister in charge of finance and administration, emphasised the importance of reviving Tooro culture, beginning with learners in schools.

Mr Ngabo said the kingdom as the custodian of Tooro culture introduced the initiative as an effort to preserve good cultural practices for the future generation.

Mr Kwemara, along with other district education officers and school inspectors, collectively decided on several initiatives to instill Tooro cultural values in schools including displaying a portrait of the king in each school, and encouraging school participation in kingdom events among others.

“We need to promote our culture, but some people have self-pity. Can you imagine some people have sued the king? Some schools stopped singing the kingdom anthem, and we need our schools to promote our culture and tradition,” he said during the meeting.

Mr Kwemara argued that one reason for academic challenges is that some schools are instructing students in English, neglecting the social nature of learning, which, according to him, should be conducted in the mother language, as is the case in other countries.

To support the implementation of these initiatives, he said the kingdom plans to procure kingdom flags, Rutooro books, and other materials for schools to buy at reduced prices.

DEOs and DISs will be entrusted with supplying these materials to schools.

Mr Hussein Mwesigem, the District Education Officer (DEO) of Kyegegwa, emphasised the need for collaboration with the kingdom to address various concerns affecting the education system in Tooro.

These concerns include issues such as access to education, with a registration and entry rate of 83 percent, and a completion rate as low as 39 percent.

Mr Mwesigem urged the kingdom to play a role in mobilizing parents to support schools and children, providing more scholarships, addressing the rising cases of exam malpractice and allowing the king to initiate school visits across the entire kingdom, among other initiatives.

“The kingdom needs to help us and tackle the issue of the completion rate of our learners and access to education. Some learners continue to drop out of school, so let the kingdom incorporate that issue into their plan,” he said.

Mr Everest Niyonzima, the District Inspector of Schools in Kyenjojo said the issue of school dropout is critical in situations where students opt for early marriages, a practice contrary to the cultural values of Tooro. He appealed to the kingdom to actively engage in finding lasting solutions to this problem.

“Our culture is against early marriage, and we observe in some schools students are dropping out to get married. We need the kingdom to condemn such acts. Additionally, some families are experiencing gender-based violence, which adversely affects learners,” he said.

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