Monday, February 4, 2008

The Villagers do it again!

Nicholas Tamale and Dorothy Namusisi had top scores. They both scores 9 in 8 subjects. ( 8 in 8 being the best score) No doubt they are among the top 10 among roughly 70,000 students. (These two went to an urban school)

Something fundamental is happening in the field of education in my country. The O level results are out and boy are we flabbergasted! The distict that is home to one of the most 'primive' tribes ( by western standards) beat the whole nation in having the most candidates in Grade one. For the American, this is the equivalent of hearing a little town like Vidor, Texas sending man to Mars. Seriously!
O level exams are taken at the average age of 16 and they determine where one goes to high school which in turn makes it possible for them to go to University.
The winning region is home to many tribes however the majority are the Karimojong.
How 'primitive' is this tribe? Remember the running around naked stereotypes? They fully fulfil this one. Cattle rustling in neighboring Kenya is their favorite pass time and they don't burry their dead. They throw them out in the wild. Atleast the last I heard ( This may be a locally made stereotype!).

Karimonjong Dancing

It is common for people in haste to say,"we can not wait for Karamoja to develop", reflecting their perceived backwardness.

What appears to have happened is that in the recent past there has been alot of humanitarian work by foreign charities in turning these people from Normadic to an Agricultural life style. Finally someone succeeded in selling the idea of education and they bought into it and now they are kicking the behinds of those that had long established reputations as being "educated".
I never doubted these people's abilities, in the urban schools, though poorly represented, they were always the brightest. They made it to fields of Engineering, Law and Medicine. However it was known that however highly 'educated', on return to their homeland, they were required to take their clothes off and revert to their cultural ways. This made everyone believe that they would never "develop". And now they have kicked our butts.
There are multitudes of lessons to learn from this, one of which is, never underestimate another human being!