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Kampala Friday, October 13th 2017……. Equity Bank Uganda Limited has launched its range of digital banking solutions into the market in a bid to enhance the banking experience of customers as well as enable them have more convenience and control of their banking.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
During the 19th Century, scientists conducted an experiment on a frog. The researchers put a live frog in a saucepan of boiling water. The frog just quickly jumped out. This was expected of any living thing to react quickly to a hostile environment. The Scientist then put a live frog in a saucepan full of cold water and slowly started heating the water in the pan. As the temperature of the water increased, the frog adjusted its body temperature accordingly. The frog kept adjusting its body temperature with the increasing temperature of the water. Just when the water was about to reach boiling point, the frog could not adjust anymore. At that point, the frog decided to jump out. Unfortunately, it was too late to get out of the boiling pan because it had lost all its strengths trying to adjust with the rising water temperature. Soon after the frog died in the frying pan.
My question to you today is what killed the frog?
It is easy to say that the boiling water killed the frog. Or the person who applied the heat on the pan killed the frog. You are wrong. The frog was killed by its inability to decided quickly when to jump out of the water.
And this applies to us. The tendency to get comfortable until it is too late. A good car. A good job. A good salary. And so we do not stretch ourselves to reach greatness. The only one in your way is you.
How do you keep your head high above the sand scanning the environment for any opportunities? Knowing what is taking place and deciding when to act and in which direction? That is the key differentiator you need. If you give someone permission to control your life. They will. You must be alert and aware of what is going on so that when you decide to jump, you do so when it is timely. If you fail, you may never jump out. Timing is everything.
On 26th September 2017, Toys R Us, one of the top fast moving consumer goods company based in the US filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy. At one time, the company’s annual revenue was US $12billion. It had pioneered Internet business in 1999, where it had more orders for Christmas than it could handle. This showed the potential of on-line business. And that is how Amazon agreed to sign an exclusive 10-contract to retail Toys R Us on their site and no other supplier, something they did not live up to. Toys R Us sued Amazon, and after five years of legal battles, Toys R Us won and got US $51m award. But Toys R Us failed to jump out in time. They did not build their online capability in time. Instead outsourced this critical business driver to Amazon which later changed the terms.
You too must be alert. Don’t just sit and then wake up when it is too late to jump out. Have a lovely Tuesday.
Female candidates performed better than their male counterparts in the 2016 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education examinations (UACE) and government attributed this to growing confidence among girls.
It had become traditional for boys to outcompete girls including in the recent PLE and UCE examinations.
Delivering the results yesterday, the executive secretary of UNEB, Mr. Dan Odongo, explained that girls performed better than boys at the A-E principal pass levels in all the large entry subjects except in General paper, Chemistry, Biology, Art and Subsidiary ICT.
More boys than girls however, sat for the exams.
More girls opt for the art subjects which were performed better than sciences and mathematics which registered relatively poor performance.
UWEZO Uganda country director, Mary Gorreti Nakabugo in an interview said she was not surprised that female candidates had performed better than their male counterparts because there is no scientific factor that explains why boys should always beat girls in examinations.
‘’ I know that there are many factors that are against girls in their learning but there is no evidence to show that girls are weaker because when they work hard, they can perform better than boys, ’she said.
She warned that the country should not become complacent because girls have performed better and stop putting more effort in addressing the learning challenges that make girls lag behind boys.
The director of studies of Kawempe Moslem School Mr.Ishaq Tumwesigye told daily monitor that female students outperformed male students because of the various incentives given to the girls including the 1.5points bonus for university admission, which motivates them to work harder.
‘’ we have female candidates now believing in themselves that they can make it just like their male counterparts,’’ Mr. Tumwesigye said.
The deputy Head teacher of St. Mary’s college Rushoroza in Kabale Ms. Grace Tumukunde said girls were gaining inspiration from women who occupy ‘’big offices’’ in the country.
‘’ you know having role models like the women in big offices it can motivate the girls to work harder in school. If they see these big ladies and politicians doing well, automatically they are motivated,’’ Ms Tumukunde.
UNEB has mooted a ranking system to gauge school performance, known as school effectiveness measure or value- added measure. This was revealed by the UNEB board chair person, Prof. Mary Okwakol, during the release of the 2016 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examinations results in Kampala yesterday.
‘’ This measure will take into account the PLE grades with which students were admitted in senior-one and the grades they have achieved in the UCE four years later,’’ she said.
She said the new system will capture the schools that will have added to the learners’ achievements and give a more accurate reflection of the effectiveness of each school.
“The board will also prepare school level reports to inform each school of their progress. The decisions of the board on this matter will be released to the public in due course,’’ Okwakol said.
The results released showed the number of students completing UCE (O’ level) rose by 3.2% in 2016, but the performance saw a decline.
A total of 316,624 candidates sat the examinations compared to 306,507 candidates in 2015. This means 10,105 more people were completing the level of education.
The results show that the gap between male and female candidates sitting exams had narrowed to almost an equal number- 50.9% boys and 49.1% girls.
However, the results paint a troublesome picture on the performance front, highlighting a slight decline in performance, especially in English language, mathematics and sciences.
There was improved performance in CRE, geography, Mathematics, agriculture and art, as well as in Biology, but only at credit and pass levels.
The worst performance was in physics, with at least 60% of those who sat exams failing.
Students with special needs prisoners
In 2016, the number of students with special needs who registered for UCE slightly went up to 366, from 325 the previous year
The number of candidates who sat UCE at Luzira prisons rose to 47, from 38 the previous year and four passed in division one, with the best scoring aggregate 21 in best eight subjects
During the release of results yesterday, Dan Odongo, the executive secretary of UNEB, highlighted gaps in learners’ English language proficiency.
‘’ reports from examiners indicate a real challenge in learners’ use of correct grammar, spellings, tenses and punctuation when writing compositions,’’ Odongo disclosed
He sighted an English paper where each student was required as an area LC1 (village) chairperson to their member of parliament about a factory that was discharging harmful waste,
‘’ they were stunned and performed extremely poorly,’’ Odongo stated, attributing the problem to teachers who encourage students to cram passages from story books.
This, he said was affecting the learners ability to express themselves adequately in papers that required them to offer answers in essay form.
In science subjects, most candidates performed poorly. The majority of the students could not handle the apparatus and interpret experiments during practical tests.
‘’ the lower achievers found difficulty with questions requiring explanations, description of experimental procedure, use of chemical symbols and formulae, writing of units and dealing with tasks that require practical experience,’’ the UNEB chief said.
According to the report, about 75% of all suspected cases of examination fraud were reported in the physics practical exam.
Except for Biology, the percentage pass level for all science subjects was low, with 55% of the candidates unable to exhibit the minimum competency to be graded, Odongo said
The theme for the 2016 UCE examinations was; consolidating technological innovations, security and team work for quality assessments.
UNEB chairperson Okwakol proposed that the government tackles the inherent challenges resulting in learners’ poor performance in these core subjects.
‘’the board proposes that the root causes of the poor performance in these core subjects be identified and dealt with, as these are the subjects that are necessary to drive the nation’s development agenda,’’ she said.
The 2016 UCE results are the second batch of results to be handled by the new management team at UNEB and the first lady Janet Museveni, who is the minister for education and sports
The results indicate a better overall performance by male candidates compered to female candidates. At subject level, female candidates performed better in English language.
Following the release of the UCE examination results, many parents are at pains to select the right schools to take their children for the A’ level.
Generally, the academic standard of a school may affect a student’s performance in national examinations in any given subject combination.
Some schools excel in teaching sciences and others in humanities/arts, but there are some schools which excel in teaching both sciences and arts
Schools, edge has carried out an analysis to establish which schools perform best in sciences and those that excel in arts disciplines. The analysis is based on the A’ level results released by UNEB last year.
According to the analysis, St. Mary’s SS Kitende, Seeta High (green Campus), Seeta High (mukono campus) and Namilyango college are the best at teaching A’ level.
For students seeking to do arts subjects combinations, Namagunga, Trinity College Nabbingo ,Kitende and Namagunga offer the excellent opportunities., according to the 2015 A’ level examinations results.
The ranking was based on the average percentage scores, scores at UACE range from A which weighs 6 to F which weighs zero points
Considering the average points scored in all science subjects in one given sitting of any class helps determine the best performing school. The higher the average points scored, the better the school stands in the ranking.
Head teachers and proprietors of the schools attribute their success to investments in instructional materials, hiring of committed teachers and hard work
Lawrence Mulindwa, the proprietor of St. Mary’s SS Kitende, which topped sciences last year, say: ‘’ it takes investment in good laboratories, good remuneration of teachers, hiring serous and committed staff to get results.’’
The Head teacher of Seeta High school (Green campus), obbo Allan Warayamo explains their success; ‘’ we first prepare the mindset of the teacher and later expect them to prepare the students for the science subjects, depending on ones’ mindset,’’
He also says students are expected to research on their own, on every topic.
Martin Muyingo, the head teacher of Makerere college, one of the schools that perform well in sciences says, says: ‘’we devote our attention to the use of locally available materials to teach sciences, which makes teaching easier.’’
He also sites the benefits of the secondary science education and mathematics teachers (SESMAT) programme. Muyingo who is the chairperson of SESMAT in Kampala, says the programmer’s training schemes have improved the teaching of sciences.
“We also use cyber technology, a system which was instituted by the education ministry. Students make use of videos, in addition to practical and theory, to study,’’ Makerere college’s head adds.
Ronald Ddungu, the deputy head teacher of Gayaza High school, which was one of the best schools in arts, say: ‘’ we endeavor to teach the entire syllabus and even go beyond its normal coverage to the real application of the knowledge obtained.’’
‘’we always try to relate class work to real life. This not only motivates our students, but also helps them master the concepts,’’ Ddungu added.
Subject combination selection
As a parent, it’s important to ascertain whether your child has the right subject combination
Parents, caretakers at school at school and the students themselves must pay serious consideration to the choice of the subject combination.
Students’ interests and ability, educationists argue, play one of the biggest roles in this case. One may be good at science subjects, yet has more interest in arts subjects. In this case, career experts argue that a child should be left to follow what they want.
There is a standard procedure for all students when selecting a subject combination.
“This is a decision which will have to be taken by every student, with the guidance of teachers and parents, where need be, when results for s.4 are released, ’says Muyingo.
‘’subject combinations,’’ he explains, ‘’help determine the courses a student will be able to apply for in higher institutions of learning.’’
All students now offer a maximum of three principle subjects in any given subject combination: one subsidiary and then general paper. This will form the basis for admission at the university
Students doing science combinations or combinations having economics must do sub-math as a subsidiary. However, those doing mathematics are exempted from doing sub-math
The state minister for higher education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, says no student is allowed to do a subject combination that is not prescribed by the curriculum experts.. If a student is doing any arts combination, he or she must do Information, communication and technology.
Entry points to s1 in traditional schools across the country have remained competitive with majority of the schools setting high cut-off points.
Like last year, king’s college Buddo maintained the high aggregate 4 cut-off points for boys and aggregate 5 for girls who will join the school located in wakiso district
Gayaza high school, Namilyango College and Mt st Mary’s Namagunga will all take students with aggregate 5 while Ndejje ss and Trinity College Nabbingo have each maintained aggregate 6.
Ms. Chotilda Nakatte Kikomeka, the Nabbingo head teacher, who doubles as secondary school teachers’ association chair person, said the cut off points were pegged on the pupils’ performance in last years’ PLE and the choices of schools the candidates made
‘’ we have maintained our cut off points because those who gave us their choice performed almost like last year,’’ Ms. Kikomeko said.
However, ministry of education officials expressed worry that some pupils will not be selected even when they have performed well because the made poor choices
They blamed it on parents who insist on their children picking their four choices of schools ranked at almost the same level.
Mr Henry Ssemakula the career guidance and counselling officer at the education ministry, said majority of the parents insist that their children must study around Kampala and Wakiso despising up country schools, which perform even much better
‘’ parents should learn to classify schools. There are always those which are competitive. Ensure you tone down the choices from the highly competitive to the less competitive. If you pick Gayaza, Namagunga and Nabbingo as your choices in that order, you will end up unselected because the schools are at the same level,’’ said Mr. Ssemakula
‘’ you tell parents to try schools outside Kampala and Wakiso but they don’t want. They end up making these schools unnecessarily competitive yet we have the Ntare, Mbale ss and Ombaci doing good work in the countryside,’’ he added.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day exercise yesterday, the primary education state minister, Ms. Rose Sseninde, told head teachers that the ministry would intensify inspection to monitor teacher absenteeism and warned that those who will not have records on their staff attendance will attract sanctions, including demotion and dismissal
‘’ I have noted with concern that teachers are failing to do their roles. Many of them part-time in other schools at the expense of children in government-aided schools. The rate of absenteeism is high. Staff appraisal is mandatory and school heads will be required to have records on teachers’ presence in the school,’’ Ms. Sseninde said yesterday.
She also appeal to participants to protect the environment as the country has started to experience climate changes.
She said the future of food security was unpredictable if the current trends continue.
The minister said many countries were going hungry for days because their crops dried up in the gardens due to the scorching heat.
Advice on feeding
This, Ms. Sseninde added will affect the performance of schools as learners can’t concentrate on empty stomachs.
‘’ food prices are going up. This doesn’t mean you send your children to school with empty stomachs. Feeding your children is not government business. It is entirely the responsibility of the parents. The government is doing its work of paying teachers and has put in place the infrastructures,’’ Ms. Sseninde said.
We are the ones to blame for this climate change. We have cut down the trees and reclaimed the wetlands. The weather is now hurting everyone. There will be no food for our children if we don’t protect the environment. Plant at least a tree for the future,’’ she added
Mr. Benson Kule, the education ministry chairperson selection committee, said they are planning to advance the current manual to electronic selection where names of pupils will be posted to their respective schools to make it cheaper for them.
Releasing the PLE results this month, UNEB executive secretary, Mr. Daniel Odongo, said 541,089 candidates had passed last years’ PLE compared to 517,889 candidates in the previous year.
Mr. Kule yesterday said the selection exercise must find placement for all candidates who qualified for any post- primary institution
In her late 20s, Sherina Kirabo used to constantly feel dizzy with blurred vision. Whenever she went to hospital, the doctor would ask her to do a complete blood count. Results usually showed that she was anaemic, but not to the level of needing a blood transfusion.
If you are a regular reader of this column, I hope by now you have a clear personal strategy. My experience is planning for five-10 years ahead is better than annual planning and New Year resolutions. The year of these days is so short. As an individual, you will experience key milestones over a five-10 year horizon. Ask: what do I intend to have achieved within the next five years.
We expect a raise in the Senior One entry cut-off points by our top leading secondary schools during the scheduled selection exercise.
According to the released yesterday results, performance in PLE has greatly improved compared to the previous year. There has been an increase in the Division one and two’s.
Live a sober, healthy lifestyle. Many teens are tempted by friends or peers to start using drugs or alcohol at some point. While those who drink or do drugs may act like it makes you popular or tell you that everyone does it, this is simply not true. Not everyone drinks or does drugs, and you shouldn't feel pressured to just because some of your peers choose to experiment with intoxicants. In fact, living a sober, healthy lifestyle can actually help you form bonds and develop supportive friendships with likeminded individuals.
As a parent, you get to understand firsthand that looking after children is one of the biggest sacrifices parents make. Save for the unlucky ones who grew with single parents or no parents at all.
True success is deliberate. Else, it will not be sustainable. While growing up, Jane’s ambition was simple ‘make money, live a better life.’ Having come from a low financial family background, life was now at Jane’s fingertips after her first bachelor’s degree in marketing. Jane was admitted to a multinational organization. Lifestyle changed in an instant. Little did she know that she was digging her own grave?
As schools prepare for the start of the term and year, the question is how frugal they can be with their expenditures. The other concern is whether they can use their internally-generated funds well and stop depending entirely on government. There are several schools around the country that use internally- generated funds properly. However, some public schools are expensive as private ones; which leaves one wondering how the funds are spent.
There is a saying: ‘’if you don’t change, then change will change you.’’ This saying is relevant to some businesses in Uganda that failed to adapt to changing times. As such, they have either vanished or their demise is in the pipeline. We take a look at some that vanished plus those in the pipeline.
We all agree, the number one challenge of most small businesses is not lack of capital. It is lack of customers or market.
If your business lacks customers, it will suffer from a cash flow problem which is critical for survival. At the start, don’t be driven by profits. That should come as a natural expansion of business success. It does not matter how much loan capacity (capital) you have, if you don’t have customers, your capital will still not be enough. So, focus on revenue growth. Make more money and spend it on the critical business processes – customer acquisition, retention and relationship management. All other things will be great if you get the customer part of it right.
It was a case of grandiose. Shoprite Naalya, the icon of Naalya is no more. After more than 15 years of operating in Uganda, the company is quitting. This is another South African originating supermarket to close shop. The first was Metro Cash and Carry, which was allocated in the prime building next to UMA show grounds. In October 2008, this magazine carried out a detailed analysis of the reasons for the closure. Top on the list was a poor business model whereby the supermarket required membership to access the services. Walk- ins were not welcome! In this country without data protection laws, that was a hard shell.
Great executives excel at three critical things. These are; Effective communication, rely on the people, trust systems and procedures and continuous learning
Communication. By far, President Barack Obama is a great orator and an effective communicator. Before he speaks, he not only understands the audience by knowing ‘’what the audience wants to hear’’, he asks: ‘’what is the key message I want the audience to take?’’ He then identifies three to four key points to illustrate and reinforce the message. The key message or the anchor message is critical for effective communication.
My first trip from Hoima to Kampala was in 2000. I will never forget it. It was one of my longest trips. I came on top of a lorry, carrying dry tobacco leaves. We set off from Hoima at 2pm and arrived in Kampala at 10:30am the next day. It took us longer time that it takes to travel from Entebbe to Washington DC!
At the time, there were few Taxis and a Posta Uganda bus. The Taxis were very expensive. And the Posta Uganda but had an inflexible route.
If you travel by ferry from Shenzhen to Hong Kong, in one of the industrious workshop region in China, an enormous billboard greets you: ‘’Time is Money, Efficiency is Life.’’ China is the world’s largest manufacturing power. China’s production output surpassed America’s in 2010. China accounts for fifth of the global manufacturing.
Speaking at the CEO Annual Forum 7th edition, Dr. James Mwangi noted ‘’one tourist creates ten employment opportunities along the value chain from transporters, to the hoteliers, airlines and the rest, and that becomes a huge employer.’’ Does Uganda’s agricultural sector offer such opportunities along the value chain? Your answer is good as mine.
The government of Uganda through National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) says it will come up with a ground plan to change the livelihoods of farmers. All these great ideas are shredded on paper. According to a recent study by Habitat for Humanity Uganda reveals that 2/3 of Uganda's peasant families live in substandard houses. This is majorly attributed to the subsistence farming at most family levels.