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I Could Have Studied History and Literature

I love Peacebuilding 

I only started studying what I wanted to study only at higher education. For instance I decided to go to college and take a graduate degree in peace studies. I know Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has issues with peace studies. But again he is only a war-monger who has always said that he did not come to power through pieces of paper but through the gun - oh yes, the president shot his way to Kampala. For people like him, peace makes little sense. He is not Johan Galtung to comprehend that peace can only be attained through peaceful means. I believe that there is no way to peace; peace is the only way. I am peaceful, first with myself then with people around me. I was mature enough to decide what to learn. I had known that there is a lot I could learn and that I had a free will to choose from a variety. I chose to study peace and I am happy. I love my profession, I enjoy analysing conflict trends, and engaging in peacemaking and building. 

An Opportunity I did not have then

But when I was growing up; when I was a young boy I did not have an opportunity to choose. I did not actually decide to go to school. I was taken. That was so kind of my parents. But even having been taken to school I did not have an opportunity to decide what to learn. But I was still a small man. I doubt I would have made a right decision anyway. Thanks to the state; I had to learn what I learned. So many compulsory things; never mind their necessity. They actually measured intelligence by numeracy and literacy. English was important since if and when one started exhibiting capabilities of reading English and Kiswahili and some ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide things; then such a young person was doing well. And so I did very well. But I was never told anything about career paths and options. I was never taught about the fact that I can actually choose. I was never grounded in how to think and why I should think and that I can invent. I was only taught what was known. This largely depended on what my elderly teachers were taught and could remember from their college training. Never mind that those old good days 'failures' were the best qualified to teach. I mean those who never qualified to join University went to Primary School Teaching Colleges. Still some people expected us to get good educational foundation. We never did. I hate to think about my primary school. It was a bad experience. We were not taught well. We were helped to be extremely naive. We only saw the world through the blurred vision of our elderly and unmotivated village teachers. 

Unfortunately it did not end there. The tragedy continued. When at secondary school, I honestly deserved a better exposure to issues. I should have been introduced to variety and empowered to choose. I did not. Instead I was again taught many mandatory subjects. English was apparently 001 Subject then Mathematics, then Kiswahili then Chemistry and Biology. I had been introduced to things like history and geography and social sciences but everybody including teachers discouraged us from such and demonstrated how poor we would become if we concentrated in such. We were indoctrinated to believe that the only sure way to succeed in life was by performing well in mathematics and sciences. It was an outright lie. But we believe that and we worked so hard to understand mathematical calculations most of which I never met again after finishing secondary school many years ago. 

What I could have Studied 

Let me be honest to myself and the world. I was given a poor foundation educationally. But I mean those in charge of me back then meant well. I thank them forever. But they were operating on a lie too. But the same lie lives on and many young people continue to be victims of the same. Let me be honest again. If I were to go back to primary school. If I were to start growing up again and think about going to school. If I was to be responsible to decide what to go to school to learn, I would go to school and study history and literature. I know exactly how I would improve my life and the quality of many others through history and literature. But now I do not use maths a lot and I know that English is just but a language and that it is actually a colonial tool which I only have to embrace as a necessary evil. I hate to remember anything about those days when we were being punished for speaking mother tongue in school. 

I Could Have Studied History and Literature I Could Have Studied History and Literature Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on January 29, 2016 Rating: 5

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