Parents urged to sacrifice more for their children

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Sheikh Juma Bakhit Cucu, the Secretary of Education at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) has urged parents to sacrifice more towards educating their children. According to Sheikh Cucu, this is the only channel that will yield fruits in form of development for their families, Muslim community and nation at large.

He said this while addressing parents and teachers of Bwala Muslim Day and Boarding Primary School in Bwala zone, Katwe Butego, Ngendo Mukungwe Division in Masaka City Friday May 20, 2022 at the commencement of the second leg of his inspection of Muslim Founded Schools and Tertiary Institutions.
He noted that in the Holy Quran when Allah revealed His Divine Calling to Moses, it appeared in the form of fire, Moses demanded to see Almighty Allah.

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“The Quran says that Allah decided to convert Moses’s walking stick into a big snake as a sign for the children of Israel and Pharaoh who had enslaved them,” he said. Sheikh Cucu also said that in the same Quran Allah told Prophet Muhammad that he taught man by the pen things he did not know.

“This means that Allah had chosen education as a Divine path for the followers of Prophet Muhammad to prosper both spiritual and materially,” he said. Adding, “Unfortunately, Muslims abandoned the pen and instead picked the stick and began fighting amongst themselves while the followers of Prophet Moses threw away the stick and picked the pen, which has seen them make great discoveries through learning. So, let’s go back and pick our pen to learn”.

He also explained that in the Quran Allah taught Prophet Muhammad never to sleep the entire night but use a portion of time to contemplate on important matters. “So teach your children to sleep a little and read their books,” he advised

Earlier on Mr. Salim Ssuna, the head teacher of Bwala Muslim Day Primary briefed Sheikh Cucu about the history of the government aided school, its current enrollment, staff strength and the prevalent challenges. Sheikh Cucu backed the school proposal to introduce Information, Communication and Technology-ICT studies and called on parents to contribute towards this program generously.

He later visited Kyotera Central Day and Boarding Primary School in Cell 9 Central Zone in Kyotera Town Council. The head teacher, Haj Abubakar Kasagga told Sheikh Cucu that the Muslim community started the school in 1957 as a Quran Learning Centre and they went on incorporate secular studies in 1966 and handed it to the government in 1982.

Kyotera Central Day and Boarding Primary School is currently one the leading schools in the area with high enrollment of learners due to its star performance over the last five years. The school shares land with Rakai Muslim District Council Main Mosque, Kadhi’s Office and Kyotera Muslim Health Centre.

While receiving Sheikh Cucu, Mr. Kasagga hailed him for designing the on spot checks, which he said was long overdue. “I served in various Schools before being posted here. However, this is my first time to see the UMSC Secretary of education coming for inspection. Had it been the routine in the past, believe me Muslim education would have been far much better than it is today. Such visits help both us on the ground and you at the Headquarters to find solutions to problems facing our schools,” he observed.

He also denied the accusations leveled against him that he was behind changing the School name when it lost its “Muslim” identity, saying that it is him instead who is struggling to get it back to its old name. Mr. Kassagga cited another example of a Muslim Founded School in the District that lost its Islamic Identify from Mutukula Muslim Primary School to Mutukula Prison P/S.

Sheikh Juma Bakhit Cucu. Photo Credit: UMSC/ Ziwa Ashiraf.

In his response, Sheikh Cucu advised the head teacher to execute his roles professionally and diligently. “Our Muslim Leaders need to be recognized so whenever they pay a courtesy call at the School, please give them their due respect,” Sheikh Juma Bakhit Cucu advised.

He reminded the Head teacher to always liaise with his Office as he executes his duties and ensure they contribute towards the education fund in line with education policy. He explained that the money was purposely earmarked to finance Muslim Education activities right from area Mosque, County, District, and Regional and at the Headquarters. Sheikh Gucu crowned his tour by inspecting Kamengo Technical Institute in the outskirts of Kyotera town.

At Kamengo, the principal Issah Mwebesa welcomed Sheikh Cucu and informed him that Institute seats on 22 acres of land belongs to UMSC as the registered proprietor.
He also revealed that they own another 10 acres of land, five of which have eucalyptus trees. Mr. Mwebesa noted that they have an enrolment of 219 students comprising 53 females and rest being the male students .
He revealed that of the 219 learners, 100 are government sponsored while the remaining are private students. He explains that due to the meagre resources, the institute offers few courses such as plumbing, Electricity installation, Fashion and design, Construction and Motor Vehicle engineering.

He cited a number of challenges such as lack of equipment, land wrangles and absence of the school title that is still in the custody of former Board Chair.

According to the principal, the chair declined to surrender the title and when dragged to court he revealed that he handed it over to Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu at Kibuli.

The trial judge ruled that institute was in to position to secure another special title, which was later followed.
Amazingly, the Special title which was later secured and was entrusted to Sheikh Swaibu Kaweesi former District Kadhi of Rakai, also confiscated it upon his retirement from office.
This has turned away potential funders including the World Bank. He also noted with concern the poor attitude of Muslim parents towards vocational studies, which have affected the enrollment of Muslim children.
On his part, Sheikh Cucu advised the host to liaise with the UMSC Education department for follow up with the relevant government ministries, departments and donors.

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