By Janet Museveni
Can you believe it is another brand new week? In Runyankole, we have a proverb that says, “Obusheesha nibwira bwinganisa omwana na nyina” which when translated simply means, “the process of morning that turns to night makes a child grow to be like the mother.”
The topic for our dialogue this week is: “School Preparation.” Are you preparing yourself or your child to go back to school in the New Year, God willing? That must be an exciting time as you now prepare.
Ok, so the first question I need to ask you is: Do you hang out with God often to enjoy asking Him questions and listening to His answers?
If you do, have you been able to ask Him what the purpose for the closure of schools was? What has God said about it?
Do you know that nothing happens in our lives without God’s knowledge? That’s why it is always intriguing to know God’s perspective on things that happen in our day-to-day lives.
When you understand that there’s absolutely nothing that happens in your life that God is ignorant about, then it makes you realize just how great God or His will is in your lives, generally speaking. That makes you understand that if you care only to do what God wants you to do with your life, it is necessary to pray continually to get His guidance. That is the purpose of prayer.
Therefore, going back to the school preparation – if you had been hearing from God, you would have learned what God’s perspective was on school closure on Covid19 and what His will for you was during the time you spent at home.
Is it possible that there are things you can only learn at home which you couldn’t learn while at school, things that He probably wanted you to explore while at home?
Could families have failed to make time for other family members because everybody is too busy outside the home?
And when the nations had these lockdowns, people had no option but to be at home, eat as one, talk to one another, and generally be together – what families were supposed to be and do in the first place!
Or could it be perhaps that God wanted children also to appreciate their parents’ work, the work they struggle with to pay for their children’s needs, including education?
God could have made the children (the learners) act as interns to realize what skills they need at school to transform the communities where their parents strive to make a living; this then informs us how important this time was or would have been if all of us had accepted it with good hearts.
However, in Uganda, we have learned how many families don’t want to have their children at home, especially the girls.
When they were forced to have them at home instead of at school, many gave their daughters away in marriage; others were defiled by relatives at home (some by their own fathers).
So the school closures have brought out community weaknesses that we didn’t know before, and we need to pray for clear solutions for those wounds that many families are now living with. That is why we will start a campaign that we hope will provide some answers and guidance for many of these girls in our society that are hurting.
With God’s help, perhaps their wounds will find some healing.
However, for those who are preparing to go back to school or preparing their children, I pray that it will be an exciting time; I hope you will remember to thank God for the time He has given your children to be with you at home, and for keeping you all healthy and alive through Covid19.
Janet Museveni is the first lady, and minister of education and sports
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