The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has said she is thankful to God for all the work in her Ministry and for what He has enabled them to achieve throughout the year.
“I want to thank God for our lives and for what He has done for us individually and collectively as a Ministry throughout the year”, Mrs. Museveni said while speaking at the end of year retreat for the Ministry of Education and Sports staff which was held at the Cricket Oval in Lugogo Kampala on Thursday.
The retreat, which was characterized by celebration and fun, was also attended by the three State Ministers Dr. J.C Muyingo for Higher Education, Rosemary Seninde for Primary Education and Charles Bakkabulindi for Sports, plus the Chairperson of the Education Committee of Parliament and other partners. Many people who included outstanding performers for the year 2018 in the Ministry, retirees and transferred officers were recognized and awarded with certificates and plaques. The staff and the Ministers also exchanged gifts.
The First Lady appreciated all the staff for the hard work put in throughout the year. “I know that our work is so demanding and stressful and it is very easy to feel like you are not appreciated. Now this is my opportunity to assure you that we do appreciate everyone and the contributions of every department in our Ministry and all our Agencies”, she said.
She highlighted some of the milestones reached during the year such as the 54 Primary schools whose construction was completed plus the 84 schools still in the process of being built, the Education Refugee Response Plan that was launched in September, major victories for the Uganda Cranes, the She-cranes and the National Universities Netball Team, plus various medals won by Uganda’s young people in the 2018 Commonwealth games in Australia, the many teachers’ conferences held and many other programmes done. “We have every reason to thank God”, she said.
About the theme of the day, which was “Enhancing Education and Sports Productivity: Striving for a Balance between Service Excellence and Personal Development”, Mrs. Janet Museveni said that all this depends on establishing the right value system at an individual level. “Values are the foundation of everything that we do. The quality of our service is a reflection of who we are because you cannot give what you do not have. Values are the bedrock of everything that we do, they are the non-negotiables that determine the decisions we make in life”, she added.
She said the Education Ministry’s core values include integrity, selflessness, transparency, accountability, efficiency, professionalism, client focus and responsiveness and that these must be observed from the way every member of the Ministry does their work and how they treat other people. She advised the Education Ministry people to each to reflect on the way they do their work and on the values espoused as a Ministry, so that the pain points like corruption, lack of teamwork, poor quality work become history.
“As custodians of the education system of our nation, my prayer is that we shall become the embodiment of the values that we seek to impart in those we teach”, she said.
She quoted the Bible in Colossians 3:23-24, which teaches that you reap what you sow and said that if they sowed integrity, hard work, selflessness, team work, efficiency, there would be benefits both at an individual level and for the entire Ministry. “As you strive for a balance between service excellence and personal development, work with all your heart at whatever you do and you will surely receive a reward from God Himself”, she counseled.
“Thank you for working tirelessly and diligently throughout 2018. We pray for renewed commitment, wisdom, knowledge and understanding as we continue to execute our work, balancing excellence and personal development. Please know that I pray for you daily not just for the work that you do but also for your personal development. I am your fellow servant of our people and when you succeed, I too succeed”, Mrs. Museveni told her Ministry staff and also acknowledged and thanked the Education Development Partners for holding hands with the Ministry in delivering services to the people.
Dr Barry Lenhardt, a certified international Life Coach and Motivational Speaker on the invitation of the First Lady, gave a keynote address and talked at length about the potential of Uganda to reach greater heights to lead Africa. He said that it is the education sector that can bring out this potential in people and build it. Dr Barry emphasized that what arrests one’s soul is what determines their sight or vision and also said that Education impacts what vision the people will have for the future. Dr Barry advised the Education Ministry staff to always build on the strength and the good they have rather than focusing on the negative.
In his remarks, Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza highlighted the achievements for 2018 and pledged to continue in the coming year with the team work and also ensure that all hindrances to efficient and effective service delivery are addressed.