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Removing the padlock on children’s minds



By teacher Ibrahim Bashir, teacher at Bridge School, Yesu Amala

Over the last few years working as a teacher I have undergone an amazing transformation in the way I teach. The changes have been in the things I do when I am in the classroom, the ways that I motivate the children and instruct them.

Before, I spent a lot of time expecting the children to just work from their textbook, reading and answering questions. I stood at the front of the class or sometimes just did marking in the corner. But now, after more training, I have a lot of interaction in the classroom, more discussion, more questions from them and from me as we go along. Lots of time for feedback. I believe you must be ready to try new things as a teacher, in what you do and how you do it. 


When I joined this school, the first thing I did was go on a residential training course, to spend time thinking and learning about the best ways to teach. Not what to teach but how to teach. Many teachers were there, those who had been teaching for many years and for just a few. We were looking at the different ways children learn and how a good teacher can make a classroom a more powerful place to learn. It was all so new and interesting to me.

I see the change in my pupils and know for sure I am a better teacher now because of the new approaches and techniques I have learnt. I can see it in the way the children respond to me.

One of the most effective teaching techniques I have learnt through the training sessions provided is known as ‘STRIVE’. This is an acronym where each letter stands for something that will help pupils learn. ‘S’ requires pupils to sit down and be attentive, so they can absorb all of the information in the lesson. ‘T’ requires pupils to track teachers with their eyes, preventing them from losing concentration and vital information. ‘R’ requires pupils to respond whenever they are asked a question, so that the teacher can acknowledge whether the pupil has understood what is being taught. ‘I’ requires pupils to inquire whenever they have any queries or may have a question about the content. ‘V’ requires pupils to visualise success so that they can visibly see the improvements in their work. Finally, ‘E’ requires pupils’ ears to be listening at all times, as this is the pathway to the brain. 

 Video Classroom behaviour has really changed:

I believe that all of my pupils are better able to learn their lessons due to the teaching philosophy I was taught in my training. It sounds so simple: narrating the positive, giving children time to think before choosing someone to answer, watching the whole room. But before I didn’t know all this and now I do. Through the training, I felt as though I was a student all over again. 


Every couple of weeks the Academy Manager will come and watch me teach. She has much more teaching experience than me. She watches how I do the lesson, and then after that she talks to me about how I could do better. I also have a leadership and development coach who comes to the school and do the same thing. It gives me fresh perspective. This simple thing – ongoing feedback – has made me grow, over the years, to be the best I have ever been. Teaching is a precious skill, that needs focus – I feel that more and more now.

Some children here have parents who cannot read and write, so it is up to me to teach everything. I can do it, and it is wonderful to see. Many children can now help their parents on their stalls or to read some little information. It is a change, we can all see that the children are learning new things and that they are excited for school to start and for my lessons.

How you work in the classroom is not just how you teach the lessons but also how you manage the classroom to get the best out of the children. I do not beat the pupils. If you beat a child, you put a padlock on their minds. No, it’s important to have discipline in other ways that are much better for the child and the whole class. Now, I have a strong relationship with my pupils because they have no fear to try.

Overall, the training and support has boosted my confidence and ability as a teacher. I feel stronger; that people are appreciating my work and that it is making a difference. I wish for all teachers that they could have my experience; so they know how to succeed. Teaching is a skill and we have a lot of responsibility, we need to be able to teach the best way possible and we need to be supported and to be helped to do that.   

As part of the UN World Teachers Day activities, teachers around the world are sharing their stories of success, despite working in challenging environments. Teacher Ibrahim shares this story of personal development in Uganda, as part of the campaign #TeachersTransformLives.


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Celebrity Gossip

Uganda’s Amstardam talks about his music and love for table tennis



Amstardam real names Emmanuel Bbale Mugera was born and raised in Nsambya a Kampala surbub.

Famous for his Kangende song, an emotional love song that he created with a group of friends who shared their love story experiences.

Produced by Sula lost Pro at Live the Dream Studio the song is has garnered thousands of views online just a few days after its release.

Growing up with his Grand parent, a one Agnes Nakitto after the death of his dear mother Bena Nabukeera in 1998, Amstardam went to a village of schools.



Among them included Railway Primary School Nsambya (2007-2010), Railway Nursery School, St Janan Luwum Kabalagala and Kololo High School were he dropped out shorlty after Senior three(3).

”I was alone and didn’t have any support from family and having grown up on the streets, i decided to quit” He said.


Like almost half of Uganda’s music indutry, Amstardam has it that since childhood, he has had the love and passion for music.


”I started professional recording in 2011 however my first ever single titled ‘She Say’ was released in 2010”

Amstardam attributes his musical genesis to a one ‘Sula Lost’ who offered him free studio airtime in 2010.

With inspiration from Jose Chameleone, Goodlyfe,Bob Marley, Busy Signal and Vybez Kartel, Amstardam also credits singer and writer Daddy Andre.

”Daddy Andre also gave me a hand in the start and i am more than grateful” He said.



Table tennis, also known as ping-pong and whiff-whaff, is a sport that contributed much to Amstardam’s brand.

In 2007, at Sharing Youth Centre Nsambya it’s were it all started and the rest is history according to the dreadlocked singer.

‘I was heading to a cinema hall to watch my favorite movies but suprisingly i ended up at this youth hall practising this game of table tennis’

A year later i became a winner for the ‘Cadets Under 10 Championship in 2008,2009 and 2010 respectively.

Its after these victories that Amstardam i got recognition hence travelling the globe and acquiring scholarships.


Beofre i knew, i had mastered the game and graduated as a coach at Nakasero Table Tennis Club in 2013.

”I am an extremely motivated table tennis coach with a proven track record of bringing the best out of Children”.

On April 6th 2019, under my NGO, we hosted the World Tbale Tennis Day Main event on behalf of the International Table Tennis Federation(ITTF) and some of our members got scholarships.

NGO Work (Advocacy Work)
Amstardam is the founder and head coach of Slum Ping Pong (SPP) a Table Tennis club operating in Nsambya and other cities in Uganda.

”With my kind of work, i get to meet alot of people from all walks of life and this also was another birth of my advocacy side”.


”In 2017, i started my NGO , Slum Ping Pong which teaches Table Tennis, Education, Arts and Sports that brings positive social change amongst youths and children in Slums of Uganda.

My NGo also operates outside of normal school hours and has 7 main coaches
Have also worked with different organisations and brands such as Fling Fire, Owino Market Water Aid, African Hair Magazine as a Model.

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Plan to rebuild Kisumu port will improve water transport in Uganda




By Our Reporter

Upon completion, this 14 tank storage project will store up to 70m liters of fuel making it one of the largest fuel terminals in East and Central Africa.

With a 10 nautical miles speed, the 220m long jetty at Bugiri-Bukasa is estimated to deliver fuel in 16hours.

With the construction process now at 70% according to Capt. Mike Mukula, the chairman and one of the shareholders of Mahathi, this fuel terminal will ease transportation of fuel from Kampala to Kisumu through lake Victoria considering that Kenya Pipeline Company has a fuel terminal at Kisumu on L.Victoria.

“This project will be a game-changer of the country because we shall be able to transport fuels on Lake Victoria from Kisumu, Kenya to Kampala using Oil Tanker ships,” he said adding that “this [project] will reduce the cost of fuel and its transportation by over 50%.


Capt Mukula added that tanks are complete, while the jetties and ships near completion.

With a 10 nautical miles speed, the 220m long jetty at Bugiri-Bukasa is estimated to deliver fuel in 16hours upon completion.

He explained that this 14 tank storage project will store up to 70m liters of fuel making it one of the largest fuel terminals in East and Central Africa.

With a 10 nautical miles speed, the 220m long jetty at Bugiri-Bukasa is estimated to deliver fuel in 16hours.

Presently, Petroleum products like Diesel, Gasoline, Kerosene, and Jet A1 are transported by road making it costly, susceptible to adulteration, accidents and uncertain supplies.


Through Lake Victoria which is the biggest water resource in Uganda, this fuel terminal will ease transportation of fuel from Kampala to Kisumu considering that Kenya Pipeline Company has a fuel terminal at Kisumu on Lake Victoria.

According to Mr. Mukula, this project will also store fuels and load trucks for supplying in Uganda and to neighboring countries and that it is expected to kick off mid next year as Uganda finalizes preparation for its first oil production.

The project is also expected to provide both direct and indirect employment Ugandans and Kenyans and ensure reliability in supplies.

Uganda has always suffered a shortage in strategic oil tank reserves and it is projected that this $270m investment will address this challenge as one ship will be able to carry about 200 trailers.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has been very pivotal in rebuilding Kisumu port and it is not a coincidence that the Bugiri-Bukasa fuel terminal will contain a pipeline from Mombasa to Kisumu.


Mahathi Infra a firm established for the execution of projects, primarily in the Oil and Gas sector has successfully executed projects in Mozambique, India, Liberia and Kenya with excellent working experience in Africa.

In March 2016, Mr. Museveni held a meeting with Mahathi Infra Services Pvt Ltd directors led by Ravi Sankar Yandapalli, Kalyan Swaroop and Mike Mukula at State House, Nakasero where they discussed issues pertaining to the proposed development of fuel transportation from Kenya to Uganda through Lake Victoria.

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Uganda insists Tullow Oil must pay taxes before leaving




By Our Reporter

Tullow confirmed earlier Thursday that their Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) deadline had passed.

Now the ministry of energy has stressed that Tullow must pay Capital Gains tax before it can be allowed to sell part of its stake to Total and CNOOC Uganda.

The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Robert Kasande in a statement on Thursday said the government’s position is that the assessed tax should be paid in line with the laws of Uganda and tax reliefs be treated in accordance with laws of Uganda.

“Government’s position is that the assessed tax should be paid in line with the laws of Uganda and tax reliefs are treated in accordance with the laws of Uganda,” he said.


The issue of contention according to Kasande was that Tullow sought to transfer its interest without payment of Capital Gains Tax arising from the sale to CNOOC and Total.

Tullow was required to pay $167m (Shs600b) capital gains tax. While the buying Total and CNOOC were also supposed to meet certain taxes for the deal to conclude.

Tullow Chief Executive Officer, Paul McDade earlier on Thursday said they had been informed that its farm-down to Total and CNOOC will terminate at the end of the day (29 August 2019) following the expiry of the Sales Purchase Agreements.

He said Tullow has been unable to secure a further extension of the Sales Purchase Agreements with its Joint Venture Partners, despite previous extensions to the Sales Purchase Agreements having been agreed by all parties.

McDade explained that the termination of this transaction as  a result of being unable to agree on all aspects of the tax treatment of the transaction with the Government of Uganda which was a condition to completing the sales purchase agreements(SPAs)


He noted that while Tullow’s capital gains tax position had been agreed as per the Group’s disclosure in its 2018 Full Year Results, the Ugandan Revenue Authority and the Joint Venture Partners could not agree on the availability of tax relief for the consideration to be paid by Total and CNOOC as buyers.

He revealed that Tullow will initiate a new sales process to reduce its 33.33% Operated stake in the Lake Albert project which has over 1.5 billion barrels of discovered recoverable resources and is expected to produce over 230,000 barrels of oil per day at peak production.

McDade said the Joint Venture Partners had been targeting a Final Investment Decision for the Uganda development by the end of 2019, but the termination of this transaction is likely to lead to further delay.

Government responds

Kasande in response said the several engagements between the government and three oil companies about the aborted $900 million farm-down deal had not yielded the desired outcome.


The other issue of the standoff was that the government has insisted that the farm-down would only proceed only after certain tax deductions not ordinarily transferable to buyers be transferable to the buyers.

Uganda Revenue Authority according to Kasande communicated the said tax to the Joint Venture Partners on 10th August 29, 2019, to the Joint Venture partners leading to the current standoff.

The Joint Venture Partners have during the negotiations disagreed on of tax relief for to be paid by Total and CNOOC as buyers. CNOOC Uganda had not issued a statement about the latest developments by the time of filing this report.

Total’s exploration & production President, Arnaud Breuillac in a statement said despite the termination of this agreement, Total together with its partners CNOOC and Tullow will continue to focus all its efforts on progressing the development of the Lake Albert oil resources.

“The project is technically mature, and we are committed to continuing to work with the government of Uganda to address the key outstanding issues required to reach an investment decision. A stable and suitable legal and fiscal framework remains a critical requirement for investors.” Said Breuillac in a statement.


Meanwhile, Tullow says it initiate a new sales process to reduce its 33.33% Operated stake in the Lake Albert project. Paul McDade’s statement said the Joint Venture Partners had been targeting a Final Investment Decision for the Uganda development by the end of 2019, but the termination of this transaction is likely to lead to further delay.

The Energy Ministry’s Robert Kasande said the government since the issuance licenses in 2012 and 2016, remained committed to enabling the licensees to take the Final Investment Decision (FID).

He noted that the Final Investment Decision included the upgrade of critical roads and other infrastructure, securing permits related to environment protection, excess gas utilization, and land acquisition.

“We are therefore confident that as Tullow moves to re-initiate a new sales process, the JVPs will remain committed to fulfilling tax obligations,” said Kasande in a statement

Kasande said the government will continue to work with the threes oil companies (Joint Venture to ensure that a Final Investment Decision (FID) is achieved at “earliest and in a manner that safeguards the country’s interests and sovereignty while delivering a healthy return on investment for licensees” said Kasande.


Story by URN

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