Friday, August 3, 2007
I wonder why no one has failed to correlate the emergency of violent strikes in schools and the abolition of corporal punishments. The Ministry of Education and sports abolished corporal punishments in schools on June 16th 1997. This decision was not preceded by a scientific study rather it was due to biased and well-funded efforts of the anti-God, Atheistic, pro-homosexual organization called the International humanist and Ethical Union. A simple google search will show them bragging of how they succeeded in duping Uganda to ban any form of discipline which inflicted pain from our Schools.
From several conversations I have had with ministry of Education starting with Fagil Mandy, and Ministers of education, I have never received a well-founded reason for the disempowerment of the teachers by removing of discipline and punishment in cases of violations of school guidelines and rules. Many of us who were punished in school by caning were taught discipline instilled through reasonable fear of pain. In its absence, we have now reached a place where students don’t care about the words of teachers, and are very violent to an extent that the police now have to settle these cases.
This trend of violent education environment is common in countries where corporal punishment is removed. Case in point is the many public schools in United States where teachers are even afraid for their safety from out of control students! No amount of psychologists, counseling and Ritalin has been able to control this.
The big publicity of abuses of corporal punishment was used to dupe the educationalist. No study was done on the negative effects of removing this discipline, which was useful in ensuring compliance to the school guidelines. When the director of education Dr. John Mbabazi on August 7, 2006, directed schools to review their respective rules and introduce "more professional and acceptable sanctions to replace manual labor and caning" he did not really empower teachers with another effective method to deal with discipline in schools. So teachers are now simply dogs, which bark but cannot bite. Students now routinely callously break the rules; smoke in teachers faces knowing that teachers cannot really do anything about it.
These guidelines have also created a climate of fear to the teachers. Mbabazi warned teachers "Where these guidelines are ignored, the culprits (teachers) will be held criminally responsible for their actions. They will have to face the laws including the teacher's Code of Conduct. Since then several teachers have been arrested and are now in jail for daring to instill discipline in the students. No wonder now that we are having these violent strikes.
In Botswana they had banned corporal punishments for several years but had to legally re-introduce it back in schools after realizing that its removal resulted in very costly and dangerous violence in schools. In January 2004 Gojwane residents in the central district welcomed the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools to curb outward behavior. Instead of altogether throwing out the baby with the birth water, Botswana ministry of education issued guidelines to ensure that caning does not result in abuse. "Caning should be 'moderate and reasonable and shall be administered only on the palm of the hand or across the buttocks with a light cane not more than a meter long and at the thickest end, not more than a centimeter in diameter."
In addition to remove sexually motivated caning, they said, "No male teacher except the school head shall inflict corporal punishment upon a female student. The punishment were to be recorded in a register and every entry in the register shall be signed by the person who administered it and the person who witnessed it." Botswana's policy makers gave guidelines ensuring that caning is not excessive or abused to the extent of impinging on the dignity of the child.
No wonder the schools that have caning in Uganda have always done better both academically and in terms of discipline than those without caning. Instead of wondering if we need more communication, or putting children in decision-making places, a good place to start is for policy makers in the ministry of education to institute a rigorous and scientific study in the relationship between the removal of caning in schools and the sudden rise in school violence in the same time. Perhaps we may have to swallow our pride and say that we were mistaken by the questionable intentions of the human ethicists and go back to what we know works in Africa. "It takes a village to raise a child".
Dr. Martin Ssempa.
The write is a doctor of public health and service. He is a pastor, broadcaster and mentor of young people
Thursday, August 2, 2007
777, that is the 7th day of the 7th month of the 7th month of this millennium is a very significant and unusual of our calendars. Though many went through it without noticing its great importance, the discerning noticed the beginning of a new season, a super season. Christians understand that 7 is God’s number of perfection, completion and rest. 777 was a prophetic day with prophetic significance symbolizing the season of 7 we live in.
Makerere Community Church under the leadership of P r. Dr. Martin Ssempa pursued the prophetic revelation of the day, because they sensed something powerful surrounding its destiny. Dr. Ssempa, though with a Baptist background, God has done a great work in him and the church to appreciate the prophetic. “We now have prophetic dancers, make room for prophetic dreams, visions and revelations which are tested by our elders before they are given prominence. There is more than I can explain.” Dr. Ssempa said.
Prior to the day, a 40-day prayer fast was declared as a period of preparation of the bride. This had never been done before but it had to be done. “We had never done a fast this long.” Dr. Ssempa said. “It really wore on my members who are mostly college students.” “These guys gave of themselves even during their exams with daily lunchtime prayer meetings, and weekly overnight meeting.” He added. Many had special overnight prayer meetings all the week and there was such momentum. The church members prayed and wept for the sin in the church. There was confession for the church and the nations preceding the day. “In the last 21 days we got more confirmation that the rainbow was Gods symbol of seven for the season.” Dr. Ssempa said.
According to Dr. Steven Ogan in his book "The prophetic significance of the year 2007" the rainbow serves as a sign for the end of one season and the beginning of another one. Therefore as the church prayed, Ten days to 777 they were led to ask God for a sign, as promised in Acts; "I will show wonders in the heavens" to confirm the prayers with a visible show of His power and wonders in the heavens.
In this same season there was a visiting team of 25 American youth who were not used to the African kind of prayer loud and passionate.
In the midst of these prayers, God started to show his wonders, but it was just the beginning, a rainbow showed up “a most beautiful rainbow! When we saw it, I did not know whether to shout, cry or stop the car and just kneel down and worship.” Dr. Ssempa exclaimed. “I got a phone call from all-who had been in the prayer meeting and confirmed that God was answering our prayers.”
The last 7 days of the fast, were more intense, and the members went for a 24hour liquid only fast. (First time trying it).
The day 777 came to be a mega fest at the Makerere University grounds. The celebration and prayer party started at 5pm on 6th and was to go up to midnight, to usher in the new day 777 with worship, prayer and the blowing of the shofars. It was then to be continued at sunrise on Saturday at 7-am with blowing of shofars hourly until sunset, the fast was not to be broken until after the event!
The event of 777 brought together 7 key city fathers who included Pr. Gerald Mwebe of streams of life, Pr. Clement Tibarokoka of Deliverance Church, Pr. Jack Barlow of Jesus Alive Center, Pr. Stephen Ssenfuma of United Christian Fellowship, Pr. Isaac Mukisa Pr. Ssempa’s associate and Pr. Michael Kyazze of Omega Healing Center and of course Pr. Dr. Ssempa himself. This was also significant as many pastors were invited but only seven ended up showing up. Dr. James Magara of Intercessors for also showed up.
However, there was much financial difficulty, and the day came as a miracle “the baby of 777 was born in a manger of great needs.” Dr. Ssempa says. “But we stood together and made incredible sacrifices for the invisible prophetic call to lay our lives down for His glory.”
The day was glorious with prophetic dancers, worshippers who had vowed themselves unto the Lord. Judith Babirye the Ugandan anointed worshipper came over, there was a mighty shout on a clear African sky! at midnight, and it was unusually warm unlike all the past nights which had been so cold. As they shouted and blew the shofar, those with demons began to fall down with a mighty thud at release of the Omega anointing on the day. They sang “behold he comes” and lifted up the name of the Groom.
On the morning of Saturday, It was powerful. God had sent a dream of rain followed by a heavenly downpour of precious jewels and this was to be witnessed in the day. They continued to pray for to God to confirm the prayers with a rainbow.
At Midday of 777 there was a Jericho march around the stadium for seven times. This was done together with the new apostolic chaplain over the university Canon Ebong Johnson who led the prayers.
Near the close Pr. Alan Kisakka and the Strangers ministered. It was like a private concert of refreshing Gods soldiers with music of the hungry crying out to be quenched by the spirit. These world-class musicians sang and prayed, it was like our God wanted people there to enjoy a private concert alone with those who had spent of themselves. We humbled and prayed more for the individuals.
Then there was one more thing, a great symbolic sign to climax the day, the rainbow! “The biggest and most beautiful rainbow I ever remember! What a God of wonder!” Dr. Ssempa said. The whole place went absolutely ballistic with the clearest answer and confirmation of our prayers. It was exactly 6.PM.exactly the sunset of the 7th day! The end of an era and the beginning of a new era! People were overwhelmed and did not really know what to do. Like the priests who could not minister because of the cloud everyone rejoiced loudly and prophetically sang the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The meeting closed at 7.PM with blowing of shofars and declaring victory.
The very next day, God had started to work, a public work of cleansing. The major newspapers carried three major headlines-a major exposure of homosexuality of a key pastor who has been widely alleged to defile boys in his church, he has since resigned; The arrest of a pastor whose late father was a witch masquerading as a pastor and has done much harm to the church-he was arrested for carrying an electric shocking device thought to be used in defrauding his congregation; and a major exposure of the prosperity gospel atrocities. According to Pastor Ssempa, God is cleansing his Church and has taken the bandage off his church. It smells real bad, but if the wound is to be cleansed, He had to open it.
The devil has however not rested since, he has continued to lodge attacks on the church that was behind organizing the 777 event. There is a great financial attack, after the meeting, Pr. Ssempa while driving home survived an accident by hairs breadth when they came face to face with a tractor trailer which ran away from its lane to run them over.