Zahid has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jinja City represented by the Mayor Peter Alton Kasolo Okocha, and other officials.
By Nelly Otto
Jinja – November 5, 2022: PARVATIBEN Muljibhai Madhavani (PMM) Girls school situated in Jinja City has initiated collaboration with its UK-based counterpart Judgemeadow Community College.
Recently, the college’s computer laboratory situated along Magwa Crescent was filled with an atmosphere of excitement and hope as students under their ICT Club exchanged views through a zoom with their colleagues from Judgemeadow Community College.
The students from both ends asked questions, shared experiences and expressed ambitions, hope and challenges under the watchful eyes of their teachers, thanks to the strides of technology which facilitated the conversation.
PMM is a girl Ordinary and Advanced (O&A) level secondary school with the motto: Struggle for Success. It was founded in 1958 by the Madhvani Group of Companies in memory of their matriarch Parvatiben who died 200 years ago. Currently it has a population of 700 students.
Judgemeadow Community College with the motto: Working Together to Ensure the Highest Quality of Education for Each Individual is located in the Evington area of Leicester City.
Records available indicate that the 1973-founded mixed school has a student enrollment of 1,400 students with 45%girls while the boys make 55%.
Zahid Sheikh who is spearheading the project says the school project is part of an ambitious project dubbed Once Upon a Time 50 Years Ago theme pegged on the brutal expulsion of the non-citizen Asians by the former Ugandan President Iddi Amin Dada.
Once Upon A Time 50 Years Ago is a captivating underdog story when more than 40,000 Asians left Uganda for the UK empty handed and shot their way to wealth after hard work.
The Asians who described the expulsion as a blessing in disguise have chosen to celebrate as opposed to regrets and lamentation and are ready and willing to plough back their earnings to Uganda, which evokes a lot of feelings and emotions.
“We plan to create and support 50 different projects in Uganda with concentration in Jinja where many of us were born as a way of giving back and appreciating the various communities…,” Zahid announced.
As part of a wider partnership, Zahid has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jinja City represented by the Mayor Peter Alton Kasolo Okocha, Speaker Bernard Mbayo and the City Clerk Moses Lorika.
Already some infrastructure improvement work is taking place at Magwa Primary School to ensure that pupils study in a hygienic environment conducive to learning.
An exhibition shop is being established to showcase the Once Upon A Time 50 Years Ago to remember, celebrate and commemorate together and support some great initiatives to leave a legacy behind in Uganda.
A sewing machine project will also be set up where young people and mothers can be trained on some skills like tailoring and handcrafts as part of empowerment for them to lead decent lives.
He says from being seen more as liabilities than assets, the Asians who went to the UK are now wealthy people managing numerous successful enterprises and are happy to invest back to Uganda which they call home.
“As many may recall, we were chased using a one way ticket to the UK where we started as very poor people (liabilities) but through hard work and being focused, God has elevated us immensely,” he said.
Referring to the recent election of Rishi Sunak whose parents are of Indian descent as UK Prime Minister, the businessman cum anthropologist noted with concern that there is a sharp contrast in educational and health infrastructures in Uganda and the UK.
The ICT Club patron, Annette Mukombe who also teaches computer lessons at the school is hopeful that the collaboration will yield positive results among the students and school.
“…we are anxiously waiting to consolidate on this initiative with the view of improving on what we have so that the school gets support for our learners to get better skills and knowledge…,” Mukombe said.
Four other schools including Jinja SS with an estimated enrolment of 3,000 students are expected to be part of this collaboration after an ICT Hub is established by Moses Wamanga.
Moses Wamanga is a senior education specialist serving as a team leader at Kawa Uganda an innovation and tech support organization that provides professional to build the capacity of secondary school students on ICT.