Apwony ojok

Story, memories of fmr. Aber Primary School teacher, Ojok William

(Last Updated On: 13 December 2023)

Aber I If there was ever a mental sharpness competition class for people in their 80s; Mzee Ojok William would top the class.

Mr Ojok is the father of Corner Atapara-based businessman, Mr Ayini Jimmy. The former Aber Primary School teacher’s account of his days as a teacher is quite engaging.

Mr Ojok William began his teaching career as a subgrade teacher in Minakulu in 1957. This was towards the end of Reverend Engor Erukana’s tenure, at the helm of what is currently St John Church of Uganda, Aber Archdeaconry Headquarters.

Between 1957 and 1963, he taught in two other government schools namely; Acaba and Amuca (then known to be ‘Te okutu’) in Lira. Acaba is where he met his wife Genty, with whom he lives to this day.

In the 3rd school term of 1963, Mr Ojok William was posted to teach at Aber Primary School. He recalls that this was around the time that former Aber Primary School Headteacher Mr Atwai, died in a motorcycle crash.

At Aber, Mr Ojok was handling the Primary 3 class. As was the practice then, a class teacher was tasked with teaching all the subjects. One notable pupil in teacher Ojok William’s class was Kabagambe Patrick (PK). This was credible because Mr Kabagambe agreed that he was promoted to Mr Jedekia Munucol’s class in 1964.

Kabagambe’s older brother David Kasaja was in Primary 6 then, together with classmate Egwel David Opito. There was nothing like Primary 7 then and the Primary 6 class was handled by the Headteacher, Mr Apita Smith.

Veteran teacher Mr Ojok vividly recalls his colleagues in the profession at Aber Primary School. They include Ms Acio Grace (Primary 2) daughter of Omara Apollo, Mr Ongora Joshua and Jedekia Munucol (Primary 4), Mr Abala Erisa (Primary 5), and Mr Apita Smith (Primary 6).

The Inspector of Schools at the time Mr Ojok William taught at Aber Primary School was a Boroboro-based gentleman, Mr Zakayo Nyankori.

In 1965, he was transferred to Kamdini Primary School. Under unfortunate circumstances, in 1966, a terrible fever coupled with nose bleeding crippled his teaching career. That very year his teaching career ended, from whence he settled for farming.

Veteran teacher Ojok William is not yet done with his fact file of a brain. Meeting me recently, he delved into the history of Arok village in Akaka Parish Aber, Sub-county in Oyam District. This place of his birth was fragmented into small community clusters, each bearing names with which they were identified.

Also read: Aber P7 @100 years: 83-year-old former pupil, Betty Ocwet recalls 

One cluster just by the Toshi River where Mzee Okello Wokorach Geoffrey’s house is located was called Galilaya.

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Retired teacher, Ojok listens to a Radio program at his home. Photo by Gira Robert.

Another cluster was called Ajokomyelo itarubanda, where we find Mr Opito Onek’s home today. Anyamunege was another cluster, where Mzee Olugu Ajep’s home is situated.

In close proximity was the Ibule cluster, where the late Abdalla Anyuru was born on November 27, 1927. A humongous and famous tree in that location was burnt and cut down recently.

Generations from the family tree of Mr Ojok William have been students at Aber Primary School. You guessed right, his many grandchildren are pupils of Aber Primary School today.

By Gira Robert Anyuru

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