By Leonard Kamugisha
For a couple of years, Bamwesigye envisioned in being an Educationist to enable his community access quality and affordable education. He sought of acquiring loans from SACCOs to top up on his salary savings as he grafted harder to make his dream come true.
Bamwesigye, is an eminent professional Teacher in the western district of Mitooma who has been in the Teaching field for the last 23yrs. His journey to success as a Teacher involves both ups and downs but importantly still, it’s worth narrative as writes Leonard Kamugisha.
Who is Bamwesigye?
|Bamwesigye Innocent, Director Ijumo progressive SS & Ruhinda Farm Sch
Bamwesigye Innocent, was born on 01/05/1972, in Kanjwiga LC1, Ijumo Parish, Mitooma Sub County, Mitooma District.
Bamwesigye’s lifelong dream was Teaching since his childhood. He says his teaching career is as old as 1990s when he started teaching in primary schools as a vacist.
“I have been a teacher for as early as since 1990, when I was in S. Four Vacation at Rwentookye P/S, in 1993 I was teaching at Ryakahimbi P/S when I was in my S. Six vacation,” Bamwesigye said.
After his S.6, he enrolled his studies at National Teachers’ College (NTC Kabale) where he graduated with a Diploma in Business Education in 1995. On completing at NTC Kabale, he was subsequently posted at Bubangizi SSS where he headed Department of Economics from 1995-2014, at this point, his dream started blossoming.
In early 2000, he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and statistics from Makerere University and in 2011, he was awarded with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Kampala International University (KIU). Today, he teaches at Kashensero Girls’ SS and at vocational institute.
“I teach Mathematics and Economics at Kashenshero Girls’ Secondary School. I also teach at Ruhinda Institute for Vocational Studies where I teach customer care, office practice and principles of accounts,” he narrates.
Bamwesigye, 46, is married to Franklin Kebirungi, a graduate Teacher and are blessed with five children. The elder son in S.3 at Kitabi Seminary in Bushenyi, second born is in S. one at Immaculate Heart Girls in Rukungiri, the rest still in elementary classes.
Due to the highest population that was in his Parish Ijumo, Bamwesigye realized that there was a need for the people to access social services in the area. That’s how his vision to become an Educationist and creating changes in his area started budding day by day through starting up schools.
“I started these schools with the help of the rural people in our parish where the population is high but the income of individuals is low and so far I have achieved this because many parents have educated their children and the parish as well as the whole sub county is developing at a high rate,” Bamwesigye said.
He says he saved some money from his salary and acquired loans from SACCOs to top up on his savings to ensure his idea grasped.
|Ruhinda Farm school students FILE PHOTO
Actual starting of schools
The year 2001 is a memorable one in the minds of Bamwesigye and he’s noticed with broad smiles as he narrates the story. It’s in this year that his vision turned into reality.
Through a partnership with other two friends, a new private school, Ijumo progressive SS was registered as a company with limited liability and officially started operating.
“At Ijumo progressive Secondary School I pattern with Col. Chris Baguma and Mr. Akahurira Rhillenon and we all have equal shares, we registered the school as a company with limited liability,” he explained in broad smiles.
According to Bamwesigye, the school has an enrollment of over 1000 students and has registered more academic and co-curricular awards since its establishment.
“Ijumo Progressive secondary School is the biggest private Secondary School in Mitooma District with a population of over 1000students, it has produced prominent people including sportsmen in the country.” Said Bamwesigye.
Venturing into a Vocational School.
Later, Bamwesigye realized there were a big number of students from disadvantaged families in the district who could not make it to the University and other higher Institutions of learning.
According to him, there was a need to start up a vocational training institute in the area to equip young students with skills to create own jobs and promote talents.
“In 2010, Ruhinda Institute for Vocational Studies started and it’s the only farm school in the district and it started with an aim of skilling Ugandans so that they become job creators and not job seekers and also promote the agricultural sector by producing skilled extension workers to scale down the sky rocketing unemployment affecting country youths,” he said.
He said that the establishment of Ruhinda Vocation was one of the means of fulfilling his aspirations to become an Educationist.
Source of Capital.
Due to limited funds FROM HIS SAVINGS, Bamwesigye says he partnered with other two friends to start Ijumo Progressive SS, this solicited money which they used to purchase a plot of land, build infrastructures as well as paying for labour.
“The capital to start the two schools was from my savings from my salaries as a teacher and sometimes I used to get loans from SACCOs and because I had limited funds I called those friends of mine to pattern with me. However, at Ruhinda Institute for Vocational Studies, I am a sole proprietor but I have also been constrained by the funds to develop the institute to a higher level,” Bamwesigye said.
Bamwesigye is proud of the progressive academics of Ijumo Progressive Secondary School, he says the school has a good academic track record in the district.
He for example said that in 2017 UNEB results, the school produced the best student in the district at A level with 17points in MEG/ICT and the Second had 15 points in PEM/ICT. All the two have been admitted on Government merit.
At O level Ijumo progressive secondary school had the second best student in the district with 15Aggregates in 8, he is now at Mbarara High School doing PCM/ICT.
He added that they have been able to produce men and women of substance both at Ruhinda Institute for Vocational Studied and at Ijumo Progressive SS many of whom are employed in public and private sectors and others are distinguished self-employers.
Bamwesigye said that the schools recognize and promotes learner’s talents outside the classrooms.
He adds that the schools’ participation in the district, regional and national sports activities boasts talents among the learners.
“Ijumo Progressive Secondary School has been the Champion of athletics in Mitooma District for both boys’ and girls’ trophies for the last 6 consecutive years. It also emerged as the champions for football boy’s trophy in 2018 and took girls to the national level for football competitions for the last four years. In fact, we are the first school to take the boys team to the national level in Mitooma district,” he expounded.
Talking about his achievements, Bamwesigye conceited of his great outputs produced in the last 23yrs of teaching experience.
“As a teacher I have achieved a lot especially I boast of my output i.e. Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants, Engineers, Teachers, and politicians whom I have produced in the 23 years I have been in the teaching industry,” he boasted.
He added that he has managed to secure UNEB and UBTEB registration numbers for both schools as well as acquiring the license of operation from Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology.
The eminent Educationist cited out financial constraints and Parents/Guardians’ low income earning as the major challenge facing education in Mitooma. However, he says that this has been addressed by making Education affordable to everyone through training learners with life skills courses and giving bursary slots.
The Director is optimistic that his schools shall expand and develop to higher levels of academic excellence in the next 5yrs. Bamwesigye says he is working tooth and nail to improve on the sports department in his school to ensure his school merges the best in the next tournament at all levels.
Unlike some people cursing the time they opted to pursue Education profession, Bamwesigye says teaching and becoming an Educationist is his passion and has never regretted of the decision made.
“I have enjoyed teaching because it was my vocation and that is why students usually excel in my subjects. I have never regretted being a teacher & Educationist since I have achieved a lot from this profession. It was my childhood dream,” Bamwesigye said.
He said that teaching was his vocation which he rightly received from the creator.
” Due to the highest population that was in his parish Ijumo, Bamwesigye realized that there was a need for the people to access social services in the area. That’s how his vision to become an Educationist and creating changes in his area started budding day by day through starting up schools,” Mwere narrates
Impact on the community
Bamwesigye’s initiatives have positively changed his community through creating jobs to a bigger number of people including Employing Fellow Teachers and other professionals at either schools and the Non-Teaching staff.
He said the school provides Academic and sports bursaries to students with financial difficulties and those with talents which enables them attain higher education.
“I also have helped many orphans and people from disadvantaged families to acquire education by giving them study/education bursaries and others I have paid their fees and are now important people.” Bamwesigye said.
Besides teaching and venturing into schools, Bamwsigye is involved in several economic and leadership activities.
“I am involved in commercial farming where I have over 18 dairy cows, more than 30 goats and a big banana plantation which supplements my income and create jobs for many Youths,Chairperson and founder of Bubangizi Parish SACCO, Senior UNEB examiner for Economics, Chairperson HUMC Mitooma Health Center IV, Coordinator SESEMAT Bushenyi Region, Member of Parish Council Ryakahimbi Parish among others,” he explained.
Speaking on his move to retire from his teaching job, Bamwesigye says he still has the required stamina to serve the nation however, he was could not hesitate saying he wish to retire in the next 13yrs for a young generation to take over.
“I am still in the service age, I cannot leave teaching now, I hope to push on for 13 years up to retirement age,” he said.
Bamwesigye recommends Ugandans predominantly the youths to join the teaching profession saying it’s among the marketable industries and can never regret.
“I encourage the youths to join the teaching profession because they cannot regret it. For example, with a Master’s degree in Business Administration I had many chances but I cannot leave teaching,” he said.
Bamwesigye in the Eyes of others
Mutatiina Joel, Alumnus, Ijumo Progressive SS (2009-2012), a third year student KIU – Ishaka pursuing Bachelor’s Degree of Science Education, Biology & Chemistry, “He’s a parent who supports orphans and students from vulnerable families awarding them academic bursaries. It’s because of his parental love that I am what I am today.”
Byamugisha Ambrose, Managing Director, Ambrosoli Consult Uganda ltd, “He is a great Leader who is so passionate about his community. It’s not for everyone to establish such initiatives in their communities. As a resident, I admire his initiatives.”
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