There is a difference between Economic growth and Economic Development. Economic growth is like what so called good schools do – put the bright students in one stream and the teachers put a lot of effort to coach them so that they can score excellent grades in the UNEB papers. The duller students are put in other streams and may even be forced to sit their exam from another centre so that they don’t spoil the performance of the school.
Economic development is believing every child can learn. Teachers spend time with the slow learners to empower them and identify and nurture other talents so that they benefit from the time at school. In the good old days people learnt social skills, writing, speech making etc so that even if they didnt have academic flair they had something to show for going to school.
Indifference is natural And as old as creation but has the current gov’t leaned against econ. development or growth? It’s a gov’t full of selfish and greedy individuals. The larger no. of Ugandans live under the poverty line and delivery of social services is at its lowest.
What development does is that it gives people more bang for the effort they make. If I can use another education analogy:I started P1 in a school where our class teacher neither spoke nor wrote English so we never learnt any English the whole year. For P2 I was moved to another school where pupils started learning English in P1. While classmates could read the story of Poor Kapere – I on the other hand was reduced to cramming the story and photographic interpretation. The teachers realised my predicament and put me under the tutorial of the grade 1 teacher and after 2 terms I was at par with the other pupils.
So let citizens exert economic effort but let government also create a development oriented environment. The last 3 weeks the President has been all over the place either laying foundation stones or unveiling plaques of finished projects but the hall mark of these projects is that they underscore the growth mindedness of our government.
Most people who consider themselves successful if they were honest would admit that they are so because of opportunities. My teacher gave me opportunity by taking time to tutor me. There are people who are poor today and others who will be poor a decade later because they have been systematically robbed of their opportunities. Under NRM,the opportunities continue to flow (or to be pulled) in the direction of a few.