Mr. Wilson Tumwebaze, 53, is the current head teacher at Kyamuhunga Secondary School in Igara West, Bushenyi district, Western Uganda. He has been a teacher for the last 28 years, and has served schools including Kako, Nakyenyi, Misanvu, and Kyamuhunga Secondary Schools, which have altogether shaped him into an experienced teacher and headteacher.
Throughout his career, Tumwebaze has served as club patron, head of department, examinations master, Uganda National Examinations Board Examiner, Director of Studies, acting head teacher, Deputy head teacher, and Head teacher in the schools that he has gone through.
He says, teachers must have time for their work and exhibit respect for all people, if they are to become good teachers.
Mr. Wilson Tumwebaze was born in Nyabushabi, Kyanamira, Ndorwa, Kabale district in July 1966. He attended his primary school at Nyamyerambiko Primary School, and Secondary School at Kabale Secondary School and Kigezi High School in Kabale district.
After his Secondary school in 1988, Tumwebaze went to Makerere University for his Bachelors Degree in Education graduating as a teacher of History and Geography.
After University, Tumwebaze began his teaching career in 1991 at Kako Secondary School in Masaka district having been active in school and Church activities during his school practice.
One year after he had started teaching, he was a students’ darling. The students always wanted to be taught by “the other Mukiga.” His students always wanted to be promoted with him to the next class. He gained popularity in 1992 when students passed his subject- History very well, and other schools started trailing him. That’s when the Kako Secondary School administration promoted him to a level of Head of Department Geography and History at an age of 24.
He was thereafter made an Examinations Master in the same school in 1994. This charged him to oversee all examinations in the school including UNEB exams, before being appointed Director Studies.
Time came when Tumwebaze wanted to go for a Masters Degree though it was hard because he was required to keep at school all the time.
In 1999, he pursued a diploma in project planning and management, which he studied over the weekend and during holidays. He finished it in 2000 This he says opened his mind on issues of project planning, organization and management.
When he finished it, there was another chance for him to pursue a diploma in Advanced Educational Management from Uganda Martyrs University and he enrolled for it on modular system completing it in 2002, which at the same time enhanced his skill in managing schools.
Tumwebaze was in 2002 encouraged by a friend to enroll for a Master Degree in Development studies. He pursued the course and finished it in 2003. In the year 2003, the Education Service Commission advertised Deputy head teacher positions and he applied. He was fortunately considered for the job and he became a deputy head teacher at Nakyenyi Secondary School, where he served for one year.
“I was in charge of administration and academics and the results were pleasing. The school had never got first grades since its establishment.” He says
In January 2004, Tumwebaze was appointed a head teacher of Nsanvu Secondary School. He wanted to turn down the appointment because the school was in poor condition, but he was later advised by a friend who told him that his hard work would be tested. He accepted and took on the appointment after being convinced that the school needed his expertise to improve.
At the school, he engaged the Board of Governors and PTA members, who endorsed his five-year development plan of improving a school, that he found with one classroom block. He helped the school get computers, which were donated by a friend.
“The computers attracted more students to the school and eventually, he put up other buildings that also served as decent dormitories. The nearby schools waged war against me because the improved services drained them and their enrolments dropped drastically. These did not stop me from performing. In 2009, I built a main hall and staff houses, which also gave the school a better face with more than 700 students.” He recalls.
He was in 2010, Tumwebaze was transferred back to Nakyenyi SS, where everything was almost failing and the school was dilapidated. He had served at that school as Deputy head teacher. He worked at the school for one year and everything changed and reduced failures.
In January 2012, he was transferred to Kyamuhunga Secondary School as headteacher. The new station was not yet to the standard, but was far better than the ones he had served. He is the current headteacher of the school and the school has had infrastructure and academic performance improve.
Throughout his career, Tumwebaze has been able to put in place a home, marry, and produce children. He is able to take care of the family using his monthly pay, which he says is reasonable.
He is grateful that he has taught many people. This is his source of pride because his former students appreciate the work he did and this way, he feels satisfied.
Tumwebaze has learnt that as civil servant, there always a need to first study the environment one is going to work in, the people to work with, and whether the plans can fit in the environment. He says, the practice helps to know who you are going to work with and the strategies.
“For example, as a head teacher, you cannot work without the Board, staff, and the PTA. You must cooperate with these bodies to succeed. You definitely can’t work alone.” He affirms
There is also a need to also, make sure that teachers and other support staff get what they are entitled to. You must make sure that they get their salaries in time and their welfare is well catered for. When you have done your part, then you are free to demand results from them.
What has enabled him to succeed
Tumwebaze has been able to make it in life because he gives time to whatever he puts his mind and hands on. He says good planning of schedules in a given period of time must be given attention.
“I always give myself schedules. If I am to put up a building, I must sell the idea to the stakeholders of the school. If they own it and allow it to continue, I will give myself a schedule and makes sure that I deliver in time. This applies to different tasks.” He says
Advice to teachers
A good head teacher is the one who gives time to his work. You must keep at your work station except if you have an external assignment.
A teacher must work with all people and respect them the way they are as long as the overall goal is to improve academic performance. You have to work closely with all people depending on what they contribute towards the development of the school.
Whenever you are given an assignment, do it to your best because what you do today will market you in future. People will always look for you because of what you have done.
Advice to parents
The best gift and inheritance that you can give your child is education. You must make your children think about their education and concentrate on it to be successful in future.
Parents must also provide what is necessary for their children to be in school so that they can perform well. Parents have a duty to monitor the discipline of their children since discipline is key in academic performance.