Many students develop an attachment for their schools, probably because of the significant time they spent there.
It is for this reason that schools seek to maintain a connection with their old students. Any school worth its name and age ought to have an Alumni association; a body that brings together all those who were students in that school.
I was pleased to read in the papers that Lycee de Kigali (LDK) had established one such body recently. The newly formed association was welcomed by members who were pleased to meet with old friends and colleagues.
Before I could even get over the story of LDK’s Alumni efforts, I read about the St. Mary’s College Kisubi Old Boys’ Association (SMACKOBA) who awarded one of our own, Dr. Richard Sezibera. He received the Diplomacy and Leadership award.
St. Mary’s College Kisubi is over 100 years old and has maintained its history of excellence.
By the time I wrote this, I was in Kampala getting ready to travel to Jinja district on Saturday to join my friends and colleagues as my Alma Mater celebrates its 100th year.
I am talking about Busoga College Mwiri, where I studied my O Levels. The school is now 100 years old and has over the years, produced thousands of important people for Uganda and even Rwanda.
While Ntare School is famed for having produced two presidents for the region, President Museveni and President Kagame, Busoga College Mwiri is known to have produced Uganda’s first Executive Prime Minister, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote.
The long history of these school form part of the pride that those who attend these school carry after leaving the school.
These old schools also tend to have some kind of connection that makes former students feel like brothers from another mother.
That is why President Kagame feels at home when invited to attend a function at Ntare in Mbarara. That is why Dr. Sezibera feels at home while at Kisubi.
Successful students are the ones who actually inspire current students to work hard and not shame their great school.
Just imagine how many students at Ntare grow in love for their school and education when they learn that both Uganda and Rwanda’s current leaders were once students at their school.
The alumni of a school are its profits. Like a company in business, schools should strive to produce the best for society.
And once they have achieved this then the students will feel proud to associate with their school and will later form an association to maintain links.
Like real profits that can be ploughed back to make a business stronger, good old students who love their school will probably come in to help the school become a better place. President Kagame has already been reported to have significantly helped Ntare School as well as his Primary School.
In developed countries, large universities offer scholarships that are funded by former students. I also know that Dr. Sezibera’s former school received a gift of a swimming pool from one of its former students, Charles Mbire (Board chairman, MTN Uganda).
Schools should strive to produce the best students who can in the future offer a helping hand where it is needed. Old students can raise the banner of their school in society.