John Steven Kabuna is a patron teacher of our Boy Champions club at Mbuya Church of Uganda Primary School. He is the Director of Studies and a Senior Man Teacher. John is passionate about education and he believes that equipping young girls and boys with vocational skills will greatly help in sustaining them economically. We invite you to get to know more about John in the interview below!
1) What school do you teach at? What is your position at the school?
I teach at Mbuya Church of Uganda Primary School and I am the Senior Man Teacher.
2) How long have you known Girl Up Initiative Uganda?
I have known Girl Up since 2016, which is almost four years now.
3) What is your favorite part about being a patron teacher with GUIU?
I love witnessing the positive change and transition among my boys. Watching them transform into responsible young men makes me feel so proud.
Actually, having the Boy Champions club within the school has made my work as a Senior Man much easier. Previously, my boys would keep asking me why it is only the girls with a club and they kept demanding for the same. We, as a school, were so delighted when the boys got more engaged with the Boy Champions Project.
4) Why are you passionate about girls’ education? Why do girls need to be supported in and out of school?
I am passionate about girls’ education because I believe when girls are educated, they can become better people in the future. Previously, education was seen as something for only boys and the girls were supposed to stay at home and take care of the home.
Education is powerful and I believe if each and every one is given an opportunity to attain education, this world will be a better place to live in.
Girls need to be supported inside and outside school because they are more vulnerable compared to the boys. For example, the girls are subjected to many circumstances that can lead them into dropping out of school like
teenage pregnancies, early marriages and so many others. Therefore, I urge each and every one to contribute towards making the girls into better women in the future.
5) What frustrates you about the gender inequality and poverty that you see every day?
What frustrates me about gender inequality and poverty is the fact that these two move hand in hand. Many times, there is nothing like equality, especially where poverty exists. Because of poverty, many parents are not able to send their children to school, then later they divert into marrying them off as a source of income and the cycle keeps moving on and on.
6) What is your vision for the future… for these girls and women, boys and men; for Uganda; for the world?
I envision a world where girls and women, boys and men are given equal access to education. By education, I mean all forms of education and I want to focus more on the vocational skills education. When one has vocational skills, this can help them sustain themselves. I also envision a world where the girls, boys, women, and men are given equal opportunities in leadership and so many others.
7) What is your vision for your role in creating that future?
My role is to keep encouraging, guiding, and supporting both the boys and girls to work hand in hand and support each other. As a Senior Man Teacher, I have a role of educating my students, especially the boys about gender equality and how best they can support the girls.
8) Is there something special you’re highlighting or celebrating this month?
This month, I celebrate being a teacher. This is the month where we celebrate the World Teachers’ Day. I appreciate my fellow teachers for the good work that they do and I encourage them to keep going.
9) What do you enjoy doing/eating/exploring outside of being a teacher?
I enjoy counseling and advising people, right from those back at home to those that I meet at school. I also love agriculture. I actually rear some livestock as a side business.
10) What is a fun fact about you?
I am too serious sometimes. Actually my pupils say that I am too serious and I think that is because of the subject that I teach. I teach mathematics and just as you know, there is less talking in that subject. We do more calculations than talking.