Meet Omony George – acting head teacher at Layibi P7 Primary School, one of the schools I am currently working quite closely with. Omony in Luo means ‘war’. Both of George’s parents were killed during the time of Idi Amin’s rule. George’s aunt couldn’t conceive children so her husband left her; when George’s parents died she then took in George to raise him. She struggled to put him through primary school, however the high cost of secondary school was too much for her. George then approached one of the head teachers of a local secondary school and asked for a small plot of land neighbouring the school so he could help raise his own school fees. George ended up growing and selling tomatoes to pay for his secondary education and consequently put himself through teacher’s college.
He is now acting head teacher at the school he attended for his teaching practice. I admire George and have a lot of respect for him. He is a hard worker and really aspires to improve the quality of his school and results of the children. I can rarely ‘pop’ into this school without sitting in his office for a few hours, chatting about education and culture, drinking extremely sugary tea with ‘escort’ (any food which accompanies tea); one time we even raced each other in the 100m at the school athletics carnival (I blame my speed on my poor choice of restrictive skirt and sandals).
It’s people like George who keep me here.