Comparing Ugandan Schools With The European Football System

The Ugandan education system isn’t very different from the footballing sphere.

Both have academies and there’s a tendency towards hooliganism. However, we shall concentrate on the similarity in the hierarchical structure.

Ugandan schools, at least at the secondary level, can be classed into three categories. There’s the oldest of the schools (usually church founded or government owned), the “emerging” private schools, and then the rest from both categories that spring up a good performance in the Uganda National Examinations Board annual exams.

Firstly,the Old Guard are mainly the oldest schools who are perennial performers and their good fortune in the national exam is constantly assured. The likes of Gayaza, Namilyango College, King’s College Budo, St. Mary’s Kisubi, and Namagunga have legacies of success that have been built over the past 100 years. The best and brightest want to spend their youth learning at these schools, and it is a privilege making it as they have some of the most competitive acceptance rates in the country. Entrance at A’Level is usually set at aggregate 10 to 14 for the best of eight subject, whereas entrance to O’Level is at aggregate 04 to 07. The facilities also match their reputations.

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Ugandan Schools-Budo-Namagunga-Namilyango-Gayaza-SMACK Kisubi-Schoolnet

In the English premiership, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal could fit this bill. Over the decades these teams have garnered trophy after trophy and built dynasties of success. The same can be said about Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan across Europe. When these clubs pursue a players it is often considered an honour to play for these clubs and no isn’t an option. Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale didn’t hesitate to join FC Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively at the first attempt when the clubs expressed interest. The stadia at these clubs are footballing cathedrals and have the biggest seating capacities across Europe.

The Nouveau Riche, are the fast rising schools, established within the last 20 years. The likes of St. Mary’s Kitende, St. Peter’s Naalya, Seeta High Schools and the St. Lawrence Schools. Backed by the generosity of their proprietors, they’ve tipped the balance of education in their favour. Kitende for one has found a formula for success in a matter of 10 years, simply by recruiting the best teachers, and awarding scholarships to the best students. Unlike the old guard, these schools want the best and brightest to join them and are willing to spend.

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Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG and Monaco are the “Money bags” of European football. Backed by some of the richest people in the world, the clubs have spent on the best players and coaches in the world as they pursue domestic and continental glory. It has paid off with league and cup trophies. Manchester City is also setting up what is expected to be Europe’s biggest academy.

The Darkhorses will consist of the rest of the schools/teams. Year-in-year out, Tottenham, Everton, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, AS Roma, Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen and the like compete for glory both domestically and internationally. They work within their budget and occasionally results go their way. Leicester is in this category.

Turkish Light Academy is a perfect example for this category. They do not have a long history like Budo nor the huge cash reserves of Kitende. However they perform well in the national examinations. Other examples include Budo SS, etc.

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