By Christopher Nyeko

GULU: The security in Gulu city, together with the National Secretariat for Patriotism Crops Uganda, passed out a total of 3,500 students who were undergoing patriotism courses at their respective schools on Friday.

Their patriots were mainly students in senior one and senior five from the nine secondary schools in Gulu City who embraced the patriotism training.

The schools include Gulu High School, Sacred Heart Girls Secondary School, Gulu Central High School, Saint Joseph College Layib, Ocer Campion Jesuit College, Christ the Center Secondary School, Gulu Senior Secondary School, and Saint John Pope Paul College Laliya.

Anthony Ocaya, the coordinator of the national patriotism club in Gulu City and Acholi Subregion, says the students were inducted into the history of Uganda, integrity, knowing the country’s culture and heritage, and discipline.

He added that the training is now helping in curbing the cases of strikes, which were common in school, and the fact that most of the students who had undergone the patriotism turned to become concerned about anything that would destroy their environment.

The passout was presided over by Jane Frances Amongin Okili, the Gulu City Resident City Commissioner, together with the two of her deputies, Gilbert Okwir of Bardege-Layib Division and Peter Banya of Laroo-Pece Division.

Okili, in her remarks, implored the patriots to fight homosexuality while at school and in their respective homes, now that Uganda, where they serve, has passed a strong law against the practice.

Alima Joyce, the Gulu city speaker, requested the Gulu city education department to include patriotism activities in their budgeting so that their activities are also allocated resources, given that patriotism is upbringing the children to become responsible citizens.

Denis Samuel Col, head prefect of Ocer Campion Jesuit College, who was also among the passed-out patriots, appreciated the government of Uganda for initiating the patriotism. He remarked that though he is South Sudanese, the knowledge he had acquired from the patriotism training would help him love his war-ravaged country, South Sudan.

Col notes that he is now relating freely with his fellow students about the fact that he was taught about love for one another and love for the country.

He prays to all the East African nations to teach their citizens patriotism, which he said is the only answer to corruption.

Obwanda Meyo, the head teacher of Ocer Campion Jesuit College, says patriotism has helped the teachers identify the different talents in students and has taught students punctuality and the importance of taking responsibility since the patriotism creed empathizes mostly with the roles and input of every responsible citizen.

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