Uganda National Journalism Awards 2015 – National news reporting (Print) finalists

Honourable mentionBehind Air Uganda grounding by Julius Businge, The Independent

Runner-upBanned beef, pork on sale as locals violate quarantine by Benon Herbert Oluka, The Observer

**Winner – Underfunding hits free primary education by Pascal Kwesiga, New Vision

Pascal Kwesiga started out as a reporter at Radio Hoima 86.8 FM after finishing his final year examinations for a National Diploma in Journalism at Uganda Rural Development Training Institute in Kagadi, Kibaale district in 2008. He worked as a volunteer reporter for Radio Hoima for about five months before moving to Spice FM. Towards the end of his two years as a reporter and news anchor for Spice FM, Kwesiga began to explore the world of print media, contributing stories to New Vision.

Kwesiga’s move to New Vision was not as easy as it seems. He made numerous unsuccessful attempts to write for the paper. On occasion he asked the paper’s Hoima correspondent to share his byline in the hope that someone would recognize his name, but he received no credit for his published stories.

Things turned around for Kwesiga when a team from New Vision visited Hoima. He offered to serve as its unpaid fixer and translator and when the team returned to Kampala, one of its members approached Kwesiga asking him to write a feature story. That story became a centre spread and gave Kwesiga the impetus to push on.

In 2010 Kwesiga left Hoima to pursue a journalism degree in Kampala. Since then he has been appointed a staff reporter at New Vision.

The story – The article looks at the government’s funding of Universal Primary Education. It not only details the existing challenges of underfunding, but also speaks to the frustration of school heads about remittance delays and systemic management problems.

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