The Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE) is complaining that government has continued to neglect Ugandan literature.

The complaint is contained in the official release announcing the annual Week of Literary Activities for July 4-8. The release says FEMRITE in 2007 presented a memorandum to the Director of Education, Dr John Mbabazi, seeking interventions in the policies that govern set books for Literature in secondary and tertiary institutions in Uganda.

The memorandum proposed three policy reforms aimed at harnessing Uganda’s literary heritage: that the ministry of Education and Sports, the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) and the national examiners, UNEB, create an independent and examinable paper of Ugandan Literature on the national school curriculum for O and A-level; that colleges and higher institutions of learning mainstream Ugandan Literature on their teaching syllabus and set examinations on it; and teachers of Literature and English Language in Uganda be actively involved in the promotion of Ugandan literature.

“To date, none of the above has been done. Instead, Ugandan literature gets more and more relegated to the periphery of the education system,” notes the release.

FEMRITE, nonetheless, continues to carry out activities that highlight Uganda’s vibrant and growing literary culture.

Under the theme ‘Reading Uganda’, the week will entail book readings in secondary schools in Kampala Central, Mukono and Wakiso featuring contemporary Ugandan writers; a two-day creative writing workshop focusing on poetry and short stories; a public dialogue focusing on trans-cultural writing initiatives; and a Literature seminar for publishers, writers and educationists focusing on Literature set books for secondary and tertiary institutions.

This will feature Connie Kateeba, the director of NCDC. Other activities include a book launch of FEMRITE’s latest anthology Never Too Late, a bonfire poetry night featuring performances from a variety of local poets, musicians and storytellers, and book donations to selected schools.

There will also be a raffle draw to win fiction books and other literary prizes. Funds collected here will be donated to a babies’ home. Hilda Twongyeirwe, FEMRITE’s coordinator, said the guest of honour will be Dr Graham Mort, professor of Creative Writing and Trans-cultural Literature at Lancaster University in the UK.

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