Dr. Opiyo Oloya, MED, PhD, LLD (honoris causa) — Dr. Opiyo Oloya was born in Pamin-yai village, west of Gulu town in northern Uganda. He was raised in a large extended Christian family. His father Alipayo Oloya was a head teacher in Uganda before turning to farming. For the first three years of early education, Opiyo attended Gulu Primary School. Along with his siblings, he was transferred to Pamin-yai Catholic Primary School.
His love for books was evident in the early years. He attended Sir Samuel Baker Secondary School in Gulu, graduating with distinctions in History and English Literature. He attended post-secondary at St. Peter’s College, Tororo where he studied History, Literature and Economics.
He joined Makerere University in September 1979 to study political science. He was elected president of Makerere University Student Guild in July 1980. As student leader, he led the fight for democracy in the post-Idi Amin Uganda. On February 24, 1981 students protested on campus against rigged national elections. A crackdown of students by security forces, sent Opiyo and three colleagues into hiding. The four leaders fled to Kenya on March 6, 1981.
After a brief sojourn in Nairobi, along with his colleagues, he was granted refugee status in Canada in June 1981. He was sponsored by World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in the undergraduate program at Queen’s University, Kingston.
Dr. Oloya completed his undergraduate in spring 1983. He obtained a teaching degree at Queen’s in June 1985 and Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa in July 1988. Following his studies, he taught briefly at Eight Mile Rock Secondary School in Freeport, Grand Bahama. He returned to Canada in December 1988, and was recruited by the York Catholic District School Board where he taught for the next ten years
He was appointed vice principal in 1999 and school principal in the spring of 2001. He was a school leader in several schools. He was appointed Superintendent of Education in November 2011.
In September 2004, Oloya enrolled at York University to pursue a doctorate focusing on child soldiers. He was awarded a PhD for his groundbreaking work on child warriors in Northern Uganda. He published Child to Soldier in 2013. Since 2010, he has visited Somalia to work alongside peacekeepers of the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). His latest book, Black Hawks Rising, chronicles AMISOM’s successful war against terror. In 2012, York University awarded Dr. Oloya an honorary Doctorate of Law for his humanitarian and social justice work. In June 2016, he was awarded Uganda Heroes Medal by H.E. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
Dr. Oloya remains passionate about social justice and work within the community.In October 1992, he developed and pioneered the Karibuni African music show at CIUT 89.5 FM. Since 1996, Dr. Oloya pens a weekly by-line, Letter from Toronto in the Uganda-based New Vision (www.newvision.co.ug), read throughout East and Central Africa. His focus aims to educate and inform the public about important issues facing Africa today. He founded I Read ABC a charity supporting deaf and blind students in Africa. When asked about his work, Dr. Oloya always responds by saying, “I am a teacher first, with deep love for teaching and learning. My vision is to transform community through education for all.”
Dr. Oloya is married to Emily. They have two boys, Oceng and Ogaba. Dr. Oloya will be among the featured guest speakers at the Uganda Canadian Business Expo in Toronto — June 30th
All session by Dr. Opiyo Oloya
Dr. Opiyo Oloya
Dr. Opiyo Oloya, MED, PhD, LLD (honoris causa) — Dr. Opiyo Oloya was born in Pamin-yai village, west of Gulu town in northern Uganda. He was raised in a large extended Christian family. His father Alipayo Oloya was a head teacher in Uganda before turning to farming. For the first three years of early education,