Uganda: Mama Kevina Comprehensive Secondary School Project
Promoting Education Equality: Q2 2016
September 24, 2016
Summary of Activities
- Cleaned and washed the school compound in preparation for the second term.
- Purchased sufficient supplies, medicines, and food to keep the school going throughout the reporting period.
- Set up a motorized water source – This involved excavating down to the water table and then installing a submersible pump, which pumps the water to tanks. The water is then distributed to the school. This has greatly improved the quality of life at World Children’s Fund Mama Kevina School.
- Teaching and learning continued throughout this reporting period without interruption, and necessary teaching aids were purchased in a timely manner. Teaching aids included chalk, stationery, and books.
- Students in the candidate and sub candidate classes were taken on field trips to further enhance their study of geography, agriculture, and commerce.
- Conducted in-house academic assessments and final first term examinations for all classes.
- Planted maize and eggplant to supplement the school’s food supply. The crops are doing well, and a desirable harvest is expected.
- Facilitated extra-curricular activities, such as soccer and netball.
- Paid teachers’ salaries and support staff’s wages promptly.
- Paid the school’s utility bills, mainly electricity.
- Continued maintenance, greening, and beautification of the school compound so that the school has a pleasant ambience conducive for learning and relaxing.
The project is reducing illiteracy rates in Uganda; this is in line with the Millennium Development Goals of reducing illiteracy levels in developing countries. The project is promoting girls’ education as well, which is also part of the MDGs – promoting gender equality and equity.
Improving Quality of Life
The project is giving orphans and vulnerable children access to quality education, which they would not be able to receive without this school. The school has created employment opportunities for teaching and non-teaching staff, thus improving quality of life and helping to reduce the country’s unemployment rate.
Better Infrastructure for School
The project has stimulated a positive attitude in the community towards education. Generally, the community now values and appreciates education. The school has become a driving factor for extending other social services to the area. The district local government graded the road going to school. This benefits both the school and the community. The road to the school is now passable even during rainy season.
This school has stimulated positive academic competition among other secondary schools in Eastern Uganda. When World Children’s Fund Mama Kevina School appeared in the national newspaper as the 2nd best in Tororo District, other schools felt their popularity was at stake; thus they now work hard to maintain their positions. This has a positive impact on education in the whole of Tororo.
Stimulating the Economy
The school helps support the local business community, by purchasing food, firewood, construction materials, cleaning supplies, etc. The employees of the school pay a local service tax, and this widens the district’s tax base.
Keeping Kids Engaged
The number of local youths loitering in the slums surrounding the school has gone down. This has helped lower crime rates in the area. The school has positively changed the face and value of the area. The area, which used to be a feared slum, has gained high market value because of the presence of World Children’s Fund Mama Kevina School. This is an advantage to the entire community of Tororo and Uganda at large.
Mama Kevina Comprehensive Secondary School was opened in 2006 with international financial support, and with the goal of providing both secondary education and vocational training. The student population is mostly from Northern Uganda where many children have been affected by ongoing wars, floods and HIV/AIDS. Many of the students’ parents were killed by rebels or AIDS which left many of the children as orphans; some boys had been forced to be child soldiers. Enrolled at the school are students ranging in age from 11 to 24, who attend secondary grades 1 to secondary 4.
Support World Children’s Fund Mama Kevina School with the following:
• Food supply for the students and staffs
• Support of the school garden work: planting of the maize, and now they are weeding
• Anti-malarial medication and mosquito net supplies for the students and staff
• Support the school clinic with other medications
• Payment of staff salaries
• Support computer purchases to teach IT skills
• Purchase of text books and other school teaching supplies
• Purchase of office equipment supplies like photocopier, printer, and office furniture
• Facilitate participating in community outreach and inter-house competitions with music, dance, drama, regional games and sports held in partnership with the Tororo District
• Support of infrastructure/constructions projects on campus
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Notable Project Challenges and Obstacles
- The school lacks computers to train all students in computer skills, but it has become compulsory to teach computer education in all secondary schools in Uganda.
- The school needs more textbooks because some have grown old and others are no longer applicable since the national syllabus keeps changing.
- Some students who are HIV positive and on ARVs need supplementary feeding to boost their immunity; this is a challenge to the school.
- Our students who have completed senior four are not able to join the advanced level due to lack of school fees to continue. The best solution to this challenge would be enabling World Children’s Fund Mama Kevina School to build additional structures and establish advanced level classes so that these students are retained, or funding these students to join vocational institutions.
- The school needs a bus to support the school’s extra-curricular activities, because hiring a van to take the students on field trips is costly. The long-term solution would be to own a school bus.
- The school is lacking staff quarters so that the teachers could live near the school. The impact of this is that teachers cannot be utilized 100%. Staff houses are very much needed.
- The school lacks funds to insure the buildings against fire, burglary, and other possible disasters. Considerable funds have been invested in the school, so leaving it uninsured is a big risk.