My name is Hope and I am ten years old. I am at primary scshool. I like my school because the teachers help me to learn. My favourite subject is English. I would like to go to secondary school like my big brother.
My name is Kamaria and this is June my daughter. Like all mothers, I want our children to go to primary school and secondary school when they are older. We want our children to leave the village when they are grown and be professionals. Primary school is easier for us to manage because there is one close and it is free. Secondary school is usually more difficult. We are very lucky, because Hibiscus High School is opened, right here in Rwamabondo. Now we can feel relief and happiness because the future of our children is secure. The fees are much lower than usual and we can keep our dear ones close to us while they are growing up.
Girls from a local primary school children watching the opening ceremony of a PEAS secondary school. Left to Right: Immaculate (12), Eshe (9), Akinyi (14), Nia (9), Subira (10), Jane (10), Imama, 10 (back), Erica, 6 (front).
‘My name is Imama and this is my friend Erica. She is only 6 but I am 10. We are both at the primary school. It is the school holidays at the moment but we have come back to the school because it is a good place to play. If we were at home, our mothers would make us peal cassava. Here we can meet some of our classmates and play hopscotch. I like my school because the teachers explain things well. My favourite subject is science. It is the hardest subject but I am good at it. They have built a secondary school in our village, Rwamabondo. This is really exciting for me because it means there is more chance for me to complete all the way to Senior 6. So many people from this village that go to secondary school in another place have to drop out because the distance is too long and the fees are too high’.
Jane, who is 10 years old:
“I am in Primary 5 and I am a very good student. In the future I want to be a doctor so I can help heal people in my village. I am excited that our village is getting a secondary school. My dream is closer now."
Nammigadde, Mityana District Education Officer
My name is Nammigadde and I am the Mityana District Education Officer. We are very grateful that a new secondary school is being built in the Namungo sub-county. More than just building a school, this will help the whole community. The high drop-out rate from secondary schools in this area is a real problem for us. It is the girl-child who is affected most badly.
The girls from the Namungo area rarely attend secondary school and when they do, they usually don’t complete. The distance to the nearest secondary is too far. The long route they travel is demoralising and can be very dangerous. Parents are reluctant to put their girls through this. Especially when they can stay at home and help supplement the family income.
Child labour is a big issue in the Namungo area. Parents do no support education. They are not even keen to encourage their children at primary because, before now, there was no hope that the children could continue to secondary school. This new secondary school will make a real difference to the whole community. I am sure that parents will enrol their children. The distance is near, the fees are low and lunch is provided. In an area where most people live below the poverty line, the provision of free lunch cannot be underestimated. Often parents cannot afford to fill their children’s bellies. Hunger will not be an obstacle to attendance or learning at this new school. We are all truly grateful.
John and Violet
I am John and I am the Local Community Leader for the Namungo parish. This means that it is my duty to solve local disputes over land or water and to stop any fights. I do this by organising committee meetings where everyone can be heard in a calm manner. I live here with my wife Violet and my children. My first-born Rose is lives far from us with her grandfather so that she can reach a secondary school. James is 15 and has just finished Primary school. Then there is Simba, Akos, Immaculate and Blessing.
I am a farmer and I have a small patch of land where I grow maize, beans, bananas and tomatoes. If we grow enough, Violet takes the left-over to market to sell along with our cash-crop, coffee. I was worrying that we would not have the funds to send Jamesl to secondary school with his elder sister. Now that Pioneer High School is here, I can hope that all of my children can continue after primary school to a bright future. I really think that secondary school is an excellent idea because in the future our children will be able to improve our government and our society.
Patience is an S1 pupil at a Costa-funded PEAS School in the West of Uganda. She had some interruptions in her primary education which is why she is 15 years old and in S1.
Patience enjoys many subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, CRE and Entrepreneurship but her favourite subject is English. She likes these subjects because the teachers are very ‘sharp’ and make learning interesting as well as fun. She especially likes learning about living things in her Biology lessons as they are often practical as well as theoretical.
Patience’s ambition is to become a pilot or a musician and believes that staying at school all the way through the S6 is the key to achieving these future career goals. Patience has 7 siblings, most of whom finished school in S4 and now live in Kampala but she is determined to continue with her education all the way up to S6.
Patience is a very positive and enthusiastic S1 pupil who is very excited about the start to her secondary schooling. She explains that she and her Grandmother chose to enroll in the school because it was a relatively new with excellent buildings and a really positive learning environment but that it also charged low and affordable fees. Now she has started her first term she is extremely happy about the school’s beautiful location at the foothills of the mountains and the excellent teachers that she has. She is especially happy that she is given three good meals a day because in her primary school this was not the case.
Observing Patience in her classroom environment it is clear that she is thoroughly enjoying the beginning of her secondary education. Her hand is constantly raised and she is interacting with both the teacher and other students in her class. At the end of the lesson she cannot wait to start talking about the lesson, the teacher and how much she loves her school.
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