PRIMARY SCHOOLS

KISORO DEMONSTRATION SCHOOL

This is a state primary school with a difference, located in the large town of Kisoro close to the border with Rwanda and DRC. The name of the school reflects the fact that it is used extensively for teacher training and for new teachers to gain experience. The other unusual aspect of the school is that it has established facilities for the teaching of children who are deaf, visually impaired or blind, or have some other disabilities. Of 700 pupils, 98 have physical or mental disabilities.  There are 24 teachers in the school of which 10 are dedicated to this department. The facilities required to teach disabled children are not funded by the state, which does not seem to recognise the need to provide educational opportunities for physically disadvantaged children. (Blind and partially sighted children are often unable to contribute to family income.) The deaf children are taught using sign language in small dedicated classes and blind children are integrated into mainstream classes but need extra attention and specialised equipment. Some of the children with disabilities are orphans and some others lack proper care due to rejection, poverty or sickness. Moreover, these children are drawn from a wide catchment area and have to board at the school in term time, relying on parents or outside funding for this. Some children have no home to go to and they board during the holidays.

SEDCU is now sponsoring several children here, both blind and profoundly deaf. Our funding pays for the special facilities they need and their boarding costs. We are kept informed of the children’s progress through termly reports and photographs. Our return visits reconfirmed for us the importance of sponsorship for these children.

MGAHINGA COMMUNITY JUNIOR SCHOOL

This school is on the boundary of the national park. A group of mothers decided to address the issue of inadequate state education, went to classes to learn to read and write themselves, and then established the school as a form of cooperative. Since it was founded in 2006 it has grown steadily and now has 120 pupils and employs 9 teachers. There are currently 3 nursery and 7 primary school classes catering for children mostly in the 3 - 13 age range. The school began life in old mud construction potato sheds. Some years ago, a new wooden classroom block was constructed. More recently, a new brick construction classroom block has been added – SEDCU largely funded the roof.  The old potato sheds had to be demolished and a new kitchen and dining hall are now badly needed to replace current rudimentary arrangements.

The school is part of a broader initiative to develop a sustainable community in the area and more details about this can be seen on the Mgahinga Community Development Organisation website .

 

SEDCU is sponsoring a number of children here. Some are children of the Batwa people (a race of forest dwelling pygmies), who live an itinerant life and were displaced when their forests became part of the National Park. These children were rarely sent to school and it is hoped that by starting them in Nursery they will progress through the primary education system - and hopefully the secondary stage as well. We were gratified to learn that the parents and the Batwa community are fully behind this initiative and took the trouble to come and meet us at the school to express their thanks. We share and support the wish of the community that these children should be brought up within their own culture while also learning how to adapt to the modern world. In due course the aspiration is that they will be able to contribute to their own community in a positive way. To combat the problems of the lifestyle of the Batwa a boarding house has been set up for those children whose families are travelling.

 

Currently teachers here are being paid below the state teachers' pay scale and it is hoped to remedy this in due course as well as improving the kitchen and dining facilities.

SECONDARY SCHOOLS

A number of pupils from MCJS and KDS have progressed to secondary schools whose details are given below.  For a small number of other children their sponsorship began in order to enable them to attend these schools.

HORNBY HIGH SCHOOL, KABALE

Hornby High School, in the Kabale District of Uganda, was founded in 1923 and the school’s “Braille Class” was opened in 1969 by the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind (RCSB), with only four students at primary level. In 1992 it was promoted to secondary school level.  The RCSB withdrew its support in 2012 and that created a challenging situation for the school staff.  Hornby High School is the only secondary school in Western Uganda that has been offering education to handicapped students.  Today, the Blind Department has been recognised as one of the most successful in Uganda, mostly due to its dedicated staff.

KISORO VISION SCHOOL

Kisoro Vision School was established as a private secondary school, in 2003, by the Head Teacher and Director who are brothers. They have endeavoured to put in place a number of facilities required by a modern School and meet the basic requirements as set by the Ministry of Education and Sports. It also goes further by providing extra services and facilities to make it more than a standard school.  On arrival at Kisoro Vision High School, which is close to the centre of Kisoro, we were impressed by the size of the school.  It has a four-storey classroom block containing 28 classrooms.  There are currently 1,100 pupils enrolled. There is a huge building programme in progress. They are very ambitious both to grow the school and for its academic reputation.  It is generally regarded as the top school in the area.  Currently 10 – 15% of the pupils are sponsored.

ST GERTUDE’S SCHOOL, MUTOLERE

St Gertrude’s School, for girls aged 13 – 19, is situated in a semi-rural suburb, on the outskirts of Kisoro, called Mutolere. The School comes under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kabale. Situated in well maintained grounds, it has an excellent reputation and achieves high academic standards.  The school is one of the Ugandan schools participating in the South-Western Towns Water Sanitation Project, a water resources programme organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Governments of Austria and Uganda, and the Austrian Development Co-operation.

IGANGA HIGH SCHOOL

This is a secondary school primarily for girls but with the provision for education of blind students, both boys and girls.  Situated east of Kampala it is a faith based school, reputed to be one of the best in the country, with a special needs department which has a strong reputation for use of computers in teaching the blind.

VOCATIONAL COLLEGE

ST BRUNO VOCATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTE - KYABIRUKWA

St Bruno Institute is situated some 250 km from Kisoro (this takes a minimum of 5 hours by road).  The Institute is administered by the Sisters of Our Lady of Good Counsel. The school is attended by 46 children.  Of these 11 are boys, 26 are deaf and others have mental impairments. The Head teacher explained that they had plans to grow the numbers. The school offers a 2-year course, the first of which is in Tailoring.  The second-year focusses on Knitting.  The students also study business skills.  The school would like to establish a co-operative where groups could live and work together, making and selling garments, under a manager who could handle marketing through a shop, shop window or stall.

UNIVERSITY

CHEMEQUIP MEDICAL TRAINING COLLEGE

Situated some 210 km from Kisoro, Chemequip Medical Laboratory Training School in Ishaka, Bushenyi District, promotes medical laboratory technology as an independent profession. Here they are working to modernise the skills and knowledge in the field by using latest technology and up-to-date research. Their ultimate aim is to increase the quantity and quality of comprehensively trained medical laboratory staff in order to improve disease diagnosis and primary health care services, ultimately reducing morbidity and mortality in rural areas.

©2018 by SEDCU. Proudly created with Wix.com