Update on the new Secondary School in Buluya
- We started a secondary school (8th and 9th grade so far) in the new community of Buluya. The first class (8th grade) consists of 100 students who have their lessons under a tree. The school has 6 teachers teaching 18 courses and 2 non-teaching staff (A cook and an administrator). The students are required to contribute about $12 per month to access the services, inclusive of a uniform set and some scholastic materials.
- Although it started under a tree, this is not an ordinary school. The school has a strong emphasis on exposing the students to the love of God as revealed by Jesus Christ and with tight discipline. Students also learn practical skills like best practices of farming, carpentry, and building, to help them in life.
- The UCSS team worked hard to educate the village elders and the district authorities about the importance of education. As a result, there is high community participation in the new school through a strong community-led management team.
- We give God all the praise! We recently started the construction of two classroom blocks and an office room for the secondary school. The foundation is already complete. A five-stance pit latrine is also being constructed.
- We have the funds to complete almost all of the first classroom block for 8th and 9th grade plus an office. We still need $5K to finish it completely (i.e windows, concrete flooring, furniture, and painting).
Update on the Bulike Primary School
- We now have 760 students in the Bulike Primary School (K-7) – praise the Lord!
- The proposed government takeover of Bulike Community Primary School is still underway; however, government officials that we have been working with have advised us that they will have to put those plans on hold for the time being until the budget allows.
- The Education Ministry officials advised UCSS that the takeover could be possible with directives from the President, Speaker of Parliament or Prime Minister. We have been able to secure an endorsement from the Speaker of the Parliament, who wrote letters of recommendation to the Ministry of Education.
- Please help us pray that the Ministry of Education will proceed with the takeover of the primary school.
- Bulike Community Primary School’s pioneer Primary Seven class of 24 students sat their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in the month of November 2015 and were among the best performers in the region.
- The Bulike Primary School classroom blocks (except the newest block) have been painted and furnished in preparation for the government takeover.
When we talk about Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary schools, here’s what this means:
Primary School is Kindergarten through grade 7.
Secondary School is the next 4 years (grades 8 – 11) and ends with graduation at the “Ordinary Level”. An exam determines if the student qualifies for continued academic schooling or if they should receive vocational or other technical training.
If they qualify, they would complete “Secondary 5 or 6” which ends with graduation at the “Advanced Level”. After that, the student would continue to university or advanced technical training (also known as “tertiary schooling”.
Update on Students with Scholarships to Secondary and Tertiary Schools
We sponsored 26 students in secondary school and 30 in tertiary education. The sponsorship program is continuing alongside the secondary school project in Buluya because the school only has Senior One class (8th grade) so far, and yet some of the students UCSS is supporting are in higher grades. UCSS would like to see them through their secondary and tertiary education.
34 individuals graduated from various tertiary institutions, as follows:
- Maureen Kawuma – BA (Social Work and Social Administration)
- Oliver Naisikwe – BA (Education)
- David Opendi – Dip. Occupational Therapy
- Ps. Aaron Mulabya – Dip. Theology
- Phiona Mirembe – Cert. Hairdressing and Cosmetology;
- 11 nursing assistants and (completed Ordinary Level)
- 18 tailoring skills students (completed either Primary 7 or Ordinary level)
- Due to the absence of classroom structures, the secondary school classes were started outdoors (under trees), which is not an ideal learning environment. We are currently seeking about $5,000 to finish the 8th-grade classroom building (windows, concrete flooring, furniture, and painting).
- The takeover of the Bulike primary school is delayed due to government’s lack of funds.
- Some secondary school students are not able to make timely payments due to financial challenges.
- Weak Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) members in Bulike compared to those who were running the school before. In an effort to make the school self-sufficient, we allowed the parents to elect their PTA members but they did not make the best choices. There is one more year left in their term and after that, we will be more involved in identifying the next round of PTA members.
- Historically, girls are married off at age 13, and this practice is changing now that girls are going to school, but it’s still an ongoing issue that we’re dealing with. We are continuing to educate the community about the importance of education.
- Complete the hand-over of the Bulike primary school to the government.
- Maintain an advisory position on the School Board of Directors after government take-over to ensure that the primary goals of the project are met, like maintaining our Christian values.
- Ensure that the primary school continues to provide quality education, through giving refresher courses to the teachers and also enforce Christian values.
- Continue supporting the students in secondary and tertiary institutions till successful completion of their studies.
- We currently have 1:85 teacher-pupil ratio but our goal is only 50 students per teacher. In comparison, Government schools can have 150 to 300 students per teacher. This significantly reduces the quality of education. We will make sure the quality of our schools is far better than the government student.
- Have visiting experienced teachers to help with refresher courses.
If God is moving you to support this ministry, there are three things you can do now:
Thank you for all of your prayers and support!
Dr. Ronald Kaluya
This is the permanent class room building for the 6th and 7th graders that is almost finished.
Girls having fun with a ball donated by one of the visitors.
Some of our High school students.
Kids happy to be in school!
Before attending Bulike school, I was digging in the sugar cane plantation all day. We had corn flower and beans for lunch, then then I had to go back to work. I always wanted to be a lawyer. But my mother couldn’t send me to school. My brothers were hunters, they were not going to school, but they’re going to school now. When we gave our lives to Christ we started going to school. Today I still want to be a lawyer. I will need to go to university. No, I *will* go to university.
Before school, I was a good hunter and fisher boy. Then pastor Kaluya started working in our home and said that he had opened the school. When I joined the school I started reading, and I started also to know about God. When I was in the village I was worshiping a smaller God, and it was a smaller house. At night we would wake up and sing for them. But when pastor Kaluya told us about God and God gave me knowledge and God changed my life. If I hadn’t gone to school, I would be a hunter. When I got older I was thinking I would become a good thief because I did not know about God. Now I want to be a soldier because I love my country and I want my country to be at peace.
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