In an effort to ensure that obsolete ICT equipment (e-waste) is handled in a professional manner, Computers for Schools Uganda (CFSU) has collected e-waste from Deloitte Uganda Ltd for disposal in a professional manner. This is in addition to e-waste collected from DFID and different educational institutions in Uganda.
CfSU is working in partnership with WEEE Centre Kenya an organization handling e-waste in Kenya.
This is a campaign that has been slowed down by the low levels of awareness on e-waste management where the public attaches a lot of monetary value to their old equipment.
We are hopeful, as people get exposed, they will hand over their obsolete equipment to CfSU for safe disposal in an environmentally Sound manner.
Following the 2013 PTA and SMCs training workshops computers for schools has continued following and monitoring the activities of these management institutions by participating in their meetings in schools.
Refresher trainings are a necessity in that they act as reminders of the PTA and SMCs roles and responsibilities besides, they also help the new members that have just been elected in office.
This time round the 2 day workshop were held at Bwanika and Canon Apollo schools respectively. The parents of Bwanika and those of Canon Apollo demo held the workshops in their respective schools.
The attendance was almost 100%. In Canon Apollo 19 out 21(6woman and 15 male) members attended while in Bwanika 18 out of 21(8 female and 10 male) members attended the workshop
The resource people were non other then CCT Kakwezi Tom and CCT John Son Ssessanga of Kasese.
In both workshops the CCTs tackled the roles of PTA as those of bringing together parents and pupils, parents and teachers as well as solicit funds to run the school.
Also, the workshops elaborated on the roles of SMCs as decision makers and organizers of the people and resources, as an organization that link schools with D.E.O office with the school and community as planners, consultants and administrators of the school.
Lastly they pointed out the roles of the head teacher as the finance controller and accounting officer of the school, as the supervisor of the staff and pupils as a link that connects teachers to commissioners and as a secretary to PTA.
The resource person also defined a teacher as an educator and agent of socialization and lastly they defined the roles of student leaders as linkers between students and staff or administration, mobilizers of students, promoters of unity and good discipline.
The workshops achieved its intended purpose of training the new leaders and reminding the old ones of their roles and responsibilities.
Some members did not know how to read and write much as they could wisely carry out meaningful discussions.
Continuous monitoring is what makes a project a success or failure. The star model school program appreciates the continuous monitoring system and it reports quarterly at the end of every term.
During the one year project span, there have been several follow ups of the star schools and all was done in bid to score a mark.
The system of follow up is done in such a way that every end of term there is an assessment that is done to gage the implementations strength and weaknesses.
The monitoring team comprised of non star model school members, interview children the community, and the teachers about the fairing of the project.
The assessors were Mr. Kankya Blaise the EPP teacher coordinator, the headteacher Mugusu p/s and the deputy headteacher Bukuuku p/s Miss Kakyo Juliet .The review meeting took place in Bwanika.
The outcome of the assessment came out thus:
Girls had been given a lot of care more than boys and yet boys too need follow up as in guidance and counseling, Teachers of Canon Apollo seem to have conceived the idea of star school better than Bwanika, Canon Apollo received more visits than Bwanika, Inter class competitions did not create a competition spirit as it would, inter school, Motivation as in giving certificates to teachers and prizes to the best teacher performers was a super idea, The ramp for the children with special needs scored higher than any other activity done in the project phase, Third term was more congested with activities and yet it is the busiest time of the year, The special needs children were indeed appreciated and respected all through the annual activities.
Try to equalize the school visits
Spread the activities evenly through the year but more so to 1st and 2nd term.
On the whole achievements were more than challenges a thing that made implementers walk with head up.
It is a common knowledge that pupils are not performing to their best much as the government and other partners are trying their best to see to it that a rise in literacy and numeracy levels be realized.
The situation on ground is that children are not attending school as expected. Studies has it that dropout rate is high such that out of every 10 pupils who start school 3 drop out,3 study up to university 2 go to vocational institutions while the 3 end up undefined. Cases of early marriages / pregnancies and malnutrition are common.
CfSU and its partners however believe that all the anomalies around the children are so because the parents are missing out in action. The solution therefore is to bring back on board the parent and the community at large reminding them to mind their responsibilities as parents and care takers of the children of the nation.
Various methods were used to address this issue the most effective having been the community walk. Pupils led by Yawe band took a community a walk through the villages surrounding their schools led by Yawe band with a message calling upon their parents for support both at school and at home. Bwanika p/s and Canon Apollo walked around the villages surrounding their schools.
The chief walker for Canon Apollo was the PTA chair person Ms Kemigisa Beatrice while that of Bwanika was the school management committee chair man Rev. Johnson Tibananura
Through the walk, the children’s request for their parents support both at home and school was communicated. The pupils enjoyed the musical exercise that made school dropouts and idlers become envious. The estimated number of people reached was about 1600.
The day was such a success for it created such an impact that put the village on edge as they reconciled within themselves. The band is estimated to have reached about 800 people.
After assessing the general learning environment of the selected schools, the team met at Raca Resort to scrutinize the findings as well as suggest ways and means they were going to devise in order to support these schools. First, the team comprising of Mrs. Katongole Elizabeth head teacher Rubona primary school. The D.E.O in charge of special needs Mrs. Angwena Harriet, the CCT Bukuuku, Ms Miriam Nyakake the head teacher Mugusu primary, Mrs. Robina Nyakairu the Head teacher Busiita Primary school, Ms. Rhoda Kemigisa the Head teacher Kabata primary school, Ms. Kamuli Silvia the head teacher Rwimi primary, Mr. Rwanyiziire Alfred, Mr. Blaise Kankya the EPP co-coordinator, Katongole Francis the head teacher of Kiboota primary school and CfSU program manager of star school program went over the summary that had come from the prior assessment exercise in bid to get on board with the survey findings.
The report from the assessors’ had indicated that canon Apollo and Bwanika had not performed well in 2012 and 2013 P.L.E. Exams and the reasons given were that Canon Apollo had many special needs pupils who could not make it whatsoever. Both schools had always had high teacher pupil racial 1:48 for Canon Apollo and 1:58 for Bwanika. Play time was not given ample respect in that there were no ball pitches no organized game for both Special needs pupils and the normal ones. Girls did not have changing rooms. Cases of early pregnancies/ marriages and dropping out of school were rampant. Parents in both schools were not fully involved in their children’s school life. Lack of libraries made it impossible for pupils to read on their own. Also lack of electricity in classes made it impossible to carry out preps especially for Canon Apollo which has a boarding section. Teachers not residing in school also made it difficult for classes to start on time. Bwanika’s absence of a registered centre made pupils tired before sitting Exams. Bwanika p/s did not have enough seats and as if that was not bad enough the road to the school was in a pathetic state. Lastly there was need of ramps for special needs wheel chairs ferrying in and around classes.
After scrutinizing this report the team came up with the following suggestions that both communities be sensitized on issues pertaining involvement in their children’s school lives. The play areas of both schools be given attention like construction of ball pitches as well as leveling the ground where necessary. In every school let there be two extra teachers to help in the handling of big loads. Some of the money from the government grant be used to buy soap basins and sanitary pads for girls. The government should ask for a special grant to buy furniture for Bwanika p/s and the office of Education department work out a plan of getting Bwanika a registered centre. The road to Bwanika p/s should be reported to the council so that it would be given attention. Staff teacher’s houses in Canon Apollo be given a touch And ramps be constructed for the special needs wheel chairs and lastly Libraries should be built in both schools.
“Motivation is the key to hard work”. This saying has become real during the star model school year 1!
In both Bwanika and Canon Apollo Demo schools CFSU has been observing teachers’ performance especially in the methods they use in teaching English language teaching. This was done together with the English language heads of department the inspectors of schools the CCTs aim being to choose the best performing teachers for recognitions’ sake. After some period of scrutiny the best teachers who have been working tirelessly and whole heartedly were selected from the many.
Constant follow up of star school activities has shown that some teachers go on extra mile to meet the star school objectives. It is such teachers that the project manager keenly decided to reward.
The kind of teachers that qualified for the award were those that:
• Constantly encouraged pupils to speak English while in the school compound
• Enlivened their classrooms with instructional materials.
• Encouraged and supported co –curricular activities like MDD, Debate, writing and drawing in line with language teaching and learning
• Attended to their classes no matter what.
The names of such teachers eventually came out as:
NAMES SCHOOL TERMI DATE AND YEAR
Irene Mateete canon Apollo Demo 1 0 3/04/2014
Kyomuhendo Florah canon Apollo Demo 2 09/06/2014
Wamara Edison canon Apollo Demo 3 5/11/2014
Lucy kyomuhendo Bwanika p/s 1 07/04/2014
Kobusinge stella Bwanika p/s 2 12/06/2014
Naiga victoria Bwanika p/s 3 03/11/2014
The project coordinator of star school Mr. Jimmy Odyeke Baluku from Rweco and the inspector of schools in charge of Burahya sub county Ms. Kwezi Gorret presided over the occasion and carried out the handing over of the certificates.
Bwanika p/s teachers displaying their certificates Canon Apollo demo school teachers
displaying their certificates
The teachers promised to “keep the candle burning to the end”. The head teachers thanked the CFSU and all the partners that have been giving them a hand in bringing up children of the nation.
One of the objectives of the star model school is to enable pupils start and stay in school to the end. This however can only be attained if children are healthy. If children must start and remain in schools their comfort should be paramount.
It is upon the community therefore to see to it that sanitation of schools is given priority or else the intended purpose of taking children to school will be all in vain.
In most rural schools, sanitation is a problem and the two model schools in question are no exceptional. In Bwanika for instance the girls hardly have enough room where they can be refreshed. Canon Apollo also lacks such facilities.
Considering this, CFSU and its partners took the concern to support the two schools with Jerri cans, basins, toilet papers, sanitary pads, soap and “Leesus”.
It was assumed that children would fetch water if someone needed to wash anything or take shower water would be available.
It was also assumed that with the viability of the toilet paper rolls as well as the sanitary pads and the Leesu, girls through the matron would be given help whenever needed.
In Bwanika the support was received by the head teacher Mrs. Kabaseke Kellen, the deputy Mr.Kayondo, Matron
Ms. Stella Birungi and other teachers.
In Canon Apollo Demo the support was received by Mr. Wamara Edison the senior man and the senior lady MS.Kawino Alice plus the children.
Both schools were grateful to CFSU for considering them to be part of the star model school and said that the support came in timely for they normally get in trouble with the girls of P.7 during exam time.
The star school way of doing things rotates on the idea of teaching and learning English language through any available school activity. Through music for example pupils learn vocabulary and sentence construction. Through debates pupils learn the skill of research, analysis and speech. Through writing pupils learn to express their composition form following rules of grammar while though drawing pupils learn to express themselves in picture form thus developing their creativity skills.
The theme for 2014 was “Malaria prevention and observance of children’s rights”. All the inter class drama, songs, poems, dances, drawings and writing competitions rotated on this theme.
The debate motion was “If you cover me with a mosquito net you are a good parent”. The lower classes p1-4 debated in Rutooro while the upper classes p.5-6 debated in English.
To honor the occasion was the Kabarole MP Mrs. Victoria Rusoke together with the parents of the school. The day brought parents and pupils together and both learnt a lot besides having fun. Total number of pupils who participated were 1018, 507 girls and 475 boys.
The adjudicators were Mr. Wamara Edison a music legend and a teacher from canon Apollo demo the deputy head teacher canon Apollo demo Mr. Mujuni Emmanuel and Ms. Naiga Victoria also a music legend from Bwanika primary school.
In Canon Apollo the upper class managed to beat the lower ones just by 32 marks while in Bwanika lower classes pulled. Primary five took the lead in every activity.
The program manager Cfsu together with the parents was pleased with the hard work and commitment exhibited by both the teachers and pupils.
The overall winners of the competition were none other than Kahuli Michelle p.4 from Canon Apollo and Komuhimbo Jacqueline from Bwanika who were rewarded prizes comprising of books, pens, pencils and mathematical sets.
Playing develops a child both mentally and physically and it’s for this reason that children’s play area should be safe and continually catered for.
A survey was made on Bwanika School and Canon Apollo demo play areas and the following were the findings.
Canon Apollo Demo had a well maintained playground with an up to date boys football pitch.
The special needs children had no ramp to help them access their class rooms easily.
The special needs children’s play area was quite lacking in playing materials.
The girls did not have a net ball pitch but were doing a lot of skipping and hide and seek Bwanika had neither a football nor a netball pitch.
The playground was not leveled at all owing to the rocky land the school is built on
The girls also do a lot of skipping and hide and seek games.
Considering the budget available, it was decided that a girl’s net ball pitch be made in Bwanika primary school and one ramp on the main entry be constructed for special needs easy accessibility to classroom.
Both the stake holders and the parents of the schools appreciated the good work done by CFSU and its partners.
The sensitization exercise was held in Bwanika and Canon Apollo primary schools by Ms. Victoria Naiga and MS.Kawino Alice graduates of in teen age sexuality teaching in context of adult responsibility
The purpose of this exercise was to help pupils know what sex is, to appreciate it and to identify its purpose in connection with health and life skills.
Both resource persons almost used the same approach. They defined sex as a reproduction act made by God for the purpose of reproducing. They demystified the cliché that” sex is a bad thing” saying that it only becomes bad if it is done in wrong places by wrong people at a wrong times and for wrong purposes.
Both were quoted saying that growing up scares pupils and yet it’s normal. Things like growing pubic hair, boys’ voices becoming horsy, girls starting to menstruate and becoming moody are natural and expected when one is growing up.
The sensitization also dealt with issues of hygiene and reasons why cleanliness is paramount as far as growing healthily is concerned.
The youngsters were also advised to avoid being infected by STDS, early un wanted pregnancies /marriages and HIV Aids as well as reporting or fleeing from any advances from relatives, friends and otherwise.
The workshop left 1018 pupils (507 girls, 508 boys) sensitized about sex and sexuality as well as equipped with health life skills.