The reviewing lobbing and advocacy exercise took place at Tooro resort on 23rd. /9 2013. The aim of the exercise was to review the work so far done, and to plan for the future of the project beyond its span. The workshop targeted the stakeholders of the District with an aim of showcasing to them activities so far done as well as lobby for their support during and after the project span.
The occasion was honored by the presence of the assistant C.A.O Mr. Mwebesa Perez, Mr.Ikagobya Moses vice chair Kabarole, the D.E.O Kabarole Mr. Rwakaikara Patrick , the inspector of schools in charge of Bunyangabu Kwezi Gorret the E.O SNE Mrs. Angwena Harriet, the Reverend Abigaba Robert member of C.O.U foundation body ,Sheich Tumwebaze Ramadah member of Islam founded schools, Mr. Kankya Blaise EPP Teacher coordinator, CCT Atuhaire Alex of Rubona CC MS Kabagenyi Jacinta CCT of Buhinga CC the C4C member Mrs. Kabiito Rest, Miss Kichoncho Annet the education department secretary and the S.E O Kabarole Mr. Balinda Christopher
Participants in the meeting sessions
In her communication CFSU Program officer thanked the stakeholders of the District for their support since inception meeting to date. She also highlighted members on what EPP stands for as Education Programmatic Plan and gave the background information about the project saying that this project came out of the concern that Literacy and numeracy Levels were going down due to poor performance in English Language .For this reason CFSU had to find a solution for improving the approach to teaching language thus the birth of non- conventional innovative methods of teaching / learning.
The program officer addressing the gathering
She went on to review the reports of 2012-2013 right from the needs survey point saying during the survey exercise, it was discovered that literacy and numeracy levels were going down due to:
- Insufficient instructional materials (text books and other scholastic materials)
- Un motivated teachers
- High Teacher pupil ratio
- Lack of school clubs like MDD debate writing drawing
- Non-creative methods of teaching/learning
- Teachers being forced to handle classes they are uncomfortable with
- Poor infrastructure
- SMCs/PTAs were not fully aware of their roles in schools
Among the challenges mentioned were:
- Some teachers and heads of schools were not comfortable with getting on board because they thought it was going to be an extra load adding on the existing load burden
- Some schools like Rwimi had just gotten a new head teacher a thing that made information gathering difficult
- Some schools were in hard to reach areas
- Funds available could not comfortably solve all the existing problems
- Time management is a major problem in this area
- Some schools were not connected to electricity so materials like on CDS could not be utilized fully
Solutions to the problems / challenges:
- Several workshops were held in bid to make the teachers embrace and understand the need for the project in their schools
- Information sharing and gathering has continued
- The problem of hard to reach areas is still unsolved only commitment and persistence has proved to be the only way out
- Activities to be held have to be within the planned budget meaning spending must be within the means available
- Continuous lecturing about time management has proved to be the only solution
- Schools that are not connected to power go to sister schools and plan their lessons there
- 150 teachers have been capacity built and equipped with non-conventional innovative methods of teaching / learning of English language to break the monotony of the old traditional methods of teaching.
- Teachers have been given skills to handle big classes
- Constant counseling of teachers and encouraging them to operate money generating ventures beside their salary has continued
- School clubs have been strengthened and created in schools that did not have them
- 315 SCMs /PTAs have been sensitized about their roles in schools
The program officer ended the report review saying that CFSU has not only improved the schools but that the Education department has also benefitted from the project sighting that they had been given one computer and one printer to help them in their day to day endeavors. She also took this opportunity to report to the members that three of the beneficiary schools I.e. Mugusu p/s, Kasiisi/p/s and Rubona p/s had gone ICT and had received each a computer loaded with ready to use language materials ranging from p4-p6 and that this had been done in bid to help the teachers dealing with big loads.
She said the number of pupils reached out so far is about 12,000,000 from the following schools:
Karambi “B” p/s
Canon Apollo p/s
Mtns. Of the moon p/s
Paul Devlin p/s
She said though they had officially gone in for fifteen schools they had in actual sense operated in many more. However she expressed her fears about the sustainability of the project come 2015.
Having gone through the reports, she allowed members to react.
The S, E, O Mr. Balinda hailed CFSU for the partnering with the District to educate the children of Uganda. He said according to him building roads does not build a nation but capacity building does so. He said the Education department is ready to stand with CFSU at all times.
The EO SNE Mrs. Angwena was overwhelmed with the amount of work that had been covered within such a short time. She commended CFSU for the good work done and said she is noticing some difference in both the teachers and pupils in the project schools and wished to see all the schools in Kabarole benefitting from the project.
The ASCAO asked CFSU to forgive his office for not being so available saying that the changes in their office have affected the way they operate. He ended on a good note of also commending CFSU for the good work so far done. Finally he asked CFSU to consider giving his office some computers saying the situation was quite alarming.
The inspector of schools in charge of Burahya Ms. Kwezi Gorret sighted an occasion when she visited Karambi “B” with a team of foreigners who were entertained so well and she owed it to the preparedness of EPP program running in the school.
CCT kabagenyi said she had worked as a facilitator and she too had made lots of friends and believed the program was appropriate for the teachers and pupils. Also she commended the quality of CFSU’s computers saying that they were of great quality.
The EPP Teacher coordinator Mr. Kankya Blaise shared a very moving testimony that moved the congregation when he said that the guidance he got during workshops made him both a good teacher and a millionaire through bricklaying
WAYFORWARD AFTER PROJECT SPAN
On the challenges of lack funds-members 0f Education department said they could not commit themselves to promise their contribution but they promised to table the issue in their financial plan of 2014. . They said the after-math was what they feared most for they did not wish to see the effort of CFSU go to the drains.
The assistant C.A.O Promised to write an official acceptance letter to CFSU as soon as possible.
Members also suggested that as a solution of continuity after the project span the following could be tried out:
- Schools could do some hand work and sell to the community and fund rise this way
- Schools could do annual music concerts and let parents/community pay entry fee of about 1,000 shillings the money collected then would be used to support the club’s activities.
- The district could also learn to dig deep into their pockets and help out since these programs augment educational objectives.
- Most members present promised support whenever wherever.
Vice chairman Kabarole district closing the session
Finally Mr.Ikagobya Moses the vice chair Kabarole in his closing remarks was short of words to describe CFSU! He hailed women administrators saying that to his astonishment he had discovered that wherever a woman is there is a success story! In his own words he said “I can’t believe that all these good stories are coming from the humble group of people I saw last year in the inception meeting.” He also commended the good work done and was hopeful that next year would produce even better results!
Participants pose for a group photo after the workshop