School Development / Sponsorship
ABC Children´s Aid has established schools in Wakiso district, Central Uganda, in the villages of Kitetika and Kasangati and also in Pader District, Northern Uganda, in the village of Rackoko. It has built three nursery, three primary schools, two secondary colleges and one vocational school. The schools were built in response to a perceived need as a result of the high incidence of children orphaned through the HIV/AIDS pandemic and in response to the Lord’s Resistance Army Rebellion against the Ugandan Government which was a long protracted war resulting in many orphans and much hard ship.
All schools are registered and approved by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Uganda and have examination centers approved by the Uganda National Examination Board.
The system of education in Uganda is as follows:
a) All schools must be registered and approved by the Ministry of Education.
b) All schools must employ teachers that are qualified and registered by the above ministry.
c) The school buildings must meet the required standards if they are to operate according to the MoE.
Children may enter at the age of three and a half for duration of no more than three years.
The primary schools begin in primary one and complete primary seven with an external the primary 7 leaving examination set, monitored and supervised by the MoE.
Secondary Education is from senior one to senior four “O-level” followed by senior five and six “A-level”. If the student scores the required marks they can then proceed to the university or other tertiary institution.
The current enrollment in ABC schools is approximately 4,030 students. Many of these students are self supporting and others are being helped and still need help in order to complete their secondary education.
Challenges faced in the ABC schools basically relate to a shortage of required educational materials in the areas of:
-All computer laboratories are under resourced with sufficient to give the students practical experience in what is now a compulsory secondary school subject. Currently there is a ratio of 10 computers to 980 students.
-All libraries are under stocked so the educational standard though of good quality could be improved if students had access to sufficient textbooks in all schools. Currently there is a new library under construction in Comprehensive College Kitetika. However other schools are also in need of expanded library buildings which would free classrooms.
-Laboratories are insufficiently stocked and are desperately in need of expansion. Science subjects are compulsory in Ugandan Curriculum and currently students have to take shifts in order to do their practical exams.
-Dining facilities are lacking in all schools for students who often find themselves eating in unsuitable places.
-An assembly hall/chapel is urgently required in one of the secondary schools.
-Basket and volley ball courts for all schools.
The Uganda Ministry of Health does not support staffing or laboratory services in private health centers. Though a small quantity of drugs is supplied it is not sufficient to provide the community with an adequate health service. The Health Centre is located in Pader District, Northern Uganda, in the village of Rackoko. The people living in these communities are struggling to come to terms with life after a protracted war. And the majority is in dire circumstances with many not even living on 50 cents a day. For them to do a cost sharing scheme in the health centre is difficult. Therefore many just go to small clinics to buy drugs for which no prescription is required and often doses are incorrect, out of date and instructions not followed. The result is resistance to many infectious diseases including Malaria. HIV/AIDS is also prevalent and on the increase in Pader District.
The Health Centre has excellent infra structure but lacks the finances to run an appropriate service for the community. There is no financial support from any other source. Therefore the challenges faced are:
-Lack of qualified staff necessary for a health centre with the category Health Centre III
-Lack of adequate laboratory staff to provide the necessary testing for many of the presenting symptoms.
-Lack of required drugs for appropriate treatment.
General funding required for the above as well as appropriate administrative staff.
Radio Palwak (radio for community)
This is an exciting adventure if it could be fully utilized. And has such potential to educate whole communities and a range of different age groups, social interest groups and of different religious backgrounds. The radio is situated in Pader Town in Northern Uganda. It is being used by a number of NGOs, the District Council in talk back shows and other educational programs. It has been broadcasting over the last five years but is not yet breaking even and of recent staff and therefore programs have had to be reduced. This is unfortunate but necessary. To overcome this problem the radio is advocating selling programs to interested parties, particularly in the following categories:
-Children´s Right and Protection
-The Right of Girl Child Education
-Cultural Programs to re-sensitize the youth to cultural values and norms. Most of the youth grew up as children in Internally Displaced People´s Camps during the war between the LRA rebels and the Ugandan Government. It is crucial that the youth are reintroduced to the above in order to give them direction and valuable understanding of the norms of the Acholi Society.
-Legal Issues especially those related to women in relation to land rights. The Acholi people lived in the IDP Camps for many years and when they returned to their villages many found themselves in the middle of land disputes having been dispossessed of their land by unlawful people making fraudulent claims.
-Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation
-School to School Educational Programs
To assist our school communities to become more self reliant the organization has embarked on a School Farm Project. The cost of food in Uganda has more than trebled over the last few years making it prohibitive for the schools to provide a healthy school meal for all students. The food production is in its early stages and unfortunately with green house effects which have lead to drastic weather changes and unpredictable rain patterns the crops are not always productive. The farm hopes to interest well wishers to contribute towards irrigation to make the farm productive enterprise.
-Irrigation system to enable the food crops to be watered as and when required.
-An enthusiastic and capable organizer who can inspire, motivate, and come up with innovative ideas to assist local labour to work with the above qualities. It is not required to have much agricultural experience because that is available locally. It will also require the suitable applicant to live in the local community but suitable accommodation is offered. This position can be viewed as a business opportunity or as a voluntary position.
Development of football fields. The land which was bought for a football field needs to be developed for the youth of the College, Community at large, other schools in both Kitetika, Wakiso District, and Rackoko, Pader District. This project would be fantastic as football helps to unite the people who are often divided along tribal and clan lines. Apart from that it will also help towards self sustainability of the ABC schools through the rent provided by other schools and football teams.
-Leveling of the ground surface and planting of appropriate grass
-Seating capacity around the stadium
-Required equipment such as goal posts
Building laboratories and libraries.