Quench and Connect
Copyright © 2010 Quench and Connect
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St. Anne Grace Secondary School was started in 2005 and now has grown to 820 students at O and A level. Half of the students are boarding students. This relatively new school is registered with the Ministry of Education and is located in Nakifuma in the Mukono District 25 miles outside Kampala. The 15-acre campus accommodates four classroom buildings and one girls’ dormitory. Girl students outnumber boys. Boys who board at the school are still sleeping in a classroom, awaiting a dormitory. The local population in Nakifuma consists of farmers and traders. Student fees are US$37 per term for day students, and US$146 per term for boarding students. There are three terms in this year-round school.
Classroom size is still very crowded with 100 students per class. There are no textbooks, very little electricity and no internet access on the campus. Academic performance is a priority and improvement is apparent since in the most recent O level examination, there were no failures and 10 students scored ‘high pass’. There is a successful sports program at the school, and students schedule 2 hours for sports practice one afternoon per week. The parents have been very helpful acquiring the land to establish this school. Parents also serve on the School Board that is headed by a prominent local citizen and includes an alumnus, a government representative, teachers and other local professionals.
The Headmaster, Mr. Joseph Kiwanuka, is an experienced teacher with 17 years in the classroom. He leads a staff of 35 teachers. He has built a new school with strong community trust and involvement, that serves a large student base and has clear potential for academic excellence. He also recognizes the need to train students for practical life employment, and plans to introduce vocational training into the curriculum, including teaching skills such as farming, welding, carpentry, animal husbandry, tailoring and embroidery. Already, students operate a small farm on the campus and make clay bricks. Other plans include construction of a boys’ dormitory, a library, a fine arts classroom, and enhancement of the science laboratory. Costs for construction for buildings (~US$17,000) will be reduced by utilizing student-made clay bricks.
Currently, students fetch drinking water from a contaminated pond off campus, ~ 0.5 mile across a busy road, or from a partial government borehole casement that was never completed. These two sources of water, as well as a borehole well 2 miles from the school, are shared with the local community. The water is not clean and the amount of time spent fetching water for so many students is extreme, representing wasted study time. There is clear need for a borehole water well (US$9,000) on the campus of this school.
Needs at this school include textbooks, laboratory benches, and equipment, library reference books, computers and sports equipment. Teachers expressed a need for a solar-powered generator for reading at night, water in the science laboratory, tools to teach gardening and agriculture, musical instruments, and cameras for history students to take pictures on field trips.
St. Anne Grace Secondary School