On February 4, 2019, the 2019 school year began at St. Bakhita Nursery and Primary School in the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Uganda. Student enrollment increased by 75 for a total of 846, with class sizes up to Primary 6 ranging from 68 to 106, and with 45 in Primary 7, the last class before secondary school.
Seventeen teachers have enthusiastically returned to their classrooms. They will be attending seminars on how to interpret the curriculum, and how to recognize and deal with behavior problems of their students. Those problems include PTSD, violence in the home and alcoholism in their families. Many of those situations are referred to medical professionals located in the UN-sponsored health center in the settlement.
Electicity and Technology
Wiring for outlets and classroom lighting is complete. In late March, the connection was made and power is on! The $4,000 project was made possible through a special appeal to SFR supporters. Laptop computers donated by Norway Savings Bank are standing by for student and teacher classroom use. The computers will use RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) software, which delivers free educational content to offline communities. Next will be teacher training and implementation at Primary 7. The cost of training and ancillary equipment will be funded through outside sources, as yet to be identified.
Construction is underway for a new block of three classrooms for Primary 1 and 2. The rooms will be of brick construction with a metal roof, and will replace the current noisy, dirt-floored, straw-walled classrooms covered with a leaky metal roof. The next facility upgrade will be the replacement of latrines.