Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Some of the rural schools that have extra committed teachers have proved to rise in academics pretty fast

Pupils of Rugazi Central P.s, Rubirizi district
During the EduTrac hands on support and supervision in western Uganda, I visited a school; Rugazi Central P.s.; Rubirizi district. This school amazed me. Despite the fact that it is a school within a poor community learners are provided with meals at school, the learners look healthy and happy though many do not have school shoes. The Head teacher of this school Mr. Wamanya Vincent is a vibrant and very active eduTrac reporter as well as a good leader in the school. Much as studies for Term II had ended, teachers were tasked to keep at school to mark Term II exams in order to close the school on time according to the national school calendar. He knows all eduTrac instructions and can support colleagues in the district in matters concerning eduTrac. With the little that the school receives from government as UPE capitation grant, the school managed to set up some play equipment to support children's play. 10% of the learners in this school are Special needs children but all  kept happy faces and have stayed back at school even after completion of Term II exams which is a pure sign that they are happy at the school. This is the school that benefitted from the support of a former catholic in the community church who lobbied for support from a German fund to construct a big dinning/main hall for this school. This was done in appreciation of the good works emulated by this school in the community by providing affordable quality education in this community.
This is the main / learners dinning Hall block at Rugazi Central P.s that was constructed by a former Father in the community catholic church

Pupils of Rugazi Central P.s playing out in the compound
Extreme left is the DES official for Rubirizi district having a chat with the Head teacher of Rugazi Central P.s during the EduTrac support supervision activity

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Do think all parents think education is the key to success???


During the support supervision in Arua district,  as some children where at school studying, others where busy digging in the gardens as seen from the picture.

This was a time when children are expected to be in school since it was mid term but some parents since they have never attended school, it is useless to keep their children in school

This is what keeps a child happy in school

It has been noted that schools where pupils get meals provided , or where parents pack something for the learners to have as a lunch snack or where Pupils go back home for lunch and resume classes after lunch; perform better in school, attendance is boosted and the general behavior of learners is checked. Learners concentrate and perform better when they have had something to eat. With the active involvement of school management committees in schools, parents have been sensitized about the importance of pupil meals thus a noted improvement in the overall performance of learners and children are kept in schools. That is why EduTrac checks on this particular indicator as a known effect to the quality of education.

Learners of Kalas Boys ; Amudat district taking their dinner meal.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Water and Sanitation Challenge in Hakitengya Primary School

Hakitengya Primary school, in Bundibugyo district, has a population of 321 pupils with 26 yet to be enrolled and 9 teachers. On the 14th of October, during eduTrac hands on supervision in the meeting with the head teacher, SMC, P3 and P6 teacher, they shared about water and sanitation challenge in their school. With this population in the school, they only have two latrine stances. Picture above shows the head teacher standing near the toilet.
Picture 1: Head teacher of Hakitengya Primary School, standing close to the only latrine they have in the school.
The challenge of the latrine stances came about after their semi-permanent latrine with about 8 stances got blown by wind and is currently out of use. A deep hole has also been left at the site which the head teacher fears to be dangerous to the children in the school
Picture 2: Head teacher Hakitengya Primary School, Mr. Thembo Aaron, standing at the site of the latrine that was blown by wind. Between him and the plastic body of the latrine is a hole that has never been covered and not faces to protect the children from the area.
On inquiring about repair of the latrine or covering the hole, the head teacher said they had written to the district officials to repair the latrine but since that was not possible, they requested for help to close the hole. It has been about four month since they wrote to the district with no action taken. The head teacher also said the community around the school and even some pupils often defecated in the school compound. The reason is because there are no enough latrine and two, the school is not fenced.
On the other hand, the schools also had challenge with water source.  Just behind the classes, there was a piped water point that was not working at the time of the visit.  The tap at the point was broke and the water pressure was very low for normal use.  Just after visiting the latrine that was blown by wind, a young girl was at the water point trying to wash a mango before eating during their break time.
Picture 3: Young girl blows the pipe and waits for water to rise so as to use it to wash her mango at break time in Hakitengya Primary School.

In trying to get water, she blew in to the pipe so as to increase pressure in the pipe for the water to rise. She then took the water with her hands to wash the mango though it was never enough to clean it and she kept repeating the same process.

Story by Paul Jabuya Mboya EduTrac consultant and blogged by Oliver Christine Nakyazze; EduTrac

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Extraordinary Teachers

Even with the on-going Teachers' Strike in Uganda, a number of committed teachers in Katebwa Sub-county in Kabarole District, who can be considered extraordinary, have decided not just to make a difference but a mark in the lives of the pupils, their parents and the community at large.

These are teachers from four primary schools in the sub-county with a programme to help the children and their schools succeed. Once every month on a Friday, the head teachers of Bunaiga, Karugaya, Butyoka and St. Mbaga Primary School organize for a joint teaching programme of their candidates. This also involves the P7 teachers and together, they help the pupils revise together, exchange ideas and notes from their schools. The programme has now lasted three years and the head teachers have even gone as far as forming working groups to jointly inspect their teachers to ensure quality and uniform teaching of their pupils.

On asking them if they have benefited from what they are doing, two head teacher, Mr. Murugi Patric of Karuga and Mr. Muhindo Kihabule Joseph of Bunaiga Primary school were more than happy to share. Last year, they head 4 division I and 45 division II and 8 division I and 55 division II in the two schools respectively. At the time of eduTrac hands on supervision in the district and at the visit of the school, the above mentioned school were together at Karuga Primary Schools. It was also a coincidence that the LC Chairman of the area was also at the school during the visit and he was also congratulated for having such committed teachers in his area.

P7 Pupils of Karuga and Bunaiga Primary School at Karuga Primary for join teaching by their teachers. In the first line of those standing behind the seated pupils from left is, Bunaiga head teacher, teacher at Karuga Primary, LC Chairman, Bunaiga Primary teacher and the head teacher of Karuga Primary.

On further inquiry on how they make this possible, the head teachers said they do ask their pupils to pack for their lunch during the joint teaching. On the d-day, the pupils do commute from their homes to the school that hosts the joint teaching. Hosting of the programme is also rotational among the four schools which also gives the pupils to have enjoy the different environment in the schools while learning. The school that does hosting prepares lunch for the teachers conducting the programme. In this way, the head teachers, teachers and the pupils try to lower the cost so as to meet to attain the best performance.

The lesson from these schools can be scaled to other schools for exchange programmes and hence have better educated pupils who can make better choices as they grow. With their work supported by the results as already stated, such teachers truly deserve a pay rise if not motivation.
Story by Jabuya Paul Mboya, blogged by Oliver Christine Nakyazze; EduTrac Consultants; UNICEF Uganda

P1 to P6 pupils asked to stay home because of latrine

Interest Story by Paul Mboya Jabuya; issues raised during support and supervision visits
P1 to P6 pupils asked to stay home because of latrine; Kalangala Primary School, Lyantonde district

Kalagala Primary school, one of the schools in Lyantonde district and among those visited for October 2013 eduTrac hands on supervision, has about 400 pupils. During the visit to the school, in the afternoon classes had started, pupils were not in school except the candidate class, P7. The teacher present for the meeting during the visit was asked about it.

The reason was that the school had no functioning latrine as then. One of their latrine blocks had sank just weeks before the visit and secondly, the only latrine block that was left had filled up. The pupils were therefore asked to stay home as the latrine was being emptied. By the time of visit, they had been away for about three days through they were expected to return by the end of the second.

The extension of staying at home was cause delay to empty the latrine by the persons contracted. Otherwise the teacher made assurance that the pupils would be back in school before the end of the week to continue with their studies.
Story by Paul Jabuya Mboya; EduTrac Consultant, UNICEF Uganda, blogged by Oliver Christine Nakyazze

Monday, November 18, 2013

Does anyone care about the feelings of Children with disabilities / Special Needs Children?

A story of one girl aged 17 in P.4 at Rukoki Model Primary (Special Needs Education) Unit; Kasese district, is touching but is a voice calling out for help. Doris is a disabled girl with stuntedness; a biological effect called Dwarfism.
Doris 4th right

She got sick in June, 2013 and was sent back home for proper treatment and was expected back to school after treatment but only for the Headteacher to get  informed by Doris' parents that she could not continue with school because she was pregnant. On asking Doris who was responsible for the pregnancy, she informed her parents that it was a deaf boy in P.7 called Mugisa (not true names) aged 16 years. So parents from both sides met to discuss the matter and see a way forward. Mugisa agreed that he was responsible for the pregnancy and is ready to face any consequences that come with it but there should not be an abortion. Doris' parents say that an abortion should be carried out if not Mugisa should take and marry Doris off because in her parents' culture, when a girl conceives she must be sent away for marriage to the responsible man. Mugisa's mother says that his son cannot marry a disabled girl yet the son is disabled too, she will not take care of two disabled people, better for her son to be sent to prison for life than marry Doris. So Doris is in a dilema, her family has abandoned her, and Mugisa's mother has also left the village with her son. Medical tests were done upon Doris and comfirmed that she is pregnant and that the feotus growing inside her is in good health and she will be able to produce normally, but she must attend antenatal care regularly and at 8months she must go and be hospitalised until she gives birth for better medical attention. But no one is willing to go help Doris while in hospital and most of all she is helpless and soo poor.

Story by Oliver Christine Nakyazze; EduTrac Consultant, UNICEF Uganda


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who is to blame??? EduTrac team visiting schools for Support and Supervision

P.1 pupils of Kalimon Primary School waiting with their dishes
for the lunch meal
EduTrac team during support and supervision activities in Kaboong District visited Kalimon Primary and had a story to tell. Children in Kalimon Primary school; including those in Primary one are suffering from jiggers making them walk uncomfortably and with alot of pain. The teacher who was present said the children even fail to report to school dujring dry seasons due to increased infection and pain. The problem has affected majority of the schools in South Kidepo Parish. The teacher also added that their school even performed poorly during schools athletics competition because the learners could not compete equally with others due to the pain they felt in their feet.
Jigger infested feet for the learners at Kalimon P.S

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

EduTrac; Say it we shall reach you...

On the morning of 1st May, 2013, we learnt from an alert received through eduTrac reported by one of our reporters in Kasese district that terrible floods had hit Kasese and several schools were affected, lives lost, roads closed, Kasese bridge broke down and access to cross through Kasese was closed off. Term II was starting on  27th May, 2013. A draft report was raised from Kasese District Local Government stating the affected schools and lives lost. A special poll question was created and sent out through eduTrac reporting system and sent out to the reporters in Kasese to know the magnitude of the effect and plan for an emergency response; information collected was used in carrying out the needs assessment for the UNICEF Basic Education team through the Education in Emergencies EiE program to reach out especially to support the affected schools so that they can also prepare to start the new term with normal enrollment as expected.

Among the affected schools were;
Pupils of Road Barrier P.S; Kasese district proud of UNICEF
support after the floods
Bulembia Primary school, Masule Primary school, Kasese primary school, Nyamwamba Primary school, Katiliri Primary, Unique Valley Primary, Kyambogho Primary, Bweyale Primary school, Nkaiga Primary, Kyarumba Primary, Mbata Primary school and Road Barrier Primary school.

Among the supplies sent to affected schools were;
Portable black boards, Tarpaulin tents as temporary shelters for study, chalk boxes, Thematic Curriculum text books, School in a box kits.

Owesome how things get done so fast using the right tools; efficiently and effectively....EduTrac is a wonder tool

EduTrac an effective reporting tool providing realtime information

Summary; On Saturday 13.07.2013, we received an alert through the EduTrac system; an education tracking tracking SMS based tool developed by UNICEF, that read “One of the teacher Mr. Muhindo Jostasi was defilement one student called kabugho katalina which has 13 years old and she is in P.4 class” reported by the School Management Committee Chairperson for Kyondo P.S;since i was traveling to Kasese district for support and supervision, i decided to follow up on the matter so that justice is sought for the victim. This is how quick eduTrac is in providing real time information and thus action to be taken.

On Saturday 13.07.2013, an alert came through the EduTrac system from the School Management Committe chairperson of Kyondo P.S Kasese district reporting a teacher, one Muhindo Justus having defiled a P.3 pupil; Kabugho Catherine aged 13. The alert read “One of the teacher mr muhindo jostasi was defilement one student called kabugho katalina which has !3 years old and she is in p4 class” Fortunately i was travelling to Kasese for edutrac support and supervision activity specifically to meet with the DEO and DIS. I shared details of the alert we received with the DEO, SEO and DIS Kasese district and requested to work with them to follow up on the matter. I arranged to travel to Kyondo to meet the Head teacher Kyondo Primary School, Mr. Mwesige Zepher who informed us that he was at Kagando Health centre (as the school is located in a hard to reach part of the Kasese hills) so we all met him there. Main interest was to know how the head teacher handled the case, he informed us that the case was already reported to Kyondo Police Station but the accused is still on the run. I decided to take an extra step to dig into the matter to alert everyone concerned that such cases must be brought before justice. I worked with the DIS Kasese district to call up the parents of the abused girl to come along with the girl to the Police station. On the 22nd i travelled to Kyondo Police station for a meeting to probe deeper into the case and to have a word of hope with the victim, meeting was chaired by the LC I Chairman LC I Masereka Exvias, and on the panel was  the District Inspector of Sschools-Kasese, me, Mr. Tusiime Edison MoES, and Sub-county Chief Mr. Masereka Daniel, among the participants was the victim's father Mr. Baluku Dezi, the victim herself Ms. Kabugho Catherine P.4 aged 13, and the Head teacher Kyondo P.S; Mr. Muhindo Mwesige Zepher. From the discussion it was learnt that the girl was taken to Kagando Health Centre II and necessary tests done and results showed; HIV was negative, HCG was negative but the girl had been defiled not raped because she informed us that the teacher did not force her but they agreed and arranged a meeting with the teacher. Reporting to Police delayed because the girl’s brother connived with the accused to agree and settle the case minus Police involvement but after agreement between the two failed, that is when the girl’s brother decided to report the matter to Police; he too was on the run. I managed to have a word with the girl who informed me that she still wants to continue with school but was being bullied by fellow pupils and teachers thus deciding to drop out of school; but after a long talk with her and encouraging her not to give up on her studies, she agreed to continue with school. I also requested the Head teacher to continuously monitor her attendance and keep encouraging her to be focused on her future and also to inform the teachers and fellow learners not to bully Catherine but instead encourage and motivate her. After the meeting, all Police Officers were grateful to eduTrac, it created awareness that all violence cases once reported through eduTrac are being tracked for justice. The LC Chairman also joined reporting for eduTrac to keep us up to date with violence cases against children which are reported to Police and will be reporting as a District Education Officer. This is step one, with such actions; we believe that children will keep in school and school will be safe for pupils to study. Below are some of the pictures to illustrate the story above