Currently, there are three primary schools in Kibuutu. Unfortunately, there is great lack in these schools. Two of the primary schools provide little more than a bit of shade, less than shacks really as you can see in the pictures. The third school is a Muslim school and requires a conversion to Islam to attend. It is a nice structure; however, these children and their families do not necessarily seek out this religion, many longing for a better option. There is no secondary school. Children either drop out of school, or walk 8 km to the nearest government-run secondary school if they can afford it.
Currently, about 580 students attend school in the above two shacks, from pre-school to the end of primary (P7 class). Over 400 more from the community are stated to attend boarding schools elsewhere (because the school is inadequate and their family can afford to send them away for school).
In Uganda, there is no free public education. There are government-run schools and private schools (some boarding schools and others day-schools), both of which charge school fees. The government-run schools tend to be less expensive (unless families receive private organization subsidies for the private schools), but are greatly lacking in quality of education. Both schools also require the students to purchase many school supplies. Children begin school at a pre-school or Kindergarten level (they have three years of Kindergarten – baby class, middle class and top class). They then complete seven years of primary school (P1-P7), at the end of which they are required to take a national exam to receive a certificate of completion of their primary education and pass it to move on to secondary school. Schools often have one teacher per class, regardless of size, and one “head teacher” who is the principal of the school. Students are fed a meal (however meager it may be) while at school, and for some, this may be the only meal they receive that day.
With the current structure of schools in Kibuutu, not only is learning hampered, but also teachers are deterred. No teachers want to work in the current conditions and the school currently has only one qualified teacher and some are only P7 dropouts.
With a new school building, many of these issues will be addressed. And with the new building will come new administration. We are excited for the possibilities ahead!