New Humanist Primary Schools make a promising start

2022 Primary Leaving ExaminationsChildren gaining Grade 1
Uganda National Average14%
Katumba Parents Humanist Primary School27%
Mustard Seed Humanist Primary School21%
Isaac Newton Humanist Primary School58%

All other children in the Humanist Schools gained a creditable grade 2. Whereas 42% of primary children across Uganda gained lower grades 3, 4 or fail, none of the children in these new Humanist Primaries did.

Results in the new Humanist primary schools are quite remarkable.

It was Katumba Parents Humanist Primary School’s first year after being rebuilt with UHST funds on a drier and safer site. Decent buildings, higher staff morale from regular pay, and books to help children to learn, have generated outstanding results, which is even more remarkable in a remote, rural school whose community has been afflicted by floods, landslides low cocoa prices and receiving an unstoppable inflow of refugees from the Congo. 

8 children (3 girls and 5 boys) gained grade 1, which has made them eligible to apply for a limited supply of UHST funded scholarships to attend a Humanist secondary school. The Ethical Society of St Louis raised funds for the 3 Katumba girls to move to Isaac Newton for their secondary schooling, and two UHST supporters provided an extra scholarship to enable the best performing boy to go to the school. Mustard Seed School allocated 3 of their UHST scholarships to Katumba boys. However, we have so far failed to find sponsors to provide scholarships for 5 other high-achieving children from Katumba, who wish to pursue their studies at one of the Humanist High Schools.

Maliba celebrating with her mother Joy Mutoro
Successful boys and girls at Katuma Parents Humanist Primary School

Mustard Seed Humanist Primary School had been run by a Muslim foundation up to the end of 2021, so has only operated as a Humanist School for less than a year. UHST has funded major renovation work at the school and provided books. After a short period as a Humanist school, 3 out of 14 children (21%) gained grade 1s, when none had done so in the former school. The school offers hope of a better education for future cohorts of children.

Isaac Newton Humanist Primary School showed the biggest turn around in fortunes. When running as an Evangelical Christian school up to 2021, school performance was poor and grade 1s unknown. In its first year as a Humanist School the site was given a major overhaul and books were bought for the school. Enrolment increased dramatically and Primary 7 children thrived. Of the 12 children entered for the PLE, 7 gained grade 1 (58%) and the remaining 5 gained good grade 2s. 

All successful children from the Mustard Seed and Isaac Newton Humanist Primary Schools will be moving on to their respective high schools. Our hope is that they will continue their exciting life’s journey and become accomplished and free-thinking young people who can create a good life for themselves, for their families and for the wider community.

* At age 12 in Uganda, top primary children take a Primary Leaving Examination. This is a national exam taken by all primary leavers in Uganda. The exam has 4 pass grades (1 to 4) and fail.