Isaac Newton Schools prepare for 2024

The 2024 school year in Uganda begins on Monday February 5th. Between now and then, during the long school vacation, is the perfect time to repair and build.

The Lily van Haelen Hostel, the first girls’ dormitory at Isaac Newton High School, is well over 10 years old. Refurbishment was meant to start a year ago, but we had insufficient funds to pay for it, so work has been repeatedly postponed. Although funds are still tight, there can be no further delay. Work began last week to modernise the building. The main modification is to install ceilings in each room to reduce the transmission of noise and of diseases such as malaria. Repairs will also be made to broken windows, plasterwork and floors, before the dormitories are given a lick of new paint.

Old open ceiling in girls’ dormitory
New ceiling

The new Isaac Newton Primary School has been bursting at the seams with extra children, who were attracted when it changed from being an Evangelical Christian to a Humanist School. Isaac Newton Humanist School is known for being a happy school where children are safe and do well academically. Primary parents asked Peter Kisirinya, the Isaac Newton Humanist School Director, to bring these attributes to the failed evangelical school which was not liked due to its adherence to rote learning and the use of violence to impose harsh discipline.

Since becoming a Humanist School enrolment has increased from 40 to 250 children. The number of children has now outgrown the facilities. Peter’s chosen solution is to move out the top junior classes, P5, P6 and P7, which will give the nursery and infant children with more space. A few months ago, Peter’s mother sadly died, but she left to the school a piece of land close to the primary school that is perfect for the construction of a junior annex. We received a very generous offer from a UHST supporter to provide the funds to build a 3-classroom Junior Annex. As we can see from the pictures, work began on this a couple of weeks ago and Peter is hoping to have the new classrooms ready for the start of the new school year. 

Architect’s drawing of Junior Annex
Members of School Choir
Constructing foundations for Junior Annex

During 2024, in order to bring the primary school up to the required standards, we will be seeking to raise funds for a school hall, staffrooms and to reorganise the old site to add a decent library and computer room and to create play space for the little children.