In a nutshell
Uganda Humanist Schools Trust was set up as a charity in November 2008 to raise funds to help Ugandan Humanists to establish schools that offer inclusive education based on reason, compassion and tolerance.
We currently support the following schools:
- Isaac Newton High School, Kateera, Masaka – founded by Peter Kisirinya in 2005
- Mustard Seed School, Busota, Kamuli – founded by Moses Kamya in 2007
- Katumba Parents Humanist Primary School, Bundibugyo – founded by Katumba parents led by Irumba Juma Siriwayo in 2014
- Kanungu Humanist Primary School, Kanungu – opened fully by Robert Magara in 2022
Peter Kisirinya and Moses Kamya met as students at Makerere University, where they became founder members of the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO). In 2004 UHASSO, took the bold step of inviting the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to host a “Humanist Visions for Africa Conference” in Kampala. Discussions at this meeting provided the catalyst for the creation of pioneering schools, which embrace Humanist principles.
In November 2008, they took the further step of forming the Uganda Humanist Schools Association to foster collaboration between the schools. The Association, chaired by Peter Kisirinya, is dedicated to monitoring educational standards, sharing good practice, promoting professional development and pioneering a secular-humanist approach to schooling.
All schools teach the Uganda national curriculum and prepare students for public examinations. At the same time, they aim to develop self-confident students who care for each other and for their local communities. The schools encourage students to be open minded and questioning. They are taught to respect evidence and to appreciate the need for shared human values. In order to foster a spirit of understanding, students are introduced to both religious, as required by the national curriculum, and secular humanist life stances.
The schools aim to offer an effective, caring and distinctive learning environment for children in deprived rural areas, which respects:
- freedom of thought and expression;
- rational enquiry, science and the need to support argument with evidence;
- human rights, gender and racial equality, and the rights of individuals to choose their personal life stance;
- high levels of achievement and social responsibility.
Uganda Humanist Schools Trust raises funds to enable these hopes to be realised.
The first generation of Humanist schools is inspiring new ones to follow in their wake.
Details of current Humanist Schools have been brought together in the following Directory: