Uganda Humanist Schools Trust: Charity No 1128762

Learning in the new Uganda National Curriculum

Uganda has introduced an impressive new Secondary Curriculum.  Memorisation and regurgitation of dictated notes have gone. Researching and evaluating information and other life skills are at the fore. Schools have been sent free sample copies of attractive new course books and teacher guidance. Each topic begins with a group activity, such as reading text extracts or conducting a task or experiment. Students learn relevant subject knowledge from the teacher, from books and on-line resources. Topics end with plenary tasks, questions and discussion which help students and teachers to assess what has been learnt. Observing lessons we have been impressed by the high level of children’s engagement and by how much more they seem to be learning in each lesson.

If it is to succeed, competency-based learning requires access to plentiful supplies of books, computers and a full-range of other learning resources, not least for science and other practical subjects such as agriculture, art and design and performing arts.

New curriculum History class of 100 at Mustard Seed Humanist Secondary School discussing strategies employed by British colonialists to take over Uganda

UHST is doing its best to help the Humanist High Schools to gear up for the new curriculum. We have doubled what we spend each year on books and science materials. We are trying to improve library and computer facilities and create spaces outside normal classrooms where students can read, research and perform group tasks. We found additional resources to upgrade the science and computer labs at Mustard Seed School, which no longer met requirements. Facilities of the Library and Information Centre at Isaac Newton, opened 2 years ago, are already proving to be inadequate. We have helped Kasese Humanist Municipal High School to enlarge and refurbish its science lab. Much more needs to be done across all the schools if they are to cope well with the new curriculum. 

Climate emergency hits schools

Isaac Newton High School is the latest of the Humanist schools in Uganda to be hit by storm damage. Torrential rains leaked into several buildings. Wind blew the roof off a girls’ toilet block and damaged the fabric of the building. The ferocity of recent storms across East Africa is unprecedented and provides further potent evidence of climate change. Floods and landslides in Kenya hit the world news headlines, but similar events in Uganda have gone unnoticed internationally.

The costs are mounting. Mustard Seed Secondary School lost the roof of a girls’ dormitory in a hurricane-like storm. At Kanungu Primary School the main toilet block was destroyed.

So far Uganda Humanist Schools Trust has been able to help thanks to money generously donated by our supporters. However, with donations reduced since Covid, funds to improve education and welfare have had to be diverted to ameliorating the effects of climate change. The whole world needs to wake up to the climate emergency which is already upon us.

Humanist Clubs Create a Sense of Community

Humanist Clubs give students in the Humanist Schools an opportunity to have fun while working for the common good. Recent reports from clubs at Kasese and Isaac Newton Humanist School give an indication of the activities that students undertake.

Below is a picture of members of Kasese Humanist Primary School’s Freethinkers Club and a picture link to a statement of their activities written by Geofrey Masereka, one of their leaders.

The group invites donations towards their activities. They would like £110 to enable them to buy a mobile megaphone speaker for use in group meetings and to address public gatherings where they convey the Humanist message in local villages and primary schools. They also need £80 to improve hand washing facilities in the Kasese Humanist Schools by providing water tanks and soap supplies at each of the toilet blocks in the 4 schools.

The many members of Isaac Newton Humanist Association are also working together to spread Humanism and improve daily life within the school and in the surrounding community. The group organise their activities to meet each of the Ten Humanist Commitments:

Students from Isaac Newton have worked for years to help widows and old people in the local villages by constructing screens to create private washing areas, drying racks for pots and pans, and hand washing stations. The picture shows the students at work and also standing proudly alongside the Humanist Association sign. Click here to read their Full Report written by Rafert Mumbere, the club President.

The club is seeking donations to help them carry out an ambitious programme of work, including:

  • Placing Ten Commitments signs around the school (£24)
  • Providing pens and paper to the poorest students (£48)
  • School cleaning to combat disease transmission (£24)
  • Planting trees for environment & climate change (£24)
  • Promoting Humanism through drama (£48)

If you would like to support the work of Humanist School Clubs you can send a specific donation from the link on our Donation Page with an email to to say that you would like the money to be used for Humanist Clubs. All money donated in this way will be shared across the Humanist Clubs.