stevehurd@uhst.org Uganda Humanist Schools Trust

Mbute Campus Rescue Plan Gathers Pace

IMG_0879The legal paperwork to transfer the ownership of Fair View School to Isaac Newton School has been completed and a bank account opened in the name of Isaac Newton High School – Mbute Campus. Soon the Land Registry will complete the transfer of the land titles.
Peter Kisirinya has worked hard to mobilise staff. Annet Kysakye, the former Headteacher, has been reappointed along with some of the other former teachers. Several Isaac Newton teachers are teaching on both school sites and three of the best A-level students from Isaac Newton are teaching lower school classes there before they go to university. Efforts have been made to attract back former students and recruit new ones. Peter is working with local leaders to harness the support of the local community. The parent-teacher association has been reformed and parents and guardians have been helping to improve footpaths to the site. A large public meeting has been held to present the new school to the community. Teachers, as well as students, have been given a new uniform. Families were shown around the newly finished library and science lab and they heard of plans to develop the school.

IMG_0823The original cook has returned after suffering a stroke. She is delighted with the new kitchen which is nearing completion. It will have two efficient wood burning stoves which are externally vented and will allow her to cook in a smoke free atmosphere.

UHST has bought more books for the school and equipment and chemicals for the new science lab. We have also covered the shortfall in the staffing budget and ensured that all staff have been paid fully.

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Toilets are the biggest current problem. The existing ones were built on the side of the hill and, due to land slippage, the boys toilets are breaking up. However, the good news is that International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and the Norwegian Humanists (HAMU) are working together to fund new Blair-VIP toilet blocks for boys and girls. The work on these will begin within days.

Staff, students and parents are delighted that the school is showing such rapid improvement.

Mustard Seed School Success in National Examinations

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the 2012 Uganda Certificate of Education (O-level) results one student gained a grade 1 aggregate (putting him in the top 8% of students in the country). 5 students failed through drop out before the exam but there were none with lower pass grades. Out of 44 students, 37 passed at grade 3 or better (grade 6 being the fail grade). The results are remarkable given the poor rural location, limited resources and relatively poorly qualified teachers. It is a testimony to high staff morale and hard work by staff and students alike.

For a second year the school has used scholarships from UHST to attract bright students from poor homes, all with grade 1 in the Primary Leaving Certificate. If this continues we should look forward to progressively improving standards in future. Moses Kamya also points to the beneficial effects of books, science materials and e-learning resources (see picture of A-level students in the computer lab).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince the start of the year there have been further improvements in school infrastructure.

  • New VIP toilets and washrooms for boys are finished (see picture to the right).
  • Refurbishment of the new site is well advanced.
  • Uganda National Examination Board has approved the school as a centre for A-level exams. This means that all Mustard Seed students will be able to take their exams in the school.

MMoses Kamya’s next priority is the levelling of land purchase last year, with a grant from UHST, to create a playing field.

 

March 2013 Update

Humanist Schools Conference

January 31st to February 2nd, 2013
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UHST in collaboration with the Uganda Humanist SchoolsAssociation (UHSA) organised the first conference for teachers in the Humanist Schools in Uganda. There were 56 participants including teachers from Mustard Seed School, Isaac Newton High School, the Mute Campus of Isaac Newton (formerly Humanist Academy/Fair View School. The conference had three main themes: developing a distinctive ethos for the operation of Humanist schools, improving educational outcomes, and making effective use of books and computers to support learning.

Full conference report…               Conference programme…

PowerPoints:  

humanism uganda school version 2013

Mugimu Improving School Performance

Improving Performance in Chemistry Emmanuel Otim

English language Paul Lwere

 

Girls’ Hostel at Mustard Seed School

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Thanks to a generous bequest from a family in Cambridge the Mustard Seed School has been able to build an 18 roomed hostel, housing 102 girl students, with a separate matron’s room and an internal washroom with showers. The latter was made possible by a new pumped water system completed at the same time.

New report on Mustard Seed School…

VIP Toilets

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UHST, with help from generous donors in Styal and Stoke-on-Trent, have provided funding for improved toilets at Mustard Seed and Isaac Newton Schools. The toilets, which each have 4 stances for students and a separate toilet for staff and visitors, use a Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) construction developed first in Zimbabwe. Separate wash blocks were built at the same time using piped water which is now available throughout both school sites. Details are in the two school reports.

New Report on Isaac Newton High School…

Rescue Plan for Fair View

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UHST, with the agreement of IHEU and UHASSO, is helping Peter Kisirinya to bring the Humanist Academy/Fair View School under the management of the Isaac Newton School. The school will in future be known at the Mbute Campus of Isaac Newton. IHEU has resumed funding for the school’s building programme, which has seen the much needed library and science labs completed (pictured above). UHST is also providing immediate help with running costs and is providing additional scholarships to allow bright but needy children to attend the school. Meetings have been held with the local community who strongly support the new action plan and have been working to clear the access paths.

Report on developments at Mbute Campus…