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OUR UGANDAN ePALS School
Kikaaya Village, Uganda, East Africa

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Article by Charles Mubiru, Headmaster
from http://www.edfordev.org/whatwedo/scholarships.php

Kikaaya College School is located about ten miles west of Kampala, Uganda's capital city, on the Mityana/Mubende Road in Wakiso sub-county.  The school was started in 1990 by residents of Kikaaya Village to serve youth who had completed primary school but lacked a local option for secondary school.

Kikaaya enrolls about 450 students each term in grades Senior 1 (U.S. 7th grade) through Senior 6 (12th grade).  The student body includes both boys and girls and both day students and boarders, who range in age from 12 to 23.  

Click here to read essays on education by some Kikaaya students.

Many Kikaaya students attend school on scholarships "sponsored" by the headmaster; in other words, the students' fees are simply waived. While this waiving of fees allows a very limited number of disadvantaged and promising students to attend school, this form of scholarship assistance results in the school not generating enough income to cover all its needs.

While the school is able to pay its teachers consistently, all of whom are diploma or degree holders, it sometimes loses teachers to schools that pay higher salaries.  Current salaries at Kikaaya are the equivalent of US$500-600 per year for vocational teachers and US$800-900 per year for college (secondary) teachers.  Teachers are also provided an additional allowance for housing if they do not live compound or transportation, as well as a noon meal during the week.

In addition to continuing to increase teachers' salaries, the most serious unfunded needs of the school at this time include improving facilities, particularly a science laboratory, and purchasing additional current text books.

Class size can be as large as 100 students, with just one teacher and no aides.  Students sit at bench-style desks, often shared by a student or two more than they are built for.  There is an average of about one text for every five students in Kikaaya classes, and they are often outdated.  The school has one hand-operated duplicating machine.  Given these conditions, much of the information students need to fulfill the nationally established curriculum is dictated to them in class.

While biology, chemistry and physics are part of the Kikaaya curriculum, all of which the students master well theoretically, the school's science lab consists only of very basic and mostly outdated equipment.  The school has built up a small computer laboratory for use by both academic and vocational students.  However, the five donated computers are all over ten years old.

Still, Kikaaya is a very resourceful and successful school.  Most of its S4 and S6 candidates pass their national examinations and go on to complete two year diploma programs, which is the standard preparation for secondary school teachers (a very few are even able to enter a four year university).  Kikaaya is also very involved in cultivating international exchanges and has taken its dance troupe to England and the Netherlands with the help of outside sponsorship.

See pictures from Kikaaya at our Photo Gallery! (locate photos of Kikaaya School)


Watch online videos about the life of children in Uganda (not our ePals)

www.Youtube.com  Uganda Hip Hop  | Invisible Children of Uganda | Faces of Modern Slavery |  video.yahoo.com   Bono in Uganda   


Go to the originating website:  WorldVision  and once on that web page, click on the image in the bottom right corner (identical to the image at left)
"War Dance" a documentary following three children from a displacement camp in the war zone as they compete in the Uganda National music competition.



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