The school term at Team College ended on 14th December 2016 and there was a lot to celebrate this year.
For instance, the school’s students’ successes over the past academic year and mark the undertaking of a major infrastructure improvement programme to the school.
Attended by students, former students, local officials and a wide cross section of the community, the keynote speaker was local MP Mr Gerald Karuhanga who gave a well received speech stressing the importance of education to the future development of the local community and Uganda.
The improvements to the school, which include refurbishing the classrooms, new doors and windows and upgrades to the sanitary facilities, were funded by the charity and long term supporter of the school LTHT, whose chairperson, Ida Horner, attended the event together with trustee Paige Kilroy, and presented awards to students celebrating their achievements over the past year.
Headmaster of Team College, Karamira George, hosted the event which was considered a great success by all those who attended.
The new academic year starts next month and we hope that the improvements will attract more students to the college.
Team College School is a rural community education initiative. It is a registered Community Based Organization (CBO) with Ntungamo District and operates in Nyamuhani cell, Ruhanga parish, Itojo Sub County, Ruhaama County, Ntungamo District – South Western Uganda.
The school opened its doors to the public on 2 February 2009 and the objective is to offer post primary Educational services to rural youth aged 13 -19 years who would otherwise not afford to access such education due to prohibitive costs.
Team College is unique in the area in that it strives to accept children who may not be the most educationally gifted but those who have evidenced a willingness to learn and come from families where the cost of secondary education elsewhere is not an option. Whilst Team College has a good reputation amongst its students, its current physical condition does impact on its ability to deliver a good quality education.
The physical environment of the school is very poor and this has implications for learning. Currently, the buildings have got neither doors nor windows, this means that rain ingress is a regular occurrence. The walls are not plastered and the floors are not sealed. This means that on a rainy day students are learning in a muddy and dirty environment.
Also bugs like fleas, jiggers and ticks, which are common in the area have direct access to the classrooms exposing students to all sort of diseases.
Moreover, during the rainy seasons (March to May and September to November) mold on walls and floors is common as they do not dry up quick enough and this causes respiratory infections in both students and teachers. This situation means that the school is unable to attract good quality teachers and this has serious implications for the students and their education results.
Our next initiative will involve focus on the installation of doors and windows, plastering of walls as well as sealing the floors. The anticipated outcome is that an improved physical environment will provide a better learning environment for the students and will make it more attractive to young people and their parents resulting in higher student numbers, thus more income, thus greater ability to attract and retain a better- standard of teachers.
The school boarding facilities are reduced to a room with no windows or doors for the boys, and a nearby house for the girls. The boys that currently board sleep on the floor and the girls have to share beds in the house they stay in. Boarding provides pupils an opportunity to focus on their studies away from the pressures of the home environment but when dormitories are not properly set up, living conditions can lead to distractions and eventually school failure.
Sanitation at Team College
39 girls from Team College participated in LTHT’S Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Program. Although, there is a high level of satisfaction among the students using the DFG sanitary pads we distributed earlier in the year, the lack of proper washing facilities at the school meant that their basic hygiene needs are not yet fully met. The current girls’ latrine is full and doesn’t provide enough space for the girls to wash and dry their pads we will therefore provide a separate washing facilities for boys and girls as part of this project.
Water is extremely important in managing and maintaining hygiene. Currently the school has no running water we will therefore install a rain harvest system to enable the school increase its hygiene levels. It is well documented that poor sanitation leads to increased incidences of diseases, which directly affects students’ performance and school results.
You’re invited to rural southwest Uganda to help promote life opportunities for village children.
This project is primarily looking for volunteers who are TEFL or hold other teaching qualifications and who have experience with working with teenage students in both formal and informal settings. This project will also be suitable for other self-motivated individuals who can assist in the classroom and/or on a one to one tuition basis and/or in running after school clubs for the students and who are prepared to help establish the framework for this new project. Fundraisers to help the children’s physical surrounding are also more than welcomed!
Team College is one of two secondary schools in the village of Ruhanga with the other school, Ruhanga Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School, being government aided. Being government aided does not mean free education as significant fees and charges apply, putting secondary school education out of the financial reach of many families. As such, many school children drop out of education at the end their primary schooling severely impacting on their long-term life opportunities.
Team College was established by the former headmaster at Ruhanga Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School to cater specifically for brighter children who would otherwise be squeezed out of education due to these high fees. A not-for-profit school, Team College offers education from Secondary 1 to Secondary 4, when O-levels are taken before the students either progress to A levels or take the vocational training route which is preferred by many given the lack of formal jobs in the Ugandan economy.
The school is few in number partly because it has an educational standards admissions policy but also because its physical resources are limited which is off-putting to some families despite the school’s actual education attainment being held in high regard locally.
Given the not-for-profit fees it charges (which basically only cover essential costs such as paying the teachers) without third party assistance, the physicality of the school is unlikely to improve significantly. This is especially evident in one classroom where one of the walls has collapsed and in the limited boarding provision where students have to sleep on the floor rather than in beds.
This is a new volunteer project that follows a process of consultation with students at the school to identify (a) whether the input from volunteers with different cultures and backgrounds would be beneficial to the overall learning process and, if so, (b) what specifically would students want from volunteers.
The students were keen to welcome volunteers to their school to not only run workshops around such topics as cultural differences, English language development and careers advice as well as computer and internet skills, they were also anxious for volunteers to help with the physical conditions of the school and would welcome working with others to establish a community based library accessible to all students in the village to cater for reading for pleasure as well as reference books for course work.
Click on the sign up button below to find out more about this project: