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.
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