Monday, June 9, 2014

City Secondary School


Yesterday was a fantastic day in Uganda.  We visited a private boarding school named City Secondary School.  The education system in Uganda varies from the United States, so for clarification think of City Secondary as a combination of junior high and high school.  Everywhere we go in Uganda, we are treated with the uttermost respect and hospitality. This was no different today as we were greeted with traditional dancing and many warm welcomes.  Kasifa, one of the MUBS students, even joined in dancing the Rakaraka.  After the welcome, the head of teachers expressed the challenges City Secondary School faces.  Among one of their challenges is the lack of computers. This year, Drake donated 30 computers, which will tremendously improve the ratio from 1 computer to every 75 students to 1 computer to every 8 students.  This will contribute to City Secondary School's vision of teaching their students the skills they need to not only succeed in their job field, but to become the job creators Uganda needs. They were so grateful, and it really was wonderful to see the students already utilizing the additional computers. 


After the launching of the new computer lab, we split up into discussion groups and each went to a different classroom to interact with the students.  In my group's discussion we learned all about teeth, but eventually we drifted into conversations about future career aspirations, and Facebook (We were in a junior high/high school environment, what more can you expect?) 

I thought the way the desks were labeled looked really cool, so I made Augusta let me take an artsy picture.  (Thank you for modeling, Augs)
We were also given a tour of the grounds, which was really great to see, except I heard some people saw a snake-one that is not alive, just for learning purposes- in one of the rooms, so I missed out on pictures of that (thankfully). 


Finally, we were given the opportunity to interact with the students through sports.  Many students began by playing volleyball, but eventually a soccer match was formed.  This match was only for those who could endure the challenges of a field full of hidden mini swamps.  Needless to say, it was fun being a spectator as many students slipped and slided every other step.  Drake/MUBS was the victor after a nail biter shoot out.


Overall, it was a great day learning about the school, the students, and ourselves in the process.   



4 comments:

  1. It was great to see that the computers will have such a direct impact on the students, especially when looking at the numbers. However, the school needs to be sure to sustain the quality of the computers and also find ways to get their own resources and not be so dependent on donation. I hope that the students will find these computers aiding in their studies and even take their knowledge to another level. It was apparent when we sat in on their classes that the kids were very intelligent and it will be interesting to see in a year or two how much impact the computers may have.

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  2. Not only will the 30 computers help the students, but this addition will also help the community. They are opening up the computer lab as a resource center so that those who do not have access to a computer at home may utilize the ones at the school. I agree with Morgan on the aspect of sustainability and how they need to find an alternate route than simply relying on donations. It was an awesome day talking with the kids at lunch and around campus. A lot of them have the desire of coming to the United States and I hope these new computers will get them a step closer to their dreams.

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  3. As I was talking to one of the MUBS students about classing in Uganda, they said that some schools are now offering ICT as a subject instead of math. This allows students to chose a more modern track or stick to the traditional subject as they are working toward graduating from secondary school. I also agree with Morgan that the school has a growing challenge to find resources not their own to contribute to the sustainability of their school. Although donations are helpful, it is important that the school uses their resources to further their knowledge and integrate this into new innovative techniques to further the sustainability of the school themselves.

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  4. Before we came to Uganda, my politics class had discussed the changing education system and how many U.S schools were now offering vocational learning. I believe city secondary should offer more of these classes because so many students cannot afford college at one of Uganda's 32 universities. This way, many who cannot afford college can still get well-paying jobs that do not involve farming (one man I met said the goal of going to school was to avoid becoming a farmer). Overall, however, I was very impressed by the school and its students. On the class I observed, they asked several questions and were eager to contribute. Their enthusiasm was contagious and I would not be surprised if many of them became future leaders of Uganda.

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