Monday, 15 March 2010

What Alan gets up to...

Situated in a low-lying slum area of Kampala in Uganda on a small plot of muddy ground is a Primary School called the Royal Pride Academy. The school was set up 5 years ago by a Ugandan teacher called Godfrey upon realising that many of the children from the most disadvantaged areas had no access to primary schooling. They could not afford the £10 per month required to attend the government schools, of which they were not enough available in the area anyway.
The school currently has around 200 pupils, which includes a pre-school class, and 6 teachers, some of whom do not draw a salary for their work. The buildings are basic wooden structures with no flooring or protection from the elements and encircling a muddy, stoney field. There are pit latrines, but nowhere to prepare food, so the children go home for lunch and return for lessons in the afternoon. School starts at 8am and finishes at 4pm.
The school survives by charging £8 per term to those that can afford it topped up with some donations from well-wishers. This covers the cost of very basic school materials (exercise books, pencils, rough furniture, blackboards) and some teachers’ salaries. There are very few text books and there were no reading books until Alan took some in from the Fleetville School donations recently.
Despite all this the children are progressing well and the teachers are very committed to delivering the best education possible. The children learn numeracy and literacy and even creative fields such as traditional dance and pottery made from the mud in the ‘playground’.
We are hoping to raise enough funds to improve the facilities so that classrooms don’t have to be closed when heavy rains come. Putting a concrete floor into a classroom would cost about £50 (there are 9 classrooms). Alan also plans to spend some time at the school helping with reading and literacy and we already have enough books to set up a decent small library

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