Schools in Uganda face many challenges to providing quality education, such as large student populations, inadequate school facilities, and limited teaching supplies. Uganda classrooms have an average of over 100 students. Due to large numbers of students and a limited government budget for education, schools function without necessary tools and materials for teaching their students. The lack of funding and infrastructure has produced dismaying educational results. In Uganda, all students are required to pass the Primary Leaving Exam, a national exam taken at the end of primary school, in order to proceed on to secondary school. Unfortunately, our district consistently brings one of the lowest passing rates in the country; 25% of primary students in our district fail this exam outright and another 46%, while passing, are in the lower divisions with only 2% achieving Division 1 ranking. These are problems that can be partially addressed by providing better resources to teachers in our district.
From speaking with teachers in our outreach schools, they expressed the need for the following teacher classroom supplies: pens, markers, poster board, lesson planning books, ruled paper, rulers, and glue. For this project, we intend to donate a supplemental amount of these supplies to 10 underserved schools in rural Uganda. Each school will receive 50 pens, a 12 pack of permanent markers, approximately 40 pieces of poster board, 1 large pack of ruled paper, and one bottle of wall glue. In addition, each teacher will receive a personal lesson planning book and ruler. At the moment, many schools are not provided adequate funding for these resources, and therefore find it challenging to have classroom activities that engage students in the learning process. Using these classroom supplies, teachers will be enabled to transform their classrooms from the one on the left to the one on the right below. Both pictures were taken at a local government school, and illustrate the striking benefit of a properly equipped classroom in creating an engaging learning environment.
In addition, Arlington Academy of Hope will be conducting Teacher Training Workshops next year, at which professionals will discuss effective and interactive teaching techniques. To complement our teacher training program, we intend to donate these school supplies to participating schools, thereby providing them with both the education and the tools necessary to create a stronger infrastructure for education.
Since its initiation, Arlington Academy of Hope has made it a priority to respond to the needs of our community in Uganda. In the past, we have contributed to local schools by giving school supplies to students, supporting school renovation projects, and providing scholarships for students to attend secondary school. Our outreach programs to local schools is continually growing and expanding, as we seek to address the challenges in our community. <br />In 2009, Arlington Academy of Hope received a grant from USAID to distribute school supplies to 22 schools in our region of Uganda. The program was very successful, and the schools benefited greatly from those materials. This USAID program ended in 2010. AAH has been seeking to continue these types of interventions and thereby, enable children to have a more positive learning experience. <br />
In Uganda, schools often suffer from over population, and it is common to find 100 students per teacher in a classroom. These large classroom sizes mean that the potential impact of this project will be large, in that it touches the lives of at minimum 8,400 first through seventh grade students in 10 rural Ugandan schools. <br />For many students in our area, it can be difficult to afford the most basic of school supplies, so even receiving a pen or pencil is taken as a wonderfully exciting gift. The local teachers have expressed difficulty in acquiring the above classroom supplies, and that these are essential materials needed to conduct learning activities with their students. <br />
Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in the United States that helps children in rural Uganda reach their full potential. AAH’s vision is to transform villages in rural Uganda into vibrant, self-sustaining communities through quality education and healthcare. By creating model schools and clinics, we provide education and healthcare programs, local development opportunities, and community outreach to improve quality of life and transform poor villages into self-sustaining communities. We do this by engaging a caring community of volunteers, child sponsors, partners, and friends in the United States, Uganda, and throughout the world. <br />Lacey English is the full-time Outreach Coordinator for Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda. She works in-country with our partner schools to implement and monitor all outreach programs conducted through AAH. Having volunteered in Peru and India previously, she has now joined our organization in Uganda, and truly enjoys working with the kids in the community. With experience conducting other outreach initiatives, she has the skills to oversee new projects and the motivation to ensure projects are carried out both joyfully and effectively. <br />