Published: November 25th 2011November 25th 2011
This was a blog i forgot to put up a while back
Monday the 31st was the start of a busy month ahead remaining in Kampala. We started the day again at 8 30 in Katanga doing some more planning and organising of paper work before another meeting Monday night. After school in the morning we went to visit a secondary school in kamwempe in which our friend Moses works as a history teacher. This is the same friend who is part of the team to set up ‘hope for life’ project. We wanted to visit a school in Uganda to see how they worked and how they differed to what we experienced in England.
Brilliant High School is a secondary school for pupils aged 13-18. It is also a boarding school that houses about 400 students in dormitories and has another 200 students coming locally to attend the school. We arrived through the gates and it was actually very different to being in the streets of Kampala. The first thing we noticed was that it was nice and clean, smart and so quite that we could hear the sounds of pencils against the paper. This is probably due to final exams happening in some of the classrooms around. We met the head mistress and a few other teachers and sat and chatted with them about us, our trip, the school and, most importantly, what football teams we supported.
We then left office to look around the boarding of the students to see how they lived and to no real surprise, the girls were tidier than the boys but so I was told because they both looked pretty immaculate to me. Beds properly tucked in and their cases with all their clothes in neatly on their beds off the floors. They lift the cases off the floor each morning ready for various chores e.g. cleaning the floor.
We then left the boarding area and made our way to awaiting classes to meet them. The students in various classes had been prepped to think of questions to ask both of us when we visited them. We went into 3 different classrooms with students aged 13-16. There were various questions asked usually about how the education is in England; do students get the cane, what subjects do you learn, at what age we finish school, do you learn much about Uganda etc. There were other questions as well including what the weather is like, what’s the name of Princess Kate Middleton’s mum? (Are you serious?) And again what our favourite football team was. It was such an enjoyable time chatting with the students about different questions they had.
We then moved on and spoke to the teachers in the staff room. The staff room wasn’t sofas, carpet and a coffee machine in the corner, quite the opposite. They were sat on their own American style chair-table all in one, all facing forward doing their marking, in the dim light, with a TV on at the end of the room. The teachers were asked if they wanted to ask us any questions also and almost to my surprise they had more questions than the students. The teachers were surprised to hear that we don’t cane in England but instead teachers have to think of alternatives to punish the students. They asked questions, anything from, teachers’ salaries in England to how is it to be married at such a young age. And other questions like what is the difference between England, Great Britain and the UK, in which I’m pretty sure I answered correctly.
Their school life is quite different with class sizes of 60 sometimes up to 90 students, in a dark class room and a huge black board at the front of class. We explained to the head mistress how students in England were starting to use swipe cards to register in the mornings. We finished by saying goodbye to everyone with teachers and students alike asking us for our emails, mobile numbers and Facebooks so they can continue to speak to us.