Archive photo: Kirima pupils graduating
Despite all the difficulties of Covid the Primary Year 7 leavers' exams were completed and the results are great.
The results are:
- Grade one 14 (last year was 8)
- Grade Two 35
These are outstanding results in the District and the best results for the last four years.
It opens up great opportunities for these children.
Thanks to everybody involved for their dedication and teamwork.
New safety fence
New fence and gates for Kirima
The new Kirima gates and fence have now been completed. A hedge will soon be planted to make the site more attractive.
This development is very important because the new tarmac road will soon be open and the spot where the photo was taken will be a busy thoroughfare.
The fencing will protect the children from intruders and from traffic accidents - we were concerned about the possibility of a heavy truck coming off the road
and rolling down the steep bank into the school.
The photo shows some of the building which has taken place in recent years, with the two-story classroom block in the front, the new hall and IT suite with the
blue roof behind and the old dormitory block to the left.
It is great to see this important school being updated step by step to meet local needs.
Teaching during lockdown
Teaching with Covid precautions
For many months all schools in Uganda have been closed. This lasted longer than in the UK as healthcare facilities are limited so
it is doubly important to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
Limited opening has now been permitted for year 7 so that the children can at least benefit from the final year at primary school - for
many children this is their last year of education as those who do not go to Great Lakes High School have few options.
An IT class during Covid
New Girls' Dormitory
Girls' dormitory at Kirima
About half the children at Kirima are boarders so their dormitories are a big part of their lives.
We are working to progressively improve facilities at the school and the new girls' dormitory is the next step.
There are now a lot of happy girls in the evenings and at night.
During lockdown we have been working to complete some of the projects which were badly needed.
The site at Kirima is very muddy, particularly during the rainy seasons and it is difficult for children and teachers to walk between
classrooms at the end of lessons.
The new drainage system will help keep the school site in good condition and make it easier to get around. Flowers have been planted in the
new drainage channels to make the school more attractive and teach the children about the importance of a well-tended environment.
Food support during lockdown
Although many people in Kanungu struggle to provide enough food for their families, we do not normally donate food (although for
many children, their school lunch is a vital part of their diet).
But these are not normal times. Uganda has very limited healthcare so their lockdown has been particularly strict. Families have
not even been allowed out of their homes to tend their smallholdings. So, for the first time since we were involved in the region,
many families are go hungry.
We have therefore organised a distribution of basic food ingredients to families with children at the schools we support.
Our aim is to help solve some of the long-term issues in the area, but sometimes we just have to help out in an emergency.
Advanced primary education
Primary book (with cricket)
Children at Kirima Primary are taught to a high standard as the typical biology exercise books show.
The picture above shows an excellent understanding of the human blood circulation system and the one below our reproductive system.
One photo was taken in cricket season; vast numbers appear in November and the children catch them to cook and eat - a favourite delicacy.
New girls' toilets
Girls' toilets at Kirima
The new girls' toilets at Kirima are now finished and in use.
Toilets are never our most exciting projects but, of course, they are vitally important and we are very grateful to the generous donor
who made them possible.
The new building has improved drainage; it replaces outdated facilities which were too small.
Laptops for resource centre
Exploring the new laptops
The resource centre now has 15 laptops, meaning that the new IT teacher can run lessons for full classes by sharing four pupils to a computer.
Most of the children have never used a computer before… so they have to learn how to use a keyboard and mouse. There is a lovely drawing
program which provides a fun way to get them started.
IT lessons will consist of word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. This means that children graduating from Kirima Primary will be
well on their way to an IT 'O' level when they reach secondary school.
The laptops are also loaded with hundreds of books, audio books, videos and photographs for the children to explore in break time and for
boarders to use at weekends.
Many thanks to the pupils and staff from Willerby Carr Lane Primary School
in Yorkshire who generously raised funds for the laptops.
New books for resource centre
Girls enjoying the new books
The new school hall has a resource centre on the second floor to be used as a resource centre with laptops and a library.
Visitors brought out the first batch of books which the children enthusiastically started to read immediately. Clearly this
initiative will be a big success.
Our next project is to identify which books are most needed. Some will be sourced locally and others brought out from the UK.
A love of reading is not common in Uganda and primary school is the time to start.
Choosing books from the new library
Tarmac Road Construction
The road being built
Kanungu is in a very remote rural location and it takes hours to drive on mud tracks to the nearest tarmac road… until now.
For ten years, the Government has promised a tarmac road to join Kanungu to the capital Kampala and it is finally being built.
The wider road encroaches onto school land, meaning they had to demolish the older classrooms and school hall but we have been preparing for several years
and the school continues to operate with improved facilities.
We hope that the road builders will transfer some of their spare soil onto the Kirima site to make it less steep and increase the usable area.
Nature Walk in the Hills
Girls with grasshopper
When we visit Kirima we always take a group of children for a walk in the beautiful hills above the school. The scenery is wonderful
and would be more popular than the Lake District if it were more accessible. But most of the children have never walked in their local
hills - walking is a chore rather than a leisure activity for the locals.
We explored the local plants, insects and agriculture (including examining a bee hive). November is grasshopper season - when fried they
are like whitebait and the children love them.
Kirima Wins Football Cup
Kirima children with football trophy
The Kirima Parents Primary School football team won this impressive trophy in June 2019.
The school team will represent the entire region in Western Uganda in Mbarara in the forthcoming competition.
New Hall Open
New School Hall at Kirima Primary
We are delighted to see the new hall at Kirima is open and in use. The children can now:
- Have assemblies even when it is raining
- Eat meals indoors
- Gather in the evening for activities, debates and to watch videos
- Sit national exams
The hall had to be re-built as the site of the original hall was taken for construction of the new
tarmac road. We have taken the opportunity to create a better quality and larger space which will
be the centre of school activities for many years to come.
The second floor will be used as an IT resource. Trustees will visit later this year to install
computers in the new space and further develop IT teaching in the school. Computing is a new
topic in Uganda and young children will be the key to educating the entire community in this
increasingly important skill.
Many thanks to all the donors whose generosity has made this great resource possible.
Hall Construction Underway
Constructing the new School Hall
Thank you for the first donations which have enabled us to start work on constructing the new School Hall.
We have send out a Christmas Appeal to raise the remaining £30,000 which is needed to complete construction in the December
to February holidays.
May 2019 update: progress has been excellent and the shell of the new hall and IT room is complete.
The final work to windows and fitting out is being completed. The new term has started so children must
eat lunch in their classrooms for a few weeks.
Thank you again for your support.