What a wonderful privilege we had recently of visiting the new Charlene Secondary School during our return to Uganda post pandemic.
When we last visited in Jan 2020 we had identified the site for the school with the newly appointed Ugandan Trustees of Charlene Education Foundation. As we have watched from a distance the plans of quite a few years materialise on the ground in Uganda, we owe so much to the many who have supported the vision of bringing secondary education to the children of the 8 neighbouring primary schools we have been working with in western Uganda.
The welcome at Charlene Secondary School was so very warm. The quality of the buildings is of a very high standard. The 2 science labs stood out with running water and gas points to every pupil place. Solar pumped deep borehole water is piped across the whole site and stored in water tanks to allow access to clean water across the whole campus. Roof solar electric panels provide electricity throughout the whole school. High aerial internet allows enough bandwidth to allow access to internet in every classroom. I was even able to WhatsApp videocall Janice, so that she could speak on video to all the teachers during the meeting we had with them in school. This brings so much potential moving forward for pupil-pupil and teacher-teacher interaction between Uganda and Northern Ireland.
The teachers were enthusiastic and competent, the pupils confident and joyful. We met management and parents and were very impressed with the presentations the children did on computer maintenance and liquid soap making. School buildings, teachers and pupil confident presentations would have matched anything anywhere in the world.
Head Teachers from the 8 primary schools spoke so very highly of what they observed in Charlene Secondary School.
The building work continues, there is still much to do to finish the school, but what we saw made us very proud of the team in Uganda and of you all, who are making the dream of secondary education in this community in Uganda a reality.