Gulu school eyes Shs960m prize in global competition

Pupils of Project Shelter Wakadogo School during a celebration at their school in Gulu City on September 24, 2022. PHOTO/TEDDY DOKOTHO 

What you need to know:

  • The school applied for the world’s best prize in February and were named among the top 10 in June.

A school in Gulu City has been named among the three finalists in a world competition for a $250,000 (Shs961m) prize under the overcoming adversity category.

In a press statement last Thursday, T4 Education, a global organisation, in collaboration with Templeton World Charity Foundation, stated that Project Shelter Wakadogo at Pageya Village in Gulu East Division had been selected.

The other finalists are Pinelands North Primary School from South Africa and Escola Evandro Ferreira Dos Santos from Brazil. Voting is scheduled for October.

Prize categories
Early this year, T4 Education introduced five world’s best school prizes; community collaboration, environmental action, innovation, overcoming adversity, and supporting healthy lives.

The initiative aims at recognising schools for developing the next generation of learners and sharing the best practices that transform students. 

Project Shelter Wakadogo was founded in 2009 after the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency to serve the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities. 

It started with 60 pupils but currently has an enrollment of 477 learners.
Mr Charles Odong Kigundi, the head teacher, attributed their success to meeting the learners’ needs during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

For instance, they introduced a home-schooling programme.
“We distributed learning kits and government study modules to students to support face-to-face learning led by the teachers. By the end of the lockdown, they had conducted more than 36,000 door-to-door lessons,” Mr Odong said. 

“We have also started a computer training programme where we have five computers and four tablets. We take the learners in small groups to learn. This has been very helpful,” he added. 

Mr Odong said if the school wins the prize money, they will use it to set up a computer laboratory with 50 laptops, 50 tablets and solar technology to facilitate hybrid and remedial learning.

Mr James Apire, the chairperson school management committee, said they also bought enough benches and other materials that helped the learners during the home-schooling.

“We collected money among ourselves to secure these materials and we traced these learners while those near the school congregated and studied from my home,” Mr Apire said. 

He added that they have been instrumental in taking care of the pupils’ welfare.

“We realised that children cannot learn on an empty stomach so we provide them with adequate meals and nutrition supplement,” Mr Apire said.

He said home schooling also kept the learners safe during the lockdown, adding that they did not register any cases of teenage pregnancy and dropouts. 

Mr Apire said the school applied for the world’s best prize in February and were named among the top 10 in June.