Rachel's Spotlight

This is my first time to Uganda, but I can guarantee it won’t be my last! I have fallen head over heels for this country and its people in a way I didn’t think I would.

In the UK, I am a teacher at Broadheath Primary School. The school sponsors a student at NVI called David, who has just started his second year studying mechanics and is partnered with Masese Co-Education. For the last couple of years, the children at Broadheath have raised money for David and written letters, sent videos and donated their old school uniform to the pupils at Masese.

Although there have been many amazing moments on this trip, meeting David and teaching at Masese Co have to be my highlights.

David is a wonderful young man! He was quiet and very shy when I first met him, but he has started to come out of his shell more now and it was so great to see him and his friends having fun on Sunday afternoon (he certainly wasn’t quiet then)! I am just delighted that myself and the children and staff at Broadheath are able to support him and his education. I just know he will be an amazing mechanic and a lifelong friend.

Not many teachers can say that they have been able to teach in Uganda and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had. To say that education and teaching in Uganda is different to the UK is a massive understatement, and one that I hadn’t realised until I was actually there, experiencing it for myself. One of the first things that struck me as I walked into a classroom was the sheer number of children packed into one room! I am used to a class of 30 (which I used to think was pretty big), but here class sizes range from anywhere between 50 and 80 students. I taught in a fairly average sized class of 76... I will never moan about 30 children again! The second thing that really stuck out to me is the complete lack of resources. Again, I will never moan about resources again! The children here learn by rote, which is very different to how our children learn, but given the class sizes, I am not sure how else it could be done. Overall, teaching at Masese was an amazing experience and one I won’t ever forget and although it was one of my highlights, it was also the day which I found the toughest emotionally. There were a few things that not only the children learnt today.