Kiggwa SSS, a Government Aided Secondary School in Mityana District, is located in Kiggwa Local Council, Kitongo Parish, Butayunja Sub-county, about 19 KM off the main Kampala- Fort portal road. The school that was started by the Church of Uganda and the Diocese of Central Buganda in 1982 became government grant aided in 2002. It is implementing the Universal Secondary Education (USE) policy and as such taps into a big catchment of 9 primary schools in the area. Ms. Helen Twongyeire, a committed ACFODE member, who also happens to be the Head Mistress of Kiggwa Secondary School, narrates her journey of resilience and bold initiative into the transformation of this rural community school in Mityana into an urban school.

Despite being the only government aided school in the sub county, its growth has remained rather stagnated by various reasons, including, among others, poverty, remoteness and proximity from the country’s capital. The school faces a rampant drop out that perpetuates the vicious cycle of illiteracy in the community. This was the appalling state that Ms. Helen met when she first joined the school. It quickly occurred to her that there was need for all sorts of effort to make reverse the trend. Transforming Kiggwa required that one employs a multi–pronged approach and holding public events is one of these approaches.

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The Head Mistress Ms.Helen Twongyeire joins students on stage.

“Even at the end of a dark tunnel there is a brilliant light” so goes the old adage. In a similar path, Hellen has brought new hope and energy to the drains of Kiggwa Secondary School. This has been through a number of initiatives like creating a group of friends from whom she gets support and these include, MPs like Hon. David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga and ACFODE. As a leading Non-Government Organization (NGO) that supports and advocates for women’s rights in Uganda, ACFODE took interest in Hellen’s reforms and gave her backing.

As a head mistress, Hellen is in charge of multiple duties that range from managerial to pastoral work which upholds pretty well with zeal and impetus. Her duties are considered part of the school executive, and often a head mistress position is a stepping-stone into administration.

Before joining Kiggwa SSS, Hellen worked as deputy headmistress with Lubiri High School in Kampala and is a board member for Ndejje SSS’ parents and teachers’ association. She is now conversely committed to the pupils of Kiggwa Secondary School and is glad that the ministry presented her this offer.  She’s proud of the school’s few successes that have been achieved under her tenure.  Among others, Kiggwa SSS is now an outstanding academic performer in Mityana District, has won a number of Music, Dance and Drama awards and now carries out a Spectacular science program that not only aids students learning but also engages the community on a number of profitable socio-economic programs such as the use of solar as an alternate source of energy.

 

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The chief guest Hon.David Kalwanga arrives at the function

As one way of improving the image of the school, Hellen mobilized support by bringing together key stakeholdersto the first of its kind spectacular Science Fair that was fused with other mini events which included the Music Dance & Drama (MDD) inter – house competitions and awards to the winners of the Inter house and Mini –sports gala. It is at this event that she launched a fundraising drive towards new and improved infrastructure development. She invited ACFODE to witness the event and Hon. David Kalwanga graced the function as chief guest.

The science fair dubbed ‘Science for Community Health,’ was intended to give the students an opportunity to apply the knowledge they acquired in school for community development. It supported the intention of developing the spirit of entrepreneurship among the children using the scientific knowledge they acquired to make basic household items. The fair was organized on inter – house basis so that it would foster competition among the students.

 

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The ACFODE team contributing to the fundraising drive for infrastructure development  

The winning house was selected by a team of judges chosen from among the best science teachers. The science fair also aided a show case of the school’s potential to teach and nurture students in applying scientific knowledge; instilling the spirit of entrepreneurship among the students and brought together key stakeholders to support the school more in its efforts to improve on the school infrastructure and among other achievements of the day.

Among the science projects exhibited was the solar food drier, which intended to teach the community the art of food preservation. Most of the food grown in the country is seasonal and when food is off season, then it means people will not be able to get it and will miss out on the health benefits, resulting in poor health. Kiggwa SSS students proved to the Mityana community that there is a simple, practical and healthy alternative way of incapacitating this monster.

       

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The solar food drier used to teach the community the art of food preservation.

During the same event, winners in the MDD inter – house competitions and Mini – sports gala were awarded. In attendance were also pupils from surrounding primary schools and who were also given an opportunity to compete amongst themselves, in various games.

 

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Students explaining to the Executive Director of ACFODE, Ms. Regina Bafaki

At the close of the event, the district MP Hon. Lukyamuzi David Kalwanga provided over 50 bags of cement for the start and promised to bring more, a computer lab was assured to be established before the end of the following month and re-painting of the school would commence within a month’s time. The Chief Guest also laid the foundation stone on a block in a symbolic gesture of the launch of the fundraising drive for infrastructural development.

Sentumbwe Edward 

Public Relations & Communications Department

esentumbwe@acfode.org

 

 

 

 

KIGGWA SSS, A Remote Rural School Turned Urban: An ACFODE Member’s Journey of Transforming Lives & Community Through Education
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