Visit to Rutooma – An EPAfrica school 2 years on, by PW Antonio

On the 29th of June as part of our first week training, half of the EPAfrica project workers in Uganda visited Rutooma Secondary School in order to get some feedback on past EPAfrica projects and current initiatives taking place at the school, including the most recent grades of its O-level and A-level students. The school is fairly close to the Mbarara city centre, and from the main road to the actual school we had to walk around 5-10 minutes.


The 2016 PWs getting ready to visit Rutooma Secondary School after a short uphill walk

The school had a massive garden at its centre and the classrooms were situated around the well-taken care of bushes. As soon as we walked in the school the Head Teacher (HT) came to greet us and invited us to his office where we talked with him for a while. During this conversation we tried to get useful information regarding the most recent developments in the school, the most recent grades of O- and A-level, and also try to understand how helpful EPAfrica had been at the school with its past projects.

After collecting this data we proceeded to walk around the school and see its facilities. More specifically, we were looking for what EPAfrica had done and how those projects had faired ever since the project workers had left. One of the first things that the HT pointed out was the washing taps that PWs had put behind one of the classrooms in order to improve the sanitation and hygiene practices of students. Another helpful project conducted by the EPAfrica PWs was the construction of a room for the two school counsellors that previously had no specific place to work in. Now they are equipped with the proper structure and facility to advise its numerous students in whatever matter they require. We managed to sit down for a while and talk to these same counsellors who not only expressed their gratitude for this new building, but also pointed out some remaining issues within the school. One problem was that there were too many students for just two counsellors and sometimes they were not able to fully perform their counselling work.


The current PWs in the counselling room built by past PWs

After talking with both counsellors we moved on to the laboratory where past PWs had also done some work. Here we could see the cabinets that were built and that allowed for a proper cataloging and maintenance of lab inventories. Moreover, the project workers had also worked on the library where they had built some shelves in order to store books and separate them according to subjects. Finally, the HT also showed us around the remaining premises, including the dormitories, school farm, and the water tanks that serviced the school.


The school library houses the shelves built by EPAfrica and school books

After a final discussion with the HT about EPAfrica’s positive impact on the school we left the HT and the Rutooma Secondary School back to Mbarara in order to prepare for our own adventures.