Building Tomorrow

“You have saved our children from studying under a tree,” said Muganga, chairman of the building committee at the opening of the Building Tomorrow Primary School of Mabaale. “We cannot extend enough thanks for the good work that has been done here.”

Building Tomorrow
October 15, 2015

Through a partnership between Educate a Child (EAC) and Building Tomorrow (BT), more than 51,000 children will benefit from increased access to a quality education throughout rural Uganda. Dubbed ‘Educate51k’, this new initiative aims to address the critical need for access to quality education through two main interventions aimed at constructing new schools and investing in the human capacity of rural educators.

A total of 60 primary schools with the capacity for more than 300 students each will be constructed, providing safe new classroom space for 12,780 out of school children over the next four years. Prior to the commencement of construction, the BT team performs a thorough needs assessment to evaluate the area’s need for a school, the socioeconomic dynamics of the area, and the community’s willingness to provide long-term engagement and support. This commitment is crucial as local community members donate 15,000 hours of labour to help construct each new school.

Established as a ‘public-private hybrid’, each BT primary school is also supported by the Ugandan Ministry of Education with teachers who are paid through the government’s Universal Primary Education scheme.

Complementing these construction efforts, the BT Fellows programme enlists recent Ugandan collegiate graduates in drastically improving enrolment figures of children in rural communities where UNESCO figures show only 53% of students complete a full term of primary school. Through Educate51k, approximately 150 BT Fellows based in some of the most rural trading centres will work at 600 primary schools to enrol more than 38,000 children over the next four years to reach the target of 51,000 out of school children. The first class of BT Fellows has already encountered a diverse set of environmental, social, and cultural barriers impeding primary school enrolment.

“We are educating mothers on the value of sending their daughters to school,”

Bernadette, a BT Fellow, recently explained.

“To many they struggle to understand the importance. Up until our meetings, mothers saw no point for their daughters to continue past the P4 level. Now they understand why even P7 should just be the beginning.”

BT’s efforts over the last 10 years have helped reduce the number of out of school children in Uganda, yet significant work remains. At last count, 700,000 Ugandan children were believed to be out of school and 85% of students at a P3 level cannot read, write, or do basic maths at a P2 level.  Together, EAC and BT will ensure a brighter future for students countrywide through Educate51k.