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As schools open up for the second term of study country wide this week, schools that benefited from the EU solar project are optimistic that they will still deliver the same or even better results and improve school performance amidst the current economic hardships in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Jonan Kansiime, head teacher at Rutoto Secondary School told WWF Uganda’s foot soldier that the solar system installed at the school has played a pivotal role in the new mode of delivering at school.
“We have agreed with the parents that due to the sky rocketing prices of commodities and hardships in the economy of the country, it is no longer mandatory for all candidates to be in boarding section but we rather have evening preparatory classes for all, especially those from families around the school,” he said.
Kansiime added that Rutoto Secondary School, like any other schools in the country faced hardships as schools opened after a long shutdown caused by the Covid 19 pandemic but the solar light has supported the teachers to catch up with the syllabus coverage for first term.
The students say that they have utilized the solar lights to comprehensively prepare through personal revisions, group discussions and revisions with their teachers at night.
Some of the students taking on computer classes using the solar power
Asiimwe Naume, one of the candidates in Senior Four said that with her groupmates, they were able to access the school premises during their holidays and taken on night revision lessons that have helped them to catch up with other students from different schools.
“We were a group of ten students that were having our classes daily at school. We copied relevant notes from students that attended other better schools from Kampala and I am now confident that we are at the same page. I hope to compete and even perform better in my Mock exams this term of study,” she said.
The Chairman Board of Directors at the school, Eric Kateeba noted that after the installation of the solar lighting system, the school administration and the parents agreed to start remedial classes and this shift enabled students to improve their performance.
“We have no excuse. We want to perform well and show the world that solar lights don’t only improve the health and economic wellbeing of our families but also an engine to better grades,” they hope.
Kateeba added that the school’s administration is now planning to purchase a printer, computer and photocopier to enable them start printing their own exams instead of buying from distant places outside the school.
Rutoto Secondary School is one of the many other schools that benefited from the institutional solar systems installed in 64 institutions that included schools and health centres in 2018.