Pupils in primary two and three at St Charles Lwanga primary school in Bukerere, Mukono had a lot to smile about, last week.
As ABUBAKER MAYEMBA found, the learners were happy thanks to a new Shs 8m classroom block constructed by the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) scholars and alumni.
St Charles Lwanga primary school in Bukerere was established in 1969. And according to the head teacher, Clementine Namakula, the school has seen a surge in enrolment numbers recently.
Being the only major primary school in the area for a long time, over the years, its population has been growing fast.
The school, which had 345 pupils in 2014, now has a population of 933 learners and is projected to grow to 1,000 in 2018.
This resulted in congestion at the school and a scramble for desk and classroom space. Namakula told The Observer that MCF’s intervention was “timely” since the school’s biggest challenge was congestion.
“The lower classes of primary two and three are the most affected and they are close to 150 learners in each class,” said Namakula.
“Now that we have a new classroom, we will stream the classes into two so that the learners have a better learning environment. If we have structures like this classroom in place, then we can guarantee our pupils’ success.”
Last week MCF teamed up with alumni for their annual service day on November 4, where the over 100 MCF beneficiaries participated in various activities at the primary school in Mukono.
Apart from laying the foundation for a classroom block, the MCF scholars also cleaned the school and wired several classes to electricity to ease revision at night.
The MCF scholars also engaged students at the neighbouring St Charles Lwanga secondary school in counseling sessions, where they were urged to pursue noble goals in life. Also refurbished was the sewerage system that had broken down for years which was reinstalled with new pipes.
John Osuna, the MCF entrepreneur and internship coordinator, explained that the giving-back was done in line with the annual service day, a custom that is done internationally by the foundation. He stressed that every scholar was required to give back because they too were beneficiaries and thus they needed to return the favor to those in need.
“The students under their MCF association agreed that they contribute a certain amount to this project. It’s them that decided to come to Bukerere and we are grateful for their tremendous work,” he said.
MCF is an initiative that offers scholarships to needy yet bright students to pursue university education.