Its my great pleasure on behalf of Grace Community NPS Minja and on my own behalf to appreciate you, the organization and above all Aba Father for the successful completion of this term amidst heavy challenges faced in the running of the term to date. I am sorry for not keeping you up to date on the details of the progress of the school through the year; this was partly contributed by a number of factors and one of them has been my wife who has been pregnant so I had to take up some of her roles, secondly the relocation of our church in town besides changing the position of Minja church to give compound for school.
We had such a good start of the year in which the enrollment of the children climaxed to 232 but by the time we were closing this term this had dropped to 194 due to a number of factors which are explained here under.
On the contrary we had a bit of challenge at the beginning of the year in terms of few teachers who reported. This has been because of the negative impact which was created in the previous year due to inconsistent salary payment. However, this stabilized and we now have 3 teachers in nursery section but due to pressure from education commission we were forced to have 5 teachers in primary section including the head teacher.
Meals and Fees Payments
We have agreement with parents to bring beans and maize to help us provide porridge and lunch for all the children. We had a good turn up during first term as many parents managed to provide food items but it was such a major challenge in the second term because of famine that struck the village. Very few parents managed to respond and as a result a good number of children whose parents were not able to afford to bring food items were sent back home and never reported back to school. Fees payment was completely impossible, very few parents managed to pay especially in second term.
Arrears; as a result of the low turn up of parents to bring food items and pay fees in second term, we have a cumulative arrears of Uganda shillings 2,000,000 UGX pending to be paid to non-sponsored primary teachers! We have asked them to be patient with us as we monitor 3rd term responses of parents if can realize some money and clear this debt.
NB: we have 3 Nursery teachers and one primary teacher who are all sponsored by l-a-p so far plus 21 sponsored children.
This is a point of celebration as we already introduced computer lessons starting with P.3 and P.4 who have shown a lot of interest in learning. Some parents within the community have approached us that we should enroll them for evening computer training so they pay and learn computers. The biggest challenge has been that of no electricity at the school. There is high voltage electricity that has passed by the school which requires a whole transformer to step down; this is quite expensive at the moment. Therefore we are still concentrating on theories as we teach the children.
The management of the bore-hole has been perfectly well. We have not had any breakage to date. This reminds us to thank you continuously for relieving us and the entire community around the school from scarcity of water that was too much.
By standard our school should have started participating in the co-curriculum activities in the district this year but because we did not have the necessary costumes, we could not take part in the recently concluded Music, Dance and Drama festivals. We are therefore supposed to pay a fine of 900,000 UGX by beginning of next term for not participating.
Buildings and Constructions
There has been a lot already done in constructions and sooner or later we shall not have much to be spent in this area of investment. However, with your kind support we managed to complete 3-roomed block as you see pictures in attachment. We are now left with the doors, windows and the costs of flooring and plastering to be ready for use.
At the beginning of this year we introduced hostels for children whose parents come from distanced villages where there are no schools and not reachable with the school van either. This has picked up so well and I see it preparing usfor easy start of boarding section in February 2017 as a result this is already advertising us with some children coming from Gulu town. The parents are the ones at the moment mobilizing themselves to pay the matrons and bring addition food for dinner. I have also included in the attachment the pictures of these children in hostel uniform.
Up-coming Events and Activities/Proposals
1. Graduation; next term we have a special activity of graduating KIII (Top class) to P.1, this is a big program that gathers all the parents, teachers, district leaders, education officials as we do exhibition or make our nursery children display the talents they have gained in the course of the 3 years. It is a major event that takes place in December; I will share details with you latter as we would request youre financial support.
2. Sick Bay; we are so grateful to Mr. Leo Peters and his organization that has sponsored the construction of our long awaited and demanded for sick bay. Construction begins this month, what a joy here in Minja. I know we have not discussed details of supplies of medicines as well as salaries for the nursing assistant.
3. Processing of School Land Title; we have an urgent need to process the land title for the school in the name of the school. Already I contacted the office of Lands and Survey and a preliminary survey has been conducted, details of the requirements will follow soon.
4. Dormitory for Boys and Girls; we are already in high gear of advertising for boarding section to begin in first term 2016 as we had earlier on agreed which therefore calls for the plan to put up the dormitory within December 2016 and January 2007 possibly.
5. Need for Solar Energy for Computers; we are already examining computer as a subject in P.3 and P.4 at the moment because of the few laptops we have. With the challenge of power supply lacking we might need to plan for some solar panels and batteries possibly next year besides adding more computers.
6. Examinations; the costs of printing and photocopying examinations is unnecessarily too high in Gulu town. In a term there are three sets of exams done by all the children as expected by the school commission namely; Beginning of Term (BOT) Exams, Mid-Term Exams and End of Term (EOT) Examinations. These costs would be cut by almost half if the school had a Copier machine by 2017.
7. Kitchen; we already had a dilapidated school kitchen house that collapsed at the end of second term but thanks to papa Henrys church for sponsoring the construction of a kitchen, construction begins in this month of September 2016; glory to God!!!!
Once again, thank you so much Mr. President, staff of l-a-p, the entire organization, sponsors and the entire donor community for every single coin you drop to transform the life of a child in guaranteeing a future for this children.
I pray that the Lord will bless you, the works of your hands and shine His face upon you.