Warm greetings from the family of Grace Community Day & Boarding NPS – Minja! On behalf the teaching, non-teaching staff, children, parents and the entire Minja community, I greet you with end of year joy, and thank you for all your contributions towards the success of third term that ended successfully on 7th December 2018, and the entire academic year 2018. Though there were lots of challenges financially causing endless financial demands yet we do appreciate your timely contributions, support and intervention that enabled us conclude the term successfully; glory to God in the highest!
Much as we had some challenges but we are excited to share with you the achievements we had in the course of the term, which include the following:
- We have completed the construction of P.7 classroom which makes us very prepared to face for the first time National Examination next year. This has been made possible because of timely donation from LAP.
- We fed children throughout the term with 3 meals a day; break porridge, lunch and supper. However, towards the end of the term, we had a shortage which supplier is demanding us 1,800,000 Uganda shillings.
- Much as we had many children falling sick during the term but we are proud to inform you that the school sickbay (Medical Center) takes care of all these treatment without referral to other hospitals. This is made possible because of the termly medical donation support to the sickbay by LAP.
- With support from some individual sponsors and LAP organization, we were able to pay the teaching and non-teaching staff their salaries in time throughout the year having only a cumulative arrears of 1,500,000 shillings outstanding for this term.
- This has been a year with maximum improvement in our academics; teachers covered all their syllabi in different subjects in time. All classes were able to do several sets of examinations that improved a lot on the general performances.
- The school now with donation from LAP has got a grinding mill with huller that has reduced a lot on our running costs and the inconvenience of transportation.
- We would like to appreciate LAP for financing the process of acquiring school land title which is one of the greatest achievements of the school this year.
- We have now got fire extinguishers in the major buildings of the school as recommended by the school commission. We appreciate LAP for this support.
Despite the successes, we encountered some challenges which includes;
- The cost of draining toilet on a termly basis has become quite expensive and the only solution would require additional soak pit which would cost us a minimum of 2,000,000 shillings.
- There have generally been very unstable prices of consumer goods, including foods, medicines, stationaries, learning materials, electricity, beddings, desks as well as uniforms especially after the national budget reading in July.
- Failure by parents to meet school dues. This is a general problem in our community. Most of them depend on small scale crop growing. So, payment of fees depends on how successful the yields have been as well as market availability. With unpredictable rain pattern this time so many parents remain helpless and as a result a lot of fees remain in arrears.
- With computer lessons ongoing there is still a big gap in the number of children visa vie learners, making teaching of computer lessons as required difficult.
- The cost of living has consistently been on the increase which is making our teaching and non-teaching staff demand always for pay rise. We have already been able to increase pay for those teaching staff preparing the children for Primary Leaving Examinations, which has stretched our budget abnormally.
- The inconvenience and costs of renovating teachers’ grass-thatched huts is very expensive on a yearly basis. Constructing a permanent structure even if for only 5 teachers would be of a great solution.
PLANS AND DEMANDS FOR 2019
Normally at the beginning of every year there are a lot of demands which follow previous inspection reports and recommendations.
- To repair beds that have damages and need for more beds as there will be some increase in enrollment next year.
- There is still need to change the fence from barb wire to chain link which allows goats and pigs from neighbors to enter school and cause damages besides hurting the children; this is a stretch of about 50 meters only.
- Registration of P.7candidates is scheduled for first term next year which I am told is done electronically. When I contacted some head teacher told me the cost was 135,000 (for private schools) for this year which may not have major variations next year according to the same person. We expect to register 54 candidates eventually.
- To have internet connectivity within the school, this will not only aid learning during compute lessons but also helps during registration of candidates which is done electronically.
- The greatest need of the school which is a demand of the commissions as well is that of a Hall which will have a multipurpose functions such as dining, assembly, and examinations. The proposal has already been shared with the President LAP so that this hall would house school library on top; hopefully this works out.
- Educational field trip tour by P.7 candidates is one of the requirements of the school commission in the second term; we are yet to ascertain the costs.
On another note, I would like to extend our special and sincere appreciation to papa Becker (the President of LAP) for his love, prayer and support towards our church in Gulu that we have now been able buy and own the land which we were earlier on renting. The church misses you so much and desperately waits for your arrival for the celebration and thanksgiving! God bless you man of God!
Term I 2019 officially opens on 4th February 2019 and runs for 3 months, however, we have made special request to the DEO to allow our candidates report 2 weeks before this date as was agreed by their parents and teachers.
We thank God our Father, we thank you Becker our dad with your family and we thank LAP organization with all the sponsors for all the support and providence we have received from you in the course of the year 2018. May the Lord highly grant you peace which surpasses all understanding and bless you with perfect health!
We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2019.