Investing in Quality Education in Adjumani

11 March 2022|Avola Tabitha

Related: Education, Uganda
One of the students at Mungula SS in the dormitory at Mungula SS. The Head teacher Edema says the dormitory is already full and more students have an interest in joining the boarding section.

Infrastructural development at Mungula Secondary School.

“I would like to appreciate JRS and donors for the development in our school through the construction of the girl’s dormitory, washrooms and incinerator at Mungula Secondary School.”
– Edema Justine Thomas 39, Headmaster of Mungula Secondary School in Adjumani district.
“The school is partially boarding and for the past couple of years we have been lobbying for a girls dormitory. We had improvised by turning two classrooms into dormitories to accommodate the girls.”
Edema says the new dormitory is a life saver as more parents have decided to enroll their daughters in boarding especially after the lockdown.

“We are so excited to have the dormitory for girls. In fact it is full and I’m worried we do not have enough room yet more girls are coming to join boarding.”

“We believe our retention level of girls in school is now going to increase. The dormitory represents a sense of security to girls as in the community girls are easily married off. Parents are so grateful for the dormitory. To them it represents a future for their daughters and they look at school as the safest place for their girls. We are in a region where early marriage and teenage pregnancies are rampant.”

The newly constructed girl’s dormitory at Mungula SS, with washrooms, incinerator, and water tank. The school has constructed a 12 roomed bathroom (left) to accommodate the girls. The dormitory has accommodates 140 girls.


Increasing the retention and education of girls.

Roseline Achai, deputy head teacher Mungula SS has taught at the school for ten years since 2012. At the time, she was the only female teacher and the school had four girls. Today there are 10 female teachers and 116 girls.
“I believe that seeing a female teacher at the school gave encouragement to the community and the number of girls enrolling began to rise.”
Roseline Achai, deputy head teacher

Roseline describes the cultural and social environment as ‘vultures waiting to get girls married off’. Roseline says girls barely finish upper primary before they are married off and this affects the number that joins secondary education let alone complete the O’level.

“We did not have an incinerator and used to collect the sanitary pad waste in bins for burning. It was a challenge. The girls feel better now. They have privacy and are able to change and use the incinerator at any time.  We have added a 12 roomed bathroom to accommodate the number of girls in the dormitory.”

Even the day scholars can use the changing rooms during the day time.

Menstrual hygiene and management has been one of the leading causes of low retention of girls in school in the past. Because many cannot afford the sanitary items, and schools lack proper washrooms for changing and disposal, many girls would choose to stay home, eventually dropping out. JRS provides for sanitary materials like soap, pads and toilet paper to encourage their retention in school.

Kareo Alice the senior woman teacher says 15 young mothers have returned to school and are in boarding. She is very appreciative to their parents and guardians for supporting them in education. Kareo says the young mothers have permission to visit their children over the weekend and in case of emergencies.

According to the head girl Abalo Irene Paskwale, they are happy for the teenage mothers who have returned to school and even support them. However, she says the boys tease them. Abalo says there are strict rules emphasized by the head teacher and the senior woman teacher are protecting the young mothers.

The school has clubs like ‘Girl education movement’ and ‘Peer educators’ where students give advice to their fellows. The school engages students to encourage and support each other.

“Before JRS constructed this dormitory we used to face challenges of congestion. Girls were sharing items like buckets and there was a time when candida spread among the girls. Now there is enough space and this case has drastically reduced. We even have space to put our personal things.”

– Says Abalo Irene Paskwale.

Edema says girls residing in the dormitory will improve on their performance as they will be close to teachers for consultation. It will help change the attitudes of the community who do not consider girl child education important.

JRS education coordinator Kivumbi (in jacket) looks on as the Headmaster Edema Justine talks to the JRS EAR Director Andre Atsu along with Fr Felis JRS Pastoral staff, during a recent visit at Mungula SS.

Mungula Secondary School was established in 1994. JRS has over the years supported the school through the construction of two permanent structures, the multipurpose hall and science laboratory between1996 to 2004. In 2021, JRS with funding from Latter Day Saints constructed the girl’s dormitory, washrooms and incinerator. The school administration and the PTA are constructing a fence around the school.

The enrollment (as of January 2022) is of 385 students (Nationals – 154 Male , 70 Female), (Refugees – 132 Male , 32 Female)