September 14, Busy Day (Sent by Karen Viele)
Wow! Did we have a busy day!
Roger now knows more about coffee than he ever thought he wanted to know. He is excited about a possible cash crop for the Muko community with government support. He spent this day of new ideas and learning with Will (our Peace Corps volunteer), Moses, and the ag teacher at Muko HS , Bowen.
The rest of the team spent the morning at Muko High School meeting with teachers and administrators. Each staff member presented their idea for what would most help them in the classroom.
In the afternoon Diana met with the sewers. She showed the 7 women four new patterns from start to finish and left examples and a variety of sewing notions with them.
Dave and Karen met with school administrators, teachers, Honor Council, ACT orphans from Senior 4 and Senior 5, plus Dave did a tour of the school and took many pictures. Our school has improved in so many ways:
1) There is safe drinking and washing water.
2) Floors are refinished except for two main buildings.
3) Cleanliness and order are exhibited everywhere.
4) Animals have been banished from main compound and grass is neatly mowed.
5) New land purchase has been cultivated for food crops for the school.
6) The Ag club has an impressive mushroom production- 25 gardens which is
like a garbage bag in size. It is said that the teachers will buy the first crop.
7) The water tank given by the district has been completed.
What do we want to improve?
1) Many teachers asked for textbooks.
2) Many simple teaching aids were requested:
protractors, compasses, (including a giant protractor and compass for demonstrating on the board), maps, a globe, paint and crayons for art class plus a book of pictures for drawing, lesson plan books, volt meter, microscopes and science tables, dictionary for Swahili/English
3) internet and computers
6) scholarships for needy students
We really believe we need to raise teachers’ salaries. They are severely underpaid according to teachers in government schools and even nearby schools. We learned today that Muko High School was the only high school in the Rubanda district that did not have a “strike” in second term. A strike means unrest, violent outburst or riot. At St Charles high school (our rival school) a student died in their strike.