One of the many ministry services on the Busia church property is the Wesley Nursery and Primary School. Although there are public schools in Uganda, many, if not most, are overcrowded, underfunded, with under-paid teachers. Students must also provide their own equipment and uniforms, which is cost prohibitive for many families. To supplement the public system, Uganda has many church run schools. Primary education runs for seven years (P1-P7), and this is the most education many will receive.
The Wesley Nursery and Primary School provides educational opportunities, and also addresses health and safety concerns. Many of the students, some of which are orphans, live in the school dormitories or at the Noah’s Ark Orphanage. While the church leadership believes that children should be with their families, sometimes for the well being of the child (access to food, clean water, a bed, and an education), some children live at the church site.
Teacher interaction seemed to be key to learning. I also witnessed students helping one another, as a couple of grades might be in a class together. Students take pride in their class rank. Teachers have to be the best resource, because they cannot rely on technology, curriculum, or supplies. We brought a white-board and markers with us to use while we taught, and it was a great blessing to leave behind. Not every classroom even had a chalk board, and the chalk boards they had were not of good quality (a chalk board paint over very rough wood). Walls often filled with hand-written educational posters. Some classrooms did not even have desks or chairs.