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Global Development Institute

Uganda field trip

Emily Olson, MSc International Development

As we walked into the inner courtyard, children were spilling out of the packed, dark classrooms and running towards us. One teacher walked around with a stick herding them inside to where they attempted to peer at us through small windows and doors.

The Bweyale Modern Primary School is a private school 224 kilometres north of Kampala. Located near the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, the 672 students live as boarding students with the school or with their families in nearby mud huts or small cement buildings without electricity. While speaking with the Assistant Head Teacher, he listed many of the needs of their school. "There are not enough desks or benches. We need better water. We need books."

The need for more supplies was apparent. However, he believed this private school offered a higher quality education than free public schools stating, "In my opinion, the difference between a public school and a private school is that private schools have monitoring and public schools do not." We asked the last time this school was monitored and he replied, "The director visited today for the first time in a year. He will be getting us desks and benches." Throughout our discussion we began to see there was a stigma associated with public schools. Even this struggling private school was believed to be better...

Read our student blogs about the trip: