Like any other school in Uganda, Kasese Humanist Primary School, our current Education beneficiary, follows the government curriculum of English, mathematics, science, and social studies. Lessons such as physical education, arts and crafts, and music, dance and drama are also common across primary schools. Kasese, however, is unique in its outlook and focus: The vocational value of lessons in the arts and physical education is recognized, and children struggling academically are encouraged to focus on practical skills that will enable them to make a living.
Kasese’s unique focus extends the primary school curriculum to lessons in computers, agriculture, and tourism. Despite the school’s financial constraints, the school’s leadership recognizes the necessity of computer literacy in the twenty-first century and ensures that the school’s pupils are trained in computer skills. School trips to national parks and heritage sites allow the children to experience biodiversity and the history of Uganda firsthand, while affording the children the opportunity to consider and explore the blossoming tourist trade in Uganda. The school’s garden allows children to learn basic agricultural and gardening techniques, vital skills in this largely agricultural country.
Many schools in Uganda are run and funded by religious groups, and Kasese struggles to raise enough funds to continue with its far-sighted vision of exposing children to freethought and evidence-based education. Because of widespread poverty, many parents and guardians struggle to pay school fees, and since the school is not government funded, teachers earn extremely low salaries. Basic day-to-day necessities such as sufficient textbooks and even a permanent location are still on the Kasese wish list. The continued commitment of the global humanist community is essential for this landmark school to continue its work.
For updates and news about Kasese’s progress, visit the school’s website.