Reflections From a Missionary
In America, a new school year for elementary and middle schools began mid-late August. In Uganda, the final school term of the year starts in September. Wings of Hope Christian Academy (WOHCA) 700+ students, faculty and staff embarked on finishing this school year well. Andrew Menees, shares his reflections on experiencing the education system during his 3 week missions project this past summer.
In Uganda, school life has a different meaning. Teachers typically get paid low wages and students often will walk miles to school. They both seem to take advantage of giving and receiving education and they see it as a very important part of life no matter how hard it may be for the students to get there or for the teachers to take their time to really make sure each student is getting a good education.
At WOHCA, every teacher I met is very passionate about caring for their students both individually and as a class. Francis, one of the teachers that I observed, really made me appreciate his teaching. Though he was a science teacher, he taught more than science to his students. He taught them how to give better presentations, how to spell words like hypha and mycelium, and that was only in one day. He isn’t getting paid any extra to teach them more, but he does anyway because he wants the students to be able to leave the class knowing more than the biology of a mushroom.
As we traveled to other cities, we could see students in uniforms walking in almost every place we passed. They also usually have hours from 8 to 5 but have more frequent breaks to play and visit with each other. But in between net ball (a game the girls play) and football (soccer), the team and I got to look at some of WOHCA exams and were able to see how intelligent they are. We read through the English papers of the P7 class ( 8th grade) and they seemed to know the subject better than many American students I know.
I can say both the teachers and the students are fun, loving, engaging, and just happy to be where they are. The education goes beyond a designated subject a teacher is hired to teach and the students are intelligent and surprisingly focused on learning more. I honestly loved seeing the people I met [at WOHCA] and I was very grateful for the opportunity to experience a Ugandan school and all the people in it. It’s amazing to see how God is already working here. He has placed each individual where He wants them because He knows what they need in order to see the love He has for them.
To learn more about how our school is strategically placed to provide quality education in a high at risk population in Uganda, click here.