Nalango Secondary School
School Motto: As we struggle for the future
This school is important to the local community because it provides the only secondary education in the area. The closest other secondary schools are at Namwendwa, 8km away, or Bulopa, 11km away. Both are too far to walk twice a day, especially in the rainy season. Also it is risky for teenage girls to be walking around in the dark. There are 4 primary schools in the parish that are potential feeders. We have already started to work with Nalango Primary, in November 2011.
The school started in 1997 with classes being held under mango trees. The 5.4 acres are owned by the community but granted to the school. It is governed by the board of governors, chosen by the parents, teachers and local councillors. It has recently become registered with the Government under their USE (Universal Secondary Education) programme and it also received its Licence, towards the end of 2011. We are now awaiting the arrival of the first funds from the government, a cash payment per pupil, which will subsequently pay the teachers’ wages, thus good teachers will want to teach and remain at the school, which will transform secondary education in the region. This should be with the school in February 2012.
In 2007 there were only 3 students. In 2009 all classes were held under mango trees. In 2010 the community built one classroom and an office and staff room, all of which lacked doors, windows, cemented floors and plastered walls but the students enrolled and there were 120 in Senior One class. This was a huge achievement since the area is incredibly poor with many peasant farmers, high school drop outs and many early pregnancies. The only latrines available for “short calls” were constructed from banana fibre (pictured above right) Any “long call” needs meant crossing the road to use the pit latrines at Nalango Primary.
When we visited Nalango in March 2011 we found a school desperately needing help. We had already been approached by David and Nicky Gauntlett, who were very keen to support a school in memory of their son Rob, who tragically died climbing in the Alps in January 2009. Rob had been the youngest Briton at 19 to climb Everest in 2006, along with his friend James Hooper. Therefore this is to be Rob Gauntlett’s School.
In July 2011, we provided 8 pit latrines (pictured right). In November 2011 we started to renovate the single classroom, with office and store room, and construct 3 new classrooms, to include an assembly hall, plus staff room (also pictured right). All of this thanks to the many family and friends who have donated in memory of Rob. Both projects are very nearly finished. David and Nicky are going to accompany us to Uganda in March 2012, to commission the completed buildings in very special memory of their son.
There are many “challenges/requests” facing the school but the Gauntlett family are determined to help. During 2012 their younger son, Tim, will be running the London Marathon in memory of his brother Rob. Should you wish to donate, Tim’s fundraising page is: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RobGauntlett
Also in July 2012 Richard Lebon and James Hooper, who were the pair to survive the Alps tragedy, have organised One Mile Closer – Pedal Home from Provence – in memory of Rob. Should you wish to donate, Richard’s fundraising page is:
At the end of 2012, we would love to be in a position to be able to provide the school with 4 teachers’ houses, 2 water tanks, 35 x 3-seater desks and £1000 worth of Textbooks. We are hoping to be able to raise £10,000 during the next 6 months.
The head master, Paul, is very capable. He has already organised inter-school games and sports. He has maintained the best working relationship with parents and local leaders and achieved high levels of discipline and morality among the students. We are delighted to be lending our support to this school and look forward to watching its development during the next few years. The head master has promised to transform the school in 5 years. In his report in 2011 he says “we put our trust in God and we strongly believe that at one time the world will witness a first world school in this village”.