Can You Spell “Kobwin”?

The primary school at New Hope Uganda’s Kobwin Children’s Centre is currently completing its 6th year. Recently, staff member Constance Dobbs–who splits her time between the Kasana and Kobwin centres–wrote an update about the successes and challenges which the Kobwin school is currently facing.

Exceptional Progress in Our School

Since 1994, New Hope Uganda has used a phonics method called The Writing Road to Reading, with great success on the part of our children in not only reading but also writing and spelling.  Here in Kobwin we began in 2010 and immediately started the instruction in English using what we have dubbed ‘the phonograms.’ Within a year, we sought to translate the method into Ateso and, again, have had great success with the children learning early in their first language and then in English.

Our 54 students during Monday morning assembly at Amuno Naitetet, Kobwin Centre’s primary school

Our 54 students during Monday morning assembly at Amuno Naitetet, Kobwin Centre’s primary school

We continually seek to improve on our delivery in the classroom, and have been noticed by the Centre Coordinating Tutor in our district for our children’s success on exams in English and their spelling ability.  So this key individual has asked our headmistress, Felistus Ikwarit, for assistance in spreading our success by loaning her materials.  Quite an accomplishment for a small bush school of 54 students!

Our current P7 class, comfortably seated in our makeshift classroom – with only six, they are not as crowded as are the P1’s with 14 children and seven desks

Our current P7 class, comfortably seated in our makeshift classroom – with only six, they are not as crowded as are the P1’s with 14 children and seven desks

We have been blessed with the growth in our school, especially since before our admin block was built we had to set up classrooms every day in the family groups. But we are now at a point where we are outgrowing our current classrooms and are even under pressure from the District Education Office to construct premises that are appropriate for a school. This means regular-sized classrooms for each grade level, playing fields, and additional facilities are necessary. Our school currently occupies five rooms (meant to be administrative offices) for the four primary classes we offer and the tailoring class. Our preschool meets in the dining area for one of the family groups.

Our preschool operating out of Jeremiah Family’s dining area – there are 13 children in Auntie Agnes’ class

Our preschool operating out of Jeremiah Family’s dining area – there are 13 children in Auntie Agnes’ class

We have long had the plans for our actual school buildings and have been praying and trusting God to provide in His perfect timing. Patience has paid off, as we have a church in Indiana which is helping to raise funds for the construction of the first classroom block (three classrooms)!  We still need a minimum of at least three more classrooms (one more classroom block) to move the entire school to the actual school site.  If we were to have a team come early in the year to help provide labor for the first classroom block, our students may be able to be in their new classrooms by the second term of next year! Please join us as we continue to pray for the provision of the rest of the school: the second classroom block, the administrative office for the school, the kitchen, and so on. We know our God is faithful and we are thankful for this beginning of the school. We are now hoping for progress that will, at least for now, satisfy the District officers and keep us open! As you are praying, please praise God for our faithful teachers and also pray that the Father will bring us four more teachers with the necessary credentials—which is another pressing District requirement.

We have shared a number of needs and a number of praises, and as always, appreciate your prayers and support! Thank you so much for standing with us here at Kobwin over the last six years!

Our P5 and P7 students taking end of term exams where there is space to spread out (a P5 and a P7 sit together)

Our P5 and P7 students taking end of term exams where there is space to spread out
(a P5 and a P7 sit together)

Photos and text by Constance Dobbs

Please do keep this pressing need for additional Kobwin school facilities in your prayers. If you feel led to donate towards future construction work there, please visit our donation page. Click on your country’s flag and fill out the form, selecting “Kobwin Children’s Centre” from the drop down and specifying the desired purpose in the comment box.