Interview with Simon Katabazi, Essubbii Eppya Vocational Primary School Headmaster
We have three goals. Our first is to focus on building relationships, both vertical and horizontal (with God and with each other). Second, we want to focus more on promoting and sustaining quality academics in our children, so they master all the basics, and can move on. Third, we want to ensure all our kids acquire basic vocational skills – having them learn how to use their hands, to draw, to be creative, to create things. We want them to be as exposed to as many games as possible, so they develop their physical bodies as well.
What are some ways you’ve seen God working at the school this year?
As per our theme, ‘God With Us’ (Mt 1:23), I’ve definitely seen God with us in a number of ways. One is that for the very first time, on mybirthday, I led 36 students to the Lord. I don’t think I have ever led that many at once before! Secondly, I have seen God softening hearts – children coming in repentance and asking for forgiveness, to reconcile with each other. I have seen children caring for each other more deeply than ever before. When one is absent or sick, the others want to know why he or she is not there. There is a general desire to know God, and it is stronger than ever before. God has been at work – we’ve seen a higher degree of openness.
What challenges has the school faced this year?
One has been sicknesses. A number of children have been sick. Another one has been a water crisis. Our water pump broke down, and it has been hard to get clean water. Also, having many new staff members – in one section of the primary school, we have had four new teachers this year – this is a challenge. It’s hard to have them adopt the vision of the school and meet the standards. And also children, adjusting to the new way of life.
What are some ways people can pray for the staff and school?
The prayer that has been on my heart for both students and teachers is Ephesians 1:17 – where Paul prays for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that people may know Him better. Secondly, to pray for health and stability, and good hearts in general. And then praying for those who have committed their lives to the Lord, to grow deeper. Pray for a real hunger for God. And last, pray for provisions – we still need some staff members, materials, and other buildings.
[interview by Harrison Scott]