Agwata School : A Northern Uganda School

With Over 600 Primary and Nursery Students and 18 Teachers

The Agwata School is a northern Uganda school serving students from Nursery level through P-7 which is 6th grade. The school is a parent supported primary school. As part of its community empowerment programs, Outreach Uganda partners with the entire Agwata community to help students learn in this parish of five villages with over 5000 people.

Our largest women’s group is in Agwata. These women wanted help in upgrading and expanding their community school. Therefore, Outreach Uganda began working with the school in 2010 at their request. The community started the school in 2009 as they were moving out of the IDP camps and resettling their ancestral lands. At that time, there were 20 students and three untrained teachers who met in a two room mud and thatched grass hut. Agwata is located one hour directly west from the town of Kitgum where our second women’s income-generation group is located.

From the very beginning in 2010, the Agwata women’s group have been pioneers in wanting their village to have a good primary school and also a clinic since they are in an area of the sub-county that is far from the next nearest government school and government health center.

Agwata School Expands from 20 to over 600 Students in 2024

Since 2010, Outreach Uganda is helping this northern Uganda school expand in size, and achieve better student learning outcomes. In 2010 at the beginning, the school had only two classes totaling 20 students. 2014 was the first year there was a P-7 (sixth grade) graduating class. Nursery classes began in 2013. Now, in 2024, the school has an enrollment of over 600 students. In December, the school will graduate its seventh class of 45 P-7 students of which 28 are girls. The school employs 18 trained teachers plus eight support staff.

Agwata School Progress: From Sixth Grade Girls Beginning Boarding in 2016 to Building the New Library in 2019!

At October 2017, the Agwata school had five completed classroom blocks which provided eight classrooms, two offices, a teachers’ room, and a girls’ boarding section. Girls began boarding at the school at the end of 2016 so they could study for their year end exams. At this time, they stayed in a Nursery classroom. Starting June 2017, the girls board in their own separate room. Our dream of a Nursery playground for our youngest students became a reality in early 2016.

Our first class of P-7 students graduated in December 2014 with eleven of thirteen graduates progressing onto seventh grade. This represents a huge percentage for an African school and results primarily because of scholarships offered by our child sponsorship program. Our classes have continued to grow. In 2020, we have 45 students enrolled in the 6th grade class.

In 2016, over half of the P-7 class of 32 students was girls and this trend has continued in subsequent years. The success of girls at graduating from primary school is due in large part to our Girls’ Education Initiative program which meets weekly after school with girls in P-3 to P-7. Moreover, over 120 girls are enrolled in this very successful program in 2020. In 2019, we completed the construction of a school library which also provides a separate teachers’ resource room and technology area. The library currently has almost 2000 books in it. It sounds like a lot and is a lot for Uganda. But it’s actually a very low number for a school with 600 students. A U.S. library for a school of similar size might have over 20,000 books!

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