Today marks World Teachers’ Day; a day for us to celebrate the hard work and invaluable contribution of teachers across the globe.
As an organisation committed to providing 20,000 educational places in Uganda by 2020, World Teachers’ Day is particularly special for us, and a great time to share a slightly different take on things.
We recently asked one of the teachers in Mannya to reflect on his journey with the community and the Cotton On Foundation. John, who is now Director of Studies at the school, has been teaching since 1989 and at St Bernards Secondary School since 2003. At that stage the school could only offer classes from Senior One to Senior Four.
Thanks to the ongoing support of our customers and their Cotton On Foundation purchases, in a few short years the school has improved remarkably. It now caters for many more students and grades, offering classes up to Senior Seven and hosts better facilities such as a laboratory, a library and dormitories.
Students are also provided with nourishing food, meaning they have more energy to learn and grow. John has witnessed firsthand a big change in the students.
“The meals the students used to receive were not adequate, so they were often tired after lunch and could not make it through the entire day. We are so grateful for the food they are provided with now; this has lead to an improvement in performance as they are all being fed well while at school and can concentrate better.”
On top of this, the number of teachers has also grown significantly, from 12 to 50.
“When I first started the only teachers were men. This was because Mannya was considered a hard to reach place; it was also very hard to stay here as there was no transport. This would make it very difficult for mothers with children, so the only teachers were men. Originally there was also only one small office for all the teachers and accommodation was also a problem. We now have staff quarters, and there are offices and staff rooms for teachers to meet and plan,” John said.
John loves being a teacher and, like us, wants more students to get the opportunity to continue their learning throughout secondary and tertiary study. As we celebrate World Teacher’s Day today, what better day to head into store, purchase a Cotton On Foundation product, and help us reach our goal!
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