KOBOKO. The Italian Development Corporation Agency (ACAV) has harnessed expertise from the Aga-Khan Foundation to retrain 26 teachers and teaching assistants as part of efforts to establish a model school that would serve both the South Sudanese refugees in Ofua IV zone in Uriama Sub County, Arua district and the host community.

The participants are undergoing a five day refresher course at the Jabara Agricultural Institute in Koboko district that began on Tuesday.

Among the teaching staff being trained are seven South Sudanese and 19 Ugandans.

The training is aimed at enhancing teachers’ understanding of preparedness and practice as well as identifying techniques for effective teacher planning, Mr Patrick Bongo, the head of programmes at the ACAV office in Koboko district said.

All the recruits are grade three teachers and others are teachers already retired from the civil service but who have been brought on board due to their vast experience.

The refresher training is part of activities under a sh836.3m (191,000 euros) three-year project funded by Fondazione San Zeno through ACAV.

Mr Bongo said part of the money is being spent on constructing a 16 classroom blocks, acquisition of teaching materials and payment of teachers’ salary and welfare.

Amina KaherebuMrs Amina Kaherebu, a senior trainer from the Agakhan Foundation giving the teachers new skills on how to use local discarded water bottles to teach vowels for the primary one pupils. PHOTO BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU

Ms Amina Kaherebu, a senior trainer from Aga-Khan Foundation described the training as hands on using low cost local material and discarded trash from shops such as mineral water bottles and scraps of paper.

“We are also teaching them how to work as a team and we are identifying special talents among them to be used as resource persons so that other teachers can learn from them,” she said.

The Ofua IV primary school opened for lessons in the first term enrolling 657 pupils from P.1 to P.7 but the children are being taught under trees as the classrooms are still being constructed.

It is expected that at the end of the three years, the Ofua IV primary school will be ready for management transfer to the Arua district local government.