EDUCATION is the key solution to generate and drive development to address the current underdevelopment which has resulted in poverty, hunger, poor health, poor education and gender inequality. These are endemic problems in this and many similar communities in the nation.
Our Mission is therefore to enable the youth to empower themselves so that they are self-reliant and productive citizens of Uganda.
Objectives of the Project
Gwakabbo School Project (GSP) is starting as a secondary and vocational training school. With contributions of valued well-wishers from the UK teaching teams who have expressed a strong desire to travel to Uganda and help to demonstrate strategies that can make an impact on academic results; we expect to create a system of world class secondary education in Dokolo which vies to be a model to help develop and promote excellent educational opportunities for young people in Uganda. (As the 2019 UCE results described below shows, the Lango sub- region among other sub regions of Northern Uganda are achieving well below the average as compared to the national averages). The outcome of an excellent education will lead to the creation of job opportunities which will create better economic and social welfare for the beneficiaries, the community and the country at large.
In brief, the key aim and objective of this school is to bring the school near to the populace other than going out far in search of a good school. Secondly, to provide good comprehensive training for our students, whose education might have been truncated due to various reasons thereby enabling them access to training and acquiring skills for life.
The school is expected to expand into higher education institutions providing degree and non-degree programs in the future.
School Project Phases:
Purchase of land: Gwakabbo originally had 3.3 acres of land but has now expanded to 6.5 acres of land with the potential to further expand.
Phases 4 – 5:
The Draft School Plan:
Map of Dokolo District:
Dokolo District is made of up of Agwatta, Bata, Dokolo, Kangai and Kwera sub counties.
The Nursery School and Church are both built in Kwera sub county.
Why Build a School in Dokolo District:
Dokolo District, one of many new districts was established by the Ugandan Parliament in 2005. It became operational on 1 July 2006. As a new district, it has many different challenges in meeting the needs and provision of services for the local communities. The Gwakabbo team of organisers who live in the district are aware of some of the challenges that the District is facing especially in the provision of quality education. Some of their counterpart team of trustees who live in the UK have personal experiences about the quality of education in the district because they support education of family members in schools in the district and have regularly travelled to Uganda and seen the need for investing in students’ access to better quality education. The quality of life in the newly created districts has also attracted international studies and reports. One study argues that their findings “… can help us understand how Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita are distributed throughout Uganda to target poverty interventions and bring greater prosperity to more people”. GDP is a measure of the total goods and services produced in a country annually. GDP has been the most widely used metric of national economic progress for over half a century. The only data measuring national-level GDP and GDP per capita exist for Uganda according to the team that carried out the study.
Estimating District GDP in Uganda (2017); a project study researched by M. Rafa; J.D. Moyer; X. Wang & P. Sutton (Authors) highlighted the importance of analysing the district GDP and GDP per capita estimates for the 116 districts at the time of their study. They used the Enhanced Light Intensity Model and identified some key findings, some of which are listed below:
- The distribution of GDP per capita in Uganda is heavily skewed. Only 14 districts have GDP per capita values above the population weighted national average ($380) and 102 are below the average. This equates to roughly 4 in 5 people (or 29 million) living in districts with GDP per capita estimates below the national average.
- 6 of the 10 poorest districts per capita are in Northern Uganda.
- GDP is heavily concentrated in Central Uganda, Kampala (22.5%), Wakiso (20.85%) and Mukono (5.3%) account for nearly half of Uganda’s total GDP (20.8 billion US$ in 2014) while comprising only about 10% of Uganda’s population.
- Of the ten largest district economies, seven are in Central Uganda. Outside of Central Uganda … Arua, Lira and Gulu collectively produce roughly one-third of Northern Uganda’s GDP.
Published by The Frederick S. Pardee Centre for International Futures
Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
Invited Research Paper for United States Agency International Development (USAID)
This study was supported by USAID which observed that these estimates can also shed light on how human development is distributed throughout Uganda. GDP per capita has a very strong correlation with the Human Development Index, particularly for low-income countries. This point is clearly reflected in the findings from the study that has mirrored the economic disparities between Central and Northern Regions of Uganda. This is further reflected in academic performances across the country as well. It is such concern that has prompted Gwakabbo to set up a school in this new district.
Gwakabbo will be addressing responsible ways of utilising resources at affordable costs, addressing the ‘endemic corruption and waste of resources’ that are often highlighted by International Donors and some concerned members of the Ugandan Government.
While Gwakabbo will focus mainly at secondary and vocational education, it is worth mentioning here that at Primary level of education there is equally wide underachievement which means that the pupils admitted to secondary education join when they are not Secondary ready. It will be an added challenge for Gwakabbo teachers and students to encompass some elements of the Primary Curriculum to prepare adequately for the challenges at Secondary level.
This is one possible indication of why Secondary Grades are consistently being poorly performed. The Primary Schools are not laying a strong foundation on which the secondary education must pick up and build on. Those who are enrolling into Secondary education are starting on weaker academic grades which are impacted by lack of good facilities, teachers and equipment resulting in the vicious cycle of poor performance across the District and entire Northern region. It is therefore of no wonder that the Northern Region of Uganda has remained impoverished educationally, socially, economically and in poor health. Two sets of data is presented in the following pages to highlight academic performances in Dokolo District for four consecutive years and the second data shows comparative results across the regions of Uganda for the top performing schools and districts.
Table 1 below shows the performances of the Secondary Schools in Dokolo. There are 5 Secondary Schools in the District all which are performing far below the National averages as the data within this document shows (Table 2).
Table 1: DOKOLO DISTRICT LOCAL GOVERNMENT EDUCATION DEPARTMENT UCE RESULT 2016 -2019
Examination data shows that Schools within the Northern Region where the war was endemic are in similar positions, performing below the national averages. The recent results of the 300 top Schools in Uganda Certificate of Education 2019 (UCE 2019) in Table 2 highlights how schools; in the Northern region do not have the opportunity to compete on a level playing ground with their peers in other Districts of Uganda that did not suffer the consequences of war.
For the purpose of comparison, only 20 schools from a Table of 300 schools have been chosen. However the full list of the performance can be accessed from the source at https://schoolsuganda.com/blog/best-schools-in-kampala-uce-html
As shown in Table 2 below:
- The best performing schools are from the Central, Western and Southern Regions of Uganda. Areas not predominantly affected by the 1980s Civil War.
- The numbers of candidates are more in the Central and Southern Regions of Uganda than those in the Northern Region where most students dropped out because they could not afford the cost of education.
- Even the older schools from the Northern Region e.g. Comboni College, Dr. Obote College and St. Joseph’s Layibi (schools opened in the 1960s), have not performed as well as their counterparts from the Central, Southern and Western Regions e.g. Gayaza High School, Ntare High School and St. Mary’s Kisubi. Many of the Northern Schools from that generation do not even feature within the 300 best schools, for example, Lango College, Town College and St Katherine Girl’s School to mention only 3.