TuTo Junior School
On November 23, 2019 TUTO Junior School was officially opened in Busesa in Eastern Uganda. Construction began in October of the previous year. It is the first part of a learning institution, which in future will have a primary school and a boarding section.
The Children, Teachers and the Team
At the moment 49 children between the ages of three to six are being cared for and educated at TuTo Junior School – 24 of them are girls and 25 are boys.
The education of our children goes beyond that of a “kindergarten” (i.e. it goes beyond playing and also introduces basic learning), which is why we would like to describe TuTo Junior School as a pre-school. The children learn simple writing exercises, numeracy, English and hygiene. This way they will be well prepared for joining the primary school.
Our teachers bring a lot of experience, awareness and empathy with them and implement the “Montessori education principles” both in their teaching and in play. An additional teacher will soon be recruited to expand the educational team.
Most children are currently in half-day care and are picked up by their parents at noon. However, there is also the possibility of full-day care with lunch and an afternoon program. In addition, the school was built in such a way that children with disabilities and special needs can also move freely in the school building. Although TuTo Junior School currently does not have children with disabilities, the organisation wants to be able to include these children when the need arises.
It is important to us that all children/learners are supported in their existing family structures, which is why our associations put great effort into a good cooperation with parents and involve them through regular meetings and trainings.
In addition to the teachers, our team has four other permanent employees, who are each responsible for accounting, nutrition and cleaning, maintenance and security.
The School Building
The TuTo Junior School building has four rooms: a care room for the very young children, another room for the children aged between 4 and 5 years and a separate room for the oldest children who are about to start primary school. In addition, there is also a room to rest for the young children who need to nap.
Attached to the school building is a separate administration block where the teachers can prepare learning materials and where TuTo members can carry out their administrative work.
We are particularly proud of our own reliable water supply system which consists of a borehole, a water tank for storage and distributing water to the taps and sanitation facilities. We also have an innovative toilet facility (“single cistern latrine”), which has a total of eight toilet stands. The entire system is environmentally friendly and extremely water-efficient because all eight stands can be cleaned simultaneously with just one single flush.
The next step will be the construction of a playground for the children to enjoy, explore and have fun.
The School Concept
The school is run as a social enterprise. This means that the selection of the children admitted to the school is carried out in a way that about one third of all children are exempt from school fees because they come from lower income families. For another one third of the children, the school fees are covered by donors/sponsors and for one third of the children, the families pay the school fees themselves.
In the next few years, the facility will be extended to a primary and a boarding section. The children from the pre-school section will then be able to continue their education from there.