Welcome to the Toowa Primary School and Community Website
BACKGROUND OF TOOWA VILLAGE
Population and Housing
Toowa (pronounced Toe-ah!) is a small village found above the hills of Lugazi (one of Uganda’s busiest industrial towns). Toowa has a population of about 6000 people of which the biggest percentage of the population are women and children.
Toowa Primary School lies on the hills behind Lugazi and is the only centre for education for the children of some of the poorest families in the region.
The people in Toowa live in temporary and semi permanent houses. A few families can afford constructing their own houses. This means that most of them rent houses where they live.
The sanitation of the people is not very good as a few families can afford constructing good pit latrines and rubbish pits. Getting water is also a challenge since most water sources are very distant and are in valleys, children are usually sent for water which they carry in plastic cans on their heads.
The major economic activity in Toowa is subsistence farming [peasant farming] where people grow food on a small scale for home consumption and the rest is sold to cater for other family needs like buying soap, medicine, clothing and educating the children. Farming is a challenge for certain families that are very poor that they can not afford buying land to practice farming. These families therefore hire land and cultivate it so that they can get food for their families.
A local stone quarry provides some employment for mothers who sit all day with a small hammer and a pile of large rocks reducing them to aggregate for making concrete. It is hard, taxing work but necessary if these mothers are to find a way to get their children to go to school…the only way out of the generations of poverty that have afflicted the community.
Other activities done are brick laying, poultry, providing a basic taxi service using motorbikes known in Uganda as a Boda-boda.
Toowa village has only two legally licensed schools. One of these schools is a public school called Kiteza primary school. Parents of this school do not pay any money for their children’s education but the quality of education provided is very poor. This has made many children fail national exams done at grade 7.
The other school is our school called Toowa Community Primary School. The school was started by the church after realising the need for a better quality education on the village.
The challenge that the school is facing is parents not being able to pay school fees for their children in time. When parents realise that they owe a lot of money to the school, they either take their children to the public school or stop schooling and resort to farming. This has made many children to drop out of school and boys resort to drugs and girls are married off while still very young.
At Toowa, children pay about £15 pounds per month to have an education and also have a good meal at school.
Some of the children live very far from the school and it takes them about 3 hours to walk to school every morning. The school plans to build a dormitory for such children so that they can sleep at the school premises. This is a challenge because parents wont be able to afford paying money to the school for looking after their children while in a boarding section. For a child to be in a boarding section at school would cost about £30 to £40 pounds per month.