Nakivale Refugee Settlement: 120 Learners in Windle International Uganda Supported Schools get First Grade in 2023 PLE

In the sprawling expanse of Nakivale Refugee Settlement, Isingiro district amidst the hardships and struggles that define life of refugees and host community learners is a remarkable story of triumph that unfolded.

At the heart of this story stood 120 Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) candidates who stood out and passed in division one. Each of the learners has dreams as vast as the challenges they faced.

The schools where these learners sat for their PLE are supported by Windle International Uganda (WIU), an organisation which is at the heart of providing inclusive and quality education and training for refuges and host communities in Uganda in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the government of Uganda through the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

Despite the odds stacked against them, these 120 candidates approached their studies with unwavering determination and resilience. The young achievers consist of 89 refugees and 31 host community learners. In classrooms that are often overcrowded, with limited resources, learners devoted themselves to their education, guided by dedicated teachers who understood the transformative power of education.

Igiraneza Shalome, a Burundian scored 5 aggregates making him the top performer at Kashojwa Common Primary School, and the whole of Nakivale Refugee Settlement. “I made a self-revision time table which made me revise with purpose and intention to ensure that I pass highly. I would follow my timetable while at home, in the night, and also during my free time while at school,” Shalome shared.

Shalome is grateful to UNHCR and WIU which paid his UNEB registration fees including providing him with scholastic materials like exercise books, pens, pencils, rubbers and mathematical sets. Shalome needs to proceed to the next level of education to fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor.

Another candidate that scored aggregate 5 is Ibrahim Shimirimana, a Burundian who just like Shalome sat his PLE at Kashojwa Common Primary School, Nakivale Refugee Settlement.

Ibrahim appreciates UNHCR and WIU for providing him with scholastic materials like pens, pencils, exercise books, and mathematical sets which eased his studies. They also paid his UNEB registration fees as a refugee. This enabled him settle down and revise hard to pass.

He wishes to become a professional medical doctor so that he can diagnose and treat refugees and other people in the community.

Rita Kwizera, a Rwandan was not just another student; she is a beacon of hope in a sea of uncertainty. Despite the challenges she faced as a refugee such as inadequate access to scholastic materials, she approached her studies with determination and resilience.

With the support of her family and the guidance of her teachers, Rita excelled in her studies and emerged

as the best female candidate in the settlement having scored 8 aggregates. She was always the first to arrive at school and the last to leave, pouring over her books late into the night.

Just like Shalome and Ibrahim, Kwizera wants to become a professional medical doctor.

Kwizera attributes her success to the support from her teachers.  “I revised past papers of PLE which enabled me pass.”

Kwizera appreciates the support of UNHCR and WIU who provided her with scholastic materials which made her not miss any lessons. “WIU/UNHCR staff also used to come to talk to us at school which encouraged us to read hard. These encouraging words enabled me to pass highly,” she excitedly said.

For the last 27 years, WIU has been at the forefront of providing inclusive, equitable, and quality education for refugees and host communities in Uganda so that they can unlock their dreams, aspirations, and a path to a brighter future.

“The success of these learners is more than just academic achievement; it is a testament to the resilience of human spirit and the power of education to transcend barriers. It speaks volumes about the potential that lies within every child, regardless of their circumstances, and underscores the importance of investing in education as a pathway to a brighter future,” Andrew E. Omara, Executive Director, Windle International Uganda noted.

These results speak of how WIU has been a key partner in supporting the district achieve its sector goals according Ms. Sarah Arinda, the Isingiro District Inspector of Schools. “WIU has enhanced the capacity of district officials and teachers. This I believe is the reason we are seeing some of this success. Additionally, WIU distributed instructional materials, supported in distribution of exams. We also do joint monitoring and supervision of schools to ensure they are up to standards” she revealed. “All this, I believe is the reason we are seeing this success,” Arinda, added.

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