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Brother Francis X. Byarugaba
UGANDA PRIVATE AND INTEGRATED SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION (UPISA)
TO THE MEMBERS AT THE CONFERENCE: DIALOGUE OF AFRICAN PARTNERS: BOOK PROGRAMS IN THE NEW CENTURY, ACCRA, GHANA, JANUARY 8TH, 2002
Uganda Private and Integrated Schools Association (UPISA) was formed and inaugurated in 1994. The Association was floated by the initiative of three promoters, the Brothers of Christian Instruction, the Banabikira Sisters and Terre Sans Frontieres, a Canadian Donor Agent through the Boards of Governors and Parents/Teachers Association of various schools that play an essential role in improving and increasing the impact of their development action in the field of education in private secondary schools.
The Association is comprised of private and secondary schools but eight of them are known as the founder members of the Association.
Uganda Private and Integrated Schools Association (UPISA) has its headquarters at:
Mt. St. Teresa, Kisubi,
P.O. Box 50
The mission of the Association lies in availing an environment conducive to achieving and sustaining quality education in member schools.
The general objectives of the Association are:
- To develop, promote and improve the quality of education.
- To reinforce the individual organizational capacity in member schools.
- To establish and sustain structures that encourage networking, self-help and exchange of information among schools to make them more competitive.
- To do everything positive to the attainment of the objectives stated above.
The Association is governed by a General Assembly which is its supreme functional organ and is composed of:
- Board of governments.
- Parents and Teachers Association Executive.
- Heads of schools.
- Anybody co-opted by the General Assembly for technical expertise.
The Central Committee is the governing body comprised of twenty-four members, three representatives from each school and a representative from each founding body.
The Committee is accountable to the General Assembly composed of member schools. It is assisted by three sub-committees:
a) Scholastic materials.
c) Income generating activities.
The day to day running of UPISA business is carried out by a Coordinator assisted by the Secretary/Accountant.
The Association has so far achieved the following:
- Acquiring and distributing scholastic materials (textbooks) and laboratory equipment to the member schools.
- Creating and establishing a Revolving Fund system.
- Capacity building through conducting workshops/seminars for headteachers, deputy headteachers, teachers, bursars, accountants, librarians, storekeepers, income generating projects supervisors, etc.
- Paid supportive and consultative visits to schools.
- Networking through debates, joint mock examinations, setting and marking the examinations, teachers exchanges, meetings.
In Uganda we long and thirst for books. Both in private and government aided schools, our students have less access to books because most schools cannot afford purchasing them.
Government aided schools which are given books by the government have one book shared among five to six students. What can we say of private schools? Most students depend on teachers' notes for reading and those private schools that can afford buying some, have one book shared among ten to fifteen students.
Uganda Private and Integrated Schools Association (UPISA) is trying to assist some private schools in acquiring and distributing learning materials and we look for donors who can help us to get books or laboratory equipment. Thanks to Terre Sans Frontieres, our partner in La Prairie, Canada, that approached and connected UPISA to Sabre Foundation with a view of assisting us with a supply of books.We are grateful to Sabre Foundation for accepting to supply us with books.
Our thanks goes to Mr. Colin McCullough, Ms. Kimberly Bartlett and others who have been corresponding with me about the selection and shipment of books.
Finally, I am most grateful to Ms. Tania Vitvitsky in particular and all Sabre Foundation personnel in general for the arrangements made to sponsor us to come to this conference. Thanks to Mr. Robert Amoako and Ghana Book Trust for hosting us.