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Saturday, February 02, 2019

Good News from Bundibugyo: CSB Ranks #1 in District again

Schools in Uganda are made or broken purely on the basis of the end-of-high-school O-level standardized test results.  The tests themselves are demanding weeks-long sets of papers in 10 subjects, objective and essay format. Students take them in the final month of their Senior Four year. There are about 3200 testing centers representing probably up to 5000 schools in this nation of 43 million people. The schools are ranked based on the percentage of students whose scores put them in "division one" or "first grade", the highest scores.  Only the centers who have at least some students in division one or two are counted, bringing the denominator down to 2440 (that's a single school per center for the best, but often multiple schools per center for mid-level and lower schools).
(Beginning of Term Staff Meeting)

(Repainting classroom blocks)

(Staff and Myhres on Retreat)

I believe that each year since we had Senior Four students (2002), Christ School has ranked first in Bundibugyo.  Each year we hold our breath--was this year's class not quite up to it? Could corruption sink us? Could we fail? And like many years before, we praise God and thank the staff and clap for the students, as we see the good results again this year. We had four students score in division one. We had no failures. We had many division two's as well.  Our results put us #1 in Bundibugyo and #6 in the entire Western Region, behind a handful of very established schools in the much larger cities of Fort Portal and Kasese.  We are in the 12th percentile from the top nationally (meaning better than 88% of all centers in the country . . among the ranked schools, it would be higher if we used ALL schools to calculate the denominator).  In fact we are one of the only schools in the district to even have first or second grade results.

Each year new schools spring up, and parents flock to a cheaper alternative. Each year we beg them to consider their children's good.  Right in the center of Bundibugyo district we have a secure school, with dedicated staff, with high standards, with national-level results, at half the cost of similar schools outside the district.

But there is more here than test results. We have a school where we care about the heart. About integrity. About discipleship. About community service. About character. We have a staff who are embracing the latest research about how students best learn, in relationship. We have a school whose vision and mission are to equip and bless this entire district.

Success meets opposition, rumor, and destructive gossip all too often.  Please join Serge, World Harvest Mission Uganda, and the staff of Christ School Bundibugyo in praying for the safety and good of the 2019 student body.  Students begin arriving tomorrow. The last week has been a heavy push of planning, learning, meeting, organizing, painting, cleaning. Our newest apprentices on the team are even re-modeling the school kitchen for the massive scale of feeding hundreds. Pray that parents would invest their cocoa harvest in their children's education, that the fees would be paid on time, that we would each (parents and mission) uphold our commitments to this world-changing partnership.
 (cocoa drying by the road)

1 comment:

Jacob Bowdoin said...

Hi Dr. Scott,

I spent a couple days in Bundibugyo with Timothy Bandirana and the Lubwisi translation team in 2011. I've kept in touch with Timothy and recently heard news from him that the Seed Company has officially started up an Old Testament translation project, to follow up after the completion of the New Testament. Timothy and the others have already been faithful to start volunteer work on the Old Testament, but this is exciting news as we now have an easy avenue to send funding through to help the work.

Anyhow, nothing has been posted online yet about the new project, but as I was searching for online news your blog came up because you mentioned the Lubwisi translation work. I read through your last couple posts from this month and January and thoroughly appreciate your words and the way they bring back many special memories of Uganda (I lived as international student with a host family in Mukono for 4 months and then spend a 5th month helping/observing with SIL).

If you happen to know and see Timothy, please say hi for me. Otherwise, may God bless you and your family richly for the work you are doing and know that I am very grateful you are there.

Jacob Bowdoin