Elspeth Dugdale | January 4, 2015
One of the high points of this year, for me, has been the opportunity to meet up with 'old' WTA students. Finding out their news, hearing how their studies and plans are progressing is exciting and encouraging for us all. When students leave school, whether it is after S4 or after S6 - or whether they simply don't return one term, it can often be really difficult to find out how they're doing. This is especially the problem with the boarding students, who travel far from home to reach WTA. There is not the same mechanism or tradition for follow up in Uganda - it is often neither practical nor possible - students may change addresses, locations or mobile phone numbers soon after they leave.
As more and more OBs and OGs (Old Boys and Old Girls), as they are called, are able to access the internet during the holidays and outside school, and get more familiar with social networking, contact becomes easier and more regular. Other students also keep in contact with Charles, Patrick and other teachers via text and phone calls. Many courses are offered on a part-time or weekend basis so that students can have salaried jobs and study at the same time. Most students have to support themselves through tertiary education, which is a huge challenge at times.
The students we met up with speak so warmly and positively of their time at WTA and talk about the good grounding that it has given them for life. They see the school community as a family that they can keep in touch with and come back to visit. As many of them seem to be ending up studying education, perhaps we can look forward to some of them applying to become WTA teachers in the next few years.
Ojok Denis left WTA in 2009 - now working in Kampala as a primary teacher.
Aboke Stephen left in 2009 and took his A' levels in Lira, as at the time WTA did not offer A' levels on the old site. He is taking a Business degree in Lira and hopes to start his own business in his home area.
Semakula Richard is studying part-time for a degree in Business Administration and working part-time to support himself.
Torach Joel also finished in 2012. He is pursuing his dream to study Literature at Gulu University, which he is really enjoying!
Atimango Grace left WTA last year. She is working at a primary school near Gulu, and has been offered the opportunity for 'on the job' training as a classroom assistant and saving up to pay for a nursery teaching course.
Akiki Moses completed S4 and is working on his own land, building up his farming business, possibly starting beekeeping as well. He hopes to combine this with part-time agricultural studies.