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Teachers Making a Difference: Nuwe's zeal changing face of Muhanga

By Owen Wagabaza

Added 31st August 2020 09:20 AM

Nuwe oversaw the completion of 12 classrooms, two science laboratories, one staff house of three units, as well as two five-stance pit latrines.

Teachers Making a Difference: Nuwe's zeal changing face of Muhanga

Roger Nuwe

Nuwe oversaw the completion of 12 classrooms, two science laboratories, one staff house of three units, as well as two five-stance pit latrines.

EDUCATION| TEACHERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE| ROGER NUWE

Every Wednesday, New Vision profi les some of Uganda's teachers who are making a difference at their work stations, under the Teachers Making a Difference project. The 12 most innovative teachers will share a cash prize of sh18m and the six most outstanding will go for a week-long, all-expensespaid study tour to Ireland, courtesy of New Vision, the Irish Embassy in Uganda, Trocaire and Simba Travelcare, one of Uganda's leading tour and travel management companies. Today, we bring you the story of Roger Nuwe from Muhanga Senior Secondary School in Kisoro district...

When you enter Muhanga Senior Secondary School in Kisoro district, it is hard to believe that most of its structures were constructed using mud and wattle a few years back. A member of the school's board of governors, John Nizeyimana attributes the school's transformation to Daniel Nuwe, the headteacher. 

Located in the hilly Nyundo sub-county, one of the hard-to-reach areas of the district, Muhanga is a mixed day school under the Universal Secondary Education programme. Nuwe has been a key architect of the school's development, taking it from mud and wattle in 2000 to a fully-fledged O'level school.

Muhanga SSS started as a community school with Nuwe as its head. He left in 2006, when it was taken over by the Government, but returned as the headteacher years later.

"The Catholic Church, which is the founding body, thought he was the kind of leader they wanted to take the school to the next level and recalled him," Nizeyimana says. At the time of being recalled in 2012, he was the deputy headteacher and senior economics teacher at St Gertrude's Vocational SSS in Kisoro Municipality.

"Because of his zeal, as well as engaging and easy-to-understand approach to teaching economics, students at St Gertrude's nicknamed him ‘Professor Dan'. It is by this nickname that most people in Kisoro and peers, fondly call him."

SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME

Nuwe and the board of governors convinced parents to contribute money and beans so that all learners have lunch at school. Nuwe told the parents that children having lunch at school would improve their learning abilities.

Each student brings 10kg of beans and also pays sh100,000 every term as a lunch contribution. "Parents are allowed to pay the fees in instalments," Nizeyimana adds. He says when students started having lunch at school, absenteeism reduced by 80%.

SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE

Nuwe oversaw the completion of 12 classrooms, two science laboratories, one staff house of three units, as well as two five-stance pit latrines. He also oversaw the installation of one water tank under the UPPET/ APL project that was funded by the government. The school also received furniture and science kits under the project.

"The school has two water tanks to support its water harvesting system and ensure sustainable water supply as well as promote hygiene and sanitation at the school," Nizeyimana says.

SUPPORTING NEEDY STUDENTS

Muhanga SSS is a day school, but the headteacher has allocated rooms to accommodate students, who would have otherwise had to walk over 10km to school, daily.

Bright students, including those living near the school, are also encouraged to utilise the hostels so they can revise at night. Nizeyimana says the beneficiary students are not charged an extra fee.

GO GREEN PUSH

The school uses energy-saving cooking stoves introduced in 2016. Nuwe says: "The school would use over five trucks of firewood per term. Now it uses only two. This has helped us save income and invest in other projects within the school.

Nuwe is also largely behind the beautification of the school, including the growing of fruit trees, such as guavas, which provide shelter, fruits as well as protect the environment.

CONSULTATIVE LEADERSHIP 

Nizeyimana says the headteacher is known for his commitment, hard work and consultative leadership. "He is transparent and consults stakeholders, especially the Parent Teachers' Association and board of governors, before making key decisions. "He has built a culture of good governance and entrenched the spirit of teamwork," Nizeyimana notes.

These attributes have been instrumental towards the improvement of the school in terms of academics, student discipline, staff welfare and infrastructure.

According to the acting district education officer, Emmanuel Mwumvaneza, student enrolment and discipline have improved since Nuwe returned to head the school in 2012. Enrolment now stands at 450 learners. He adds: "Nuwe is also good at career guidance and counselling of students. This helps them to stay focused."

The DEO adds that Nuwe's hard work; passion for the profession, good communication and mobilisation skills convinced headteachers in Kisoro to elect him to head their district association last year.

INSPIRED BY A BIGGER FORCE

Nuwe says he is driven by a bigger force that is always pushing him to bring the best out of the learners. "Nyundo sub-county is one of the poorest parts of Kisoro. This means there are few highly educated people in the community, so children here lack role models. As teachers, we are influencers; which role requires that we are at our best; in all that we do," he explains.

Nuwe believes it is important to inspire others so they aspire for higher goals and become better citizens. "This way, we would have fulfilled our purpose."

FACT FILE

1974: Born in Mabonwa, Rukiri sub-county in Ibanda district

1982 - 1988: Attended Mabonwa Catholic Primary School in Ibanda district

1989 -1992: Joined Kitabi Seminary in Bushenyi district

1993 - 1995: Joined Mbarara High School for A'level

September 1995 - March 1998: Did a bachelor of education (economics major) at Makerere University

July 1998 - 2000: Taught geography and commerce at Mwamba SSS in Ibanda district

Sept 2000 - 2006: Became the headteacher at Muhanga SSS in Kisoro district

2007 - December 2012: Deputy headteacher and teacher of economics at St. Gertrude's Vocational SSS in Kiroso district.

December 2012 to date: Headteacher at Muhanga SSS - Kisoro

2018 to July 18, 2019: Treasurer, Kisoro District headteachers Association

2017 to date: Kabale Diocese Headteachers Association Secretarygeneral

July 2019: Elected chairperson of the Kisoro District Headteachers' Association

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