TEACHERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
RUKUNGIRI - In only 13 years, Sr Gladys Kachope has started and completed projects worth billions of shillings at Immaculate Heart Girls, Nyakibale in Rukungiri district.
She has completed a four-storey dormitory, 16 classrooms, a five storey modern science laboratory and a three-storey convent for nuns. She is currently constructing a multi-billion shilling Golden Jubilee complex.
She has also purchased 72 acres of land for the school’s farming activities, a bus, a 50KV generator and completed construction of a playground.
Sr Kachope has undertaken all these projects using the school’s resources. As a result of her effort, the school’s enrolment has risen from 821 students in 2016 to 2,119 currently. The school has also become an academic powerhouse — having been ranked eighth in A’level and ninth in O’level in national examinations last year.
It is also a sports powerhouse at the district and regional levels. An old girl, Sr Kachope says she felt scared when she received the news of her appointment but was also happy to get an opportunity to serve her former school.
According to Sr Sabina Tumusiime, the deputy headteacher, when Sr Kachope joined the school in 2006, she completed the four-storey dormitory that was at half-way stage in just two years. The block accommodates up to 900 students.
“She has also built more classroom blocks. When she joined, each O’level class had three streams, while A’level had two — one for arts and another for sciences. Today, each O’level class has five streams. A’level has five streams with three allocated to arts students and two for sciences,” Sr Tumusiime adds.
She completed the construction of the multi-billion lab that started in 2011. In recognition of her work, the board of governors named the building after her.
After the laboratory, she turned to improve teachers’ welfare by constructing decent accommodation for them.
“The school has 70 teachers and 54 stay-in the staff quarters,” Sr Tumusiime says.
Sr. Kachope is now constructing the Golden Jubilee Complex. The complex will host a chapel, dining hall, gallery and a home management laboratory.
The complex will also have theatre and classrooms. Sr Kachope believes that with a huge enrolment, it is better students are given more reading rooms.
The school has a 20-acre banana plantation as well as maize and cabbages, a farm with cattle, goats, and sheep on the land she bought in Nyakabungu, Rukungiri district.
“With milk, maize, and matooke from our farm, the cost of running the school has reduced and this has enabled us to save money, which we are using on other projects. The farm is also used by students for agricultural students,” Sr Kachope says.
Peter Nteziyaramye, a biology teacher, says since Sr. Kachope’s was posted there, the school started witnessing tremendous improvement in academic performance.
“At the time of her arrival, although the school was performing well, it had been getting less than 100 students passing in Division One. In 2017 and 2018, however, the school got 214 and 244 first grades respectively,” Nteziyaramye says.
He adds: “She is a good team player. She motivates teachers, throws them parties on International Teachers’ Day, among other things.”
Michael Ntakahumaze, the head of co-curricular activities, says Sr Kachope is an ardent believer in co-curricular activities.
“We are the regional defending champions in music dance and drama and the district champions in netball and volleyball. The school represented the western region in girls’ football, netball and volleyball in the recently concluded Fresh Dairy schools’ sports competitions in Mbale recently.”
“We are also the current national and the East African debating champions,” he adds
“The school is also keen on climate change. We have a UNESCO club that looks at climate change.
To support the club’s activities. Sir Kachope banned the use of polythene bags in school,” Ntakahumaze says.
Who is Sr Kachope?
Born in 1968 in Kabarole district
She attended Kiburara Primary School and Immaculate Heart Girls School for both O and A’level
Joined Makerere University for a bachelor’s degree in education and later a master’s degree in education administration and planning
Belongs to the Sisters of the Lady of Good Counsel
Taught at Maryhill High School between 2000 and 2006
Joined Immaculate Heart Girls School in 2006 as headteacher