One year ago the idea of this college hadn’t even been fully conceived – there were vague thoughts about something along the vocational-training lines, situated possibly at a location linked to one of the Nkuru-Nziza projects, but precise details were certainly not in existence.
Now 12 months later, here we are ready to train the first tranche of teachers so that they can open the doors of the college in a few weeks time.
In the intervening time, a 4-classroom block and a computer room have been designed and built, a toilet block constructed so as to enable it to link to the bio-digester that provides gas for the kitchen, which itself is part way through construction and will serve as a training base for the catering course and as a café for the staff, pupils and local community.
The classroom blocks are all powered by solar, there is rainwater harvesting that feeds the toilet block, and other water-related needs, and there are some demonstration vegetable plots being run by one of the local community members.
The staff are slowly being appointed, and the training this week is in part an opportunity for them to get to know more about the ethos of the college, and also for us to get to know them better and determine if they are likely to fit in to that ethos.
That ethos centres on a whole-person, whole-brain approach to learning, and will require all the staff to be willing to take on a new, innovative approach to teaching and learning.
It is an approach that doesn’t really exist in Uganda at the moment so this college is pioneering the way. But it is an approach that once embedded will mean that many of the students, who ‘failed’ at school because they couldn’t learn in the way that was expected, will now have the opportunity to discover the ways in which they are smart, and the ways in which they can learn.
It is an approach that values each person as being smart, as being unique, as being worthy of input and support. To give it a faith angle, it is an approach that values each person as an individual and loved child of God.
And that is an approach that underpins all the projects that Nkuru-Nziza Foundation carry out
So, here’s to the birth of Nkuru BVTC – a wonderful new college, and a new chapter in the journey of Nkuru-Nziza