Happy Rogers, a student at Naalya SS Namugongo, becomes quite emotional as he praises Brac Uganda for helping him cover his O-level education.
Rogers, born in West Nile sub-region’s relatively poor Maracha district, was the best UCE 2018 candidate at the school, scoring a perfect aggregate 10 in 10 subjects.
Rogers had scored aggregate 6 at St Ponsiano primary school Mukono in 2013 but lost a whole year without studying for lack of school fees. Then, during the first term of 2015, his aunt informed him about the scholarships offered jointly by Brac Uganda and Mastercard Foundation for secondary school students.
He applied and sat interviews but was not enrolled. However, when Brac noticed that he stayed home a whole term, they enrolled him and he resumed studies in second term.
The Observer talked to him before the S5 selections, but he was emphatic he would go back to Naalya and study biology, chemistry and mathematics (BCM) and eventually become a good farmer. He speaks very highly of the kind mentorship at that school.
“I was just determined to score high. But also my school friends, teachers and parents gave me a lot of motivation. I thank the teachers for their endless efforts. Almost all of us passed very well,” he said.
Fred Bamulumbye, his physics teacher and the director of studies, O-level, said he knew Rogers was very disciplined, obedient, hardworking, quiet and a volunteer. “He loved to help others. He would do his own research and teach others or share his findings with them. Sometimes we had to restrain him not to go too far beyond his curriculum,” Bamulumbye said.
Moses Ebange, Roger’s teacher mentor for Brac, said the Brac scholarship covered scholastic materials and fees. Currently, Naalya SS Namugongo has 77 Brac/ Mastercard scholarship beneficiaries, excluding S5 beneficiaries who haven’t been admitted.
Ebange said with his co-teacher mentor Judith Tayebwa, they help children from poor backgrounds to adjust to a high-class schools like Naalya.
“The two of us coordinate activities of Brac/Mastercard and the school, including availing supplies such as schoolbags, mattresses, books, etc. We study and learn these students so as to spur them by constantly monitoring and counselling them. We had 42 in S4 and all passed in division one except two who came in division two,” Ebange said.
The second best Brac beneficiary was Arthur Abul Siloi who scored aggregate 9 in eight subjects.