Introducing…the BT Academy of Jomba
February 17, 2011
After cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially declare the new BT Academy of Jomba open, Vice President of Uganda Gilbert Bukenya strapped on his dancing shoes and joined the singing and dancing led by a chorus of future students to celebrate the completion of the areaâ€™s first permanently-built school structure.
The BT Academy of Jomba will first welcome students on Monday, February 21 with the capacity to eventually house 325 kids in grades Primary One through Primary Seven (US equivalent of 1st-7th grade). The Academy, a 10-room structure constructed with the support of the City of Indianapolis and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls becomes the first permanently-built school structure in an immediate area serving students from the villages of Jomba, Kibone, Kitinda, and Kawooya.
â€œWhat has been done here is a very wonderful thing,â€ Bukenya said. â€œAnd today I pledge to pay for the construction of teacherâ€™s quarters at this very place, with funds of my own.â€
The Vice Presidentâ€™s commitment, similar to one he made to construct teacherâ€™s quarters at the recently-opened BT Academy of Sentigi, was met with great excitement by community parents and guardians who have made good on their own pledge to provide 20,000 of unskilled labor to construct the Academy.
â€œThe first time I came here, we sat under that tree and had a meeting,â€ BT Uganda Country Director Joseph Kalisa said. â€œAnd today we see the excitement of this place and these people for the opening of this very, very strong academy.â€
Students at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls have raised over $15,000 to support the construction of the Academy through a host of events ranging from â€œThe Big Event,â€ a homecoming concert headlined by award winning singer Shawn Mullins to BTâ€™s signature on-campus philanthropy, Bike to Uganda.
BT Academies are constructed out of all local supplies, including over 50,000 hand crafted bricks, local timber and other aggregate materials. BT partners with the local ministry of education to fund the ongoing costs related to teacher salaries and provides continuing teacher training for BT Academy staff.