[two_third]A few years ago, the principal of Gatsata Primary School couldn’t believe that stories of transformation would ever arise from within her school.
The school, of 750 students, is located on the outskirts of Kigali in an impoverished, densely populated and high-traffic area.
For many years, the school was marked by the challenges it faced.
Over 30 per cent of the student body comes from single parent families and or child headed families. Each day, 30 per cent of the students were absent, 20 per cent of students would come to school without eating and 10 per cent of the female students left school to look for money in prostitution. With the country’s main bus park only kilometres from the school, prostitution and drug use became pressing issues.
Today, she’s singing a different tune.
A few years ago, Gatsata teachers started receiving training from Wellspring’s quality education trainers. The principal, who’s always had a visionary heart and strong leadership qualities, immediately saw the potential of her school and fostered a culture of learning within the teachers.
With all of the teachers eagerly desiring to grow, the principal held meetings and workshops for all teachers. As they grew in their confidence and desire to teach, they began to reap the harvest from the seeds they were sewing.
By the end of the year, not a single student dropped out of school and most of primary 6 students passed their national exam; previously, only a handful of students who would pass.
Many of the female students who left the school to find money in prostitution have returned to school in pursuit of quality education.
At the core of the transformation have been the parents. Together with the teachers, they discuss the importance of their children’s education and help equip their children at home.
On their own incentive, the parents, most of whom are financially impoverished, have pooled their money to increase each teacher’s monthly salary by 50 percent! They’ve also provided money and labor to renovate the school–classrooms, windows, doors, and a playground.
“Our school was really fighting to stay alive, but now we see how much life and potential we have!” says the principal.
With the country’s main bus park only kilometres from the school, prostitution and drug use became pressing issues.