Charismatic founder-director Elius Muhimbise is Uphill Junior School’s driving force. Elius comes from the local area and his own education was hard-won. As a child, he had to work to fund his education and he has continued to do so. He is a qualified primary school teacher, with additional qualifications in public administration and environmental sustainability.
Since setting up the Uphill Kindergarten 2011, Elius has demonstrated the skills, vision and drive needed to make the Uphill school project a success.
Uphill Junior School has thirteen full time teachers plus headmaster, and a full time school nurse. Each staff member has additional responsibilities alongside his or her teaching duties.
Qualified teachers at Uphill currently earn the equivalent of £70 per month. As part of their remuneration package, teachers are provided with good quality accommodation, along with meals that the school funds from fee income.
School fees are set at an affordable level to encourage families to send their children to school. Orphans are educated for free and fee adjustments are made for families with very little income. Sustainable income is one of the major challenges for the school.
The Uphill Trust pays the staff salaries at Uphill Junior School and will continue to do so until the school can generate the income it needs. This is by far our largest ongoing commitment and we are always looking for new donors who can help us achieve this. Your monthly donation will make a huge difference to the stability of the school and to the lives of the dedicated teaching team.
The quality of teaching has always been good at Uphill, even when year groups had to share classrooms, or squeeze into small rented rooms in the trading centre. The video show some examples of teaching in the early years of the school.
There is more to school life than classroom learning:
Music is important in African culture and the Uphill children love to celebrate with song and dance.
In 2019 Charlie Don, a young man taking a gap year between school and university, travelled out to Uganda with the trustees and ran Shotokan Karate taster sessions for the older primary children.
“On behalf of our village I would like to thank the Uphill founders and donors for this school which has helped to educate the needy children in our community.” Iruhuura Village Elder