Uganda Case Study: Ssebuguzi John Robert

Ssebuguzi John Robert has attended St Denis since S1, and was previously a day scholar walking an hour and a half from his village, Misenyi, to school every day. Now in S4, he began boarding at the start of the school year as he was missing evening study sessions. Robert is not sponsored, and if he can find the money he would like to go on to S5 at a school in Masaka.

In school holidays Robert lives with his mother and two younger sisters, Monica, 13, and Farida, 18 months. His father owns a small shop in Kalisizo, around half an hour’s drive away, and comes home infrequently. Robert’s ambition is to be a TV or radio presenter, but failing that, a politician – he likes public speaking! He has had good practice as debate organiser at St Denis, where students discuss controversial issues such as privatisation and population. As a politician he would hope to improve the lives of the people in the community, his people.

Robert has been involved in two of the St Denis businesses, the canteen and the computer business. At the computer business he learnt how to use the machines, including the printer and photocopier, which he says have become really important skills in ‘this world’, and he would like to learn more. He enjoyed working in the canteen, as he was tasked with exchanging money and learnt good customer care, such as being fast and efficient with transactions, and also learnt how to balance the books. Robert feels that ‘the businesses are useful to the school as the profits will help decrease the fees, and more students can learn valuable skills as I did’. He believes that St Denis is becoming a better school and has improved in the four years he has been there.

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