With twenty primary schools open or under construction and site planning in Uganda, Building Tomorrow is capitalizing on its success by working alongside local communities to drive long-term, sustainable change at a grassroots level with a commitment to launch the Building Tomorrow Fellowship, a two-year opportunity for graduates of Ugandan colleges and universities to work hand-in-hand with rural schools in need of their skills, energy and enthusiasm for the change education can bring. Building Tomorrow will assemble a team of professionals to oversee the formation of curriculum intended to better prepare and support students, foster an accessible, well-managed school environment, deliver relevant curricula and materials, train motivated teaching staff, and ensure literate, proficient graduates.
Fellows themselves will face a steep learning curve; engaging directly with and managing the expectations of a multitude of stakeholders (from government officials to rural communities), in a resource-limited setting, to develop creative solutions to intricate social change issues facing their country. Fellows will complete the program with not just a strong understanding of the education system, but, more importantly, unparalleled experience in problem solving and system design thinking that can be applied to any social change issue.
Building Tomorrow intends to launch the BT Fellows program in Fall 2013/Winter 2014, beginning with the hiring of a team that will oversee development of the two-year fellowship curriculum. Program development will continue through at least Spring 2014. Selection of fellows, training and their initial placements will be done with an eye toward the two-year fellowship beginning in Summer 2014.
The shortcomings of rural, public-funded primary schools throughout East Africa are well-documented: according to the Varkey GEMS Foundation, fewer than 60% of primary teachers are professionally qualified in many sub-Saharan African countries. Moreover, approximately 85% of rural P3 (third grade) students in Uganda cannot read, write, or perform basic numeracy skills. In order for sub-Saharan Africa to sustain already-impressive economic growth, significant and urgent investments in its education systems must be made.
One donor to the program would like to see the Building Tomorrow Fellowship named in honor of our Honorary Chairman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His approval would allow us to rename the program in recognition of his lifelong work and elevate the respectability of the fellowship program throughout East Africa and beyond.
We are not yet in position to offer partnerships for this program.