A little update from the week...What we feared would happen, has. The Ministry of Education did not come through with the money that the colleges need, so Bushenyi PTC and the other 44 PTCs all around the country are sending the students home. We approximate this is affecting between fifteen and twenty thousand aspiring teachers! They leave tomorrow morning and will return only when the money is acquired.
This is so disappointing for so many reasons! Mostly, we are so sad for the students and the turmoil that this causes them. They are all horribly disappointed. As many of the PTC students are unable to continue in Secondary school or university due to academic or financial reasons, they really understand the importance of their PTC education and the way that their chances to continue their education here directly relate to opportunities in their future. Something like this happening is really devastating for them. Tonight during Ryan's open lab hours they spent time writing inspirational notes to their classmates, typing journal-like entries about their disappointment, and expressing their sadness in word art. We feel so sorry for them. I fear that the message being sent by the government by this action is loud and clear....and really negative. I feel so, so sad for them all.
We don't yet know what this will mean for us. Optimistically, the issue will get resolved and we will continue our work here in little time at all. Yet, next week I plan to scope out some opportunities to get involved outside of the college all the same. My teaching load is light, so even if things are resolved quickly I should still have time to be involved in other community effort when I'm not teaching at the college. Ryan and his counterpart will likely continue to work in the lab, updating equipment and doing other techy stuff! ;-) All in all, though, it's just such a bummer. We were just feeling like we were finally starting to be really useful and helpful here and now everything stops once again. Ugh...
So...send your good thoughts to the PTC students of Uganda and pray for a quick response by the Ministry of Education!