Interview with the founder of St. Konrad
St. Konrad is a special school. It is people centred. It aims to serve the needy, especially rural people. It has been helpful to many children in the last 10 years to acquire skills. It is a school but also a development project. It wants to see a gradual change in village life: from helplessness of the poor people to their ability to help themselves in satisfying their basic needs.
It is a project that is based on love of neighbours. Its funding is mainly from generous people especially from Europe who want to see change and better living conditions in the rural areas of Uganda. It is a project that has united many efforts of people and organisations of different beliefs and political creeds. It is harnessing this love of neighbour force for the good of the children in this school.
The school is also a fruit of sacrifice, on the part of the director, the sponsors, and the staff. The staff work for longer hours and yet get less pay. Many sponsors sacrifice the little they have for the good of the school.
St. Konrad Vocational school is a gift of God to the poor people. For those Christians, God uses people to do his will especially in doing what is good. He has used the director, who is a priest, to become a channel for the support of the poor in this area of the world.
St. Konrad Integrated Vocational School works for the unity of the people. It does not segregate among peoples. All who want to come and learn are welcome. It is a home for all people who are in need especially need of development through vocational training.
St. Konrad Integrated vocational school is a needy institution. It exists because good people support it.
What do the children learn?
Vocational skills: They learn tailoring, carpentry and joinery, building and construction, Welding and Metal fabrication, Water installation, Electrical installation, and Agriculture. They also learn basic secondary school matter such as English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Christian Religious Education, Entrepreneurship, Art, and Swahili.
What do they enjoy in St. Konrad most?
Children enjoy a good diet, a good learning environment, a well organized and beautiful school. They enjoy the company of each other, as children live as brothers and sisters. They enjoy vocational training, being able to do somethings on their own. They enjoy different cultures present in the school, as there are representatives of many tribes from Kabale, Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole, Moyo, Nyankore, Rwanda, and Kenya. They enjoy extracurricular activities such as sports, prayers, cultural presentations. They also enjoy a good climate which is neither hot nor very cold.
What are the benefits of your school?
There are economic, educational, and cultural benefits.
The school trains in skills to improve the household incomes. This goes further to improve health, good housing, ability to enjoy leisure time, and ability to be more free.
Educational benefits include doing secondary school and technical school at the same time. This includes also the ability to go out directly and work, while counterparts in secondary schools cannot.
Cultural benefits include the opportunity of meeting people from different cultures in one school. Learning the values of others, e.g. tolerance and the aspiration for improvement in civic life.
What can be done to improve the standards of the school?
We need to improve teacher’s payment as a condition for improved teaching standards and quality of students.
We need to improve the equipment in the school, especially in vocational training where there is a dire need of tools.
Also providing more library books, computers and tools in the laboratories for better learning in sciences.
Improved communications especially accessibility to Internet. The school is not yet accessible to internet because of physical barriers and high costs.
Improvement in buildings. There are still need for a teachers houses and the expansion of the boys’ hostels.
Finally, need of exposure to the developed world in which better skills can be shared. This can be in form of volunteers to the school, or improved internet connections where one can learn even online.