April 2015: Latest news from Auro Technical School
David Otoa gives us an update on developments at Auro School…
The final term of the 2014/15 academic year began at Auro Technical School in January and, last month, I visited the school for the first time this year. One of the most notable recent developments is the connection to the national electric grid. Thanks to a donation of solar equipment organised by One Cause, Auro School is one of the few places outside the trading centre with any form of electricity. With the rural electrification project extended to Pajwenda, Auro School will also be able to rely on both the installed solar system and the electricity provided by the national agency ‘Umeme’ (Swahili for electricity). The benefits of this are immense. First, the institution will now be able to fully utilise all industrial and electrical tools so that students will have sufficient experience using the equipment before being placed in jobs after completing their courses.
Second, with the supply of electricity from ‘Umeme’ and the solar system, Auro will be one of the few institutions guaranteed to have a 24 hour supply of power regardless of the frequent blackouts common in Tororo.
Another significant development is the agriculture project. Due to the success of the agriculture project last year, which covered the bulk of the students’ meals for the better part of three months, this year Auro decided to slightly increase the scale of operations. The school hired a five-acre plot of land which will be used to grow maize and beans. If the success of the previous year is anything to go by, this will greatly subsidise all meals expenses.
The school was able to purchase a maize seed husk remover machine thanks to a donor from Germany. This will enable the school to fully process all the crops grown for the meal scheme and to generate a little bit of money through grinding and processing crops for the community.
There is still a huge focus on the academic development and future of the students. Staff have made contact with one of the largest companies in Jinja with whom a relationship had previously been established by One Cause director, Aashish Nathwani, and an Auro Foundation delegation two years ago. The general manager has already pledged to employ all graduates from the Tailoring and Carpentry departments.
With an abundance of tools and materials for the different departments and the increased exposure to managing projects, it looks like the current class will be well-prepared for life in the city and are sure to make all the stakeholders proud.