In Uganda about 37% of the of the pupils who complete primary school education do not progress to secondary according to World Bank’s 13th report titled: Economic Update on Human Capital in Uganda released in 2019. This is due to a number of reasons such as failure to meet the set performance target, as well as various social and economic factors.
This is not any different from Betty Tiisa Asalirwa’s story ten years ago. With a pocket full of dreams, the then 13-year-old from Kyengera Parents Day and Boarding Primary School, who had scored aggregate 4 in Primary Leaving Examinations, saw her dreams crash before her when she failed to raise tuition worth UGX 875.000.
Tiisa who is the last born in the family of four children knew that if miracles, which she still believed in, didn’t happen soon, then she would not have a chance to join secondary school despite her excellent results. Her mother, Noerine Nantongo – who was already separated from her father – was only a bread vendor in Kyengera. Her father, Christopher Sentongo, a peasant in Rakai. Together, they were struggling to send her three siblings to school.
Worried that her vacancy at her first-choice school St. Mary’s College, Namagunga would be forfeited, Tiisa together with her aunt, Christine Nakamatte Kato (who had taken her under her care from the age of two), asked New Vision to appeal to well-wishers who could stitch her niece’s already breaking dream and make it whole.
On 13 February 2011 her story was published in the New Vision and it caught the attention of CiplaQCIL, just three days before the beginning of a new term. CiplaQCIL reached out with an offer to meet all the costs of Tiisa’s secondary and university education.
“When we reached CiplaQCIL, they offered to meet all the costs associated with her education. That very day we were also taken to the market to buy all the school requirements. It was indeed God at work,” said Nakamatte blissfully.
Tiisa went ahead to attend her dream school St. Mary’s College, Namagunga for both O’ and A’ level and thereafter attended Makerere University on full scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry.
Today she is working as a production trainee at CiplaQCIL for six months and is excited for her future with the company.
“We did not stop at giving her a chance to education. We have been apart of this amazing journey by giving her an opportunity to work during her senior six vacation, internship placement and employment immediately after graduation,” said CiplaQCIL management.