Meet Eugene Bwanike, head teacher at Bridge, Kagoma in Uganda. He’s been at the academy for three and a half years, having been a teacher for many years before that. He joined Bridge because he saw an opportunity to “acquire skills in educational management” but has ended up learning much more than he expected.
So what’s different about Bridge? Well, Eugene feels that their lessons are more concerned with the children, emphasising “the child’s capacity,” he says. He explains that Bridge is focused on ensuring children are engaged; it’s not just up to the teacher to do the lesson, children are taught to think for themselves.
This has an impact on teachers as well as pupils, he argues. “At Bridge teachers feel part of the system, it is theirs, not like they are just under instruction.” As a result, Eugene comments on how much more motivated Bridge teachers are. He’s keen to see teachers listen to pupils’ ideas, explaining that: “even when children are really young, you learn from them, you find they are giving you good ideas.”
Eugene is passionate about educating the children in his community, explaining what it’ll mean for them and their families. He wants children to understand “why they’re at school” and to know their rights. He also “wants children to feel free when they’re at school!” he exclaims, demonstrating the ethos that makes him such a great head teacher.