The Peace School began at the Uganda Buddhist Centre (UBC)as a Sunday Dhamma School in November 2008. The main focus for its establishment was on reforming the character of children through the inculcation and practice of morality, mental concentration and wisdom.
The School began with four children aged (5-11) years. Bhante Buddharakkhita began teaching children with Dhamma stories that relate to real life experiences. It was then that Ugandan and visiting volunteers expounded upon this teaching. The teachers and children were keen to share their own experiences and also eager to learn from each other. The Abbot of UBC offered some scholarships to children mainly from under-resourced families.
The number of children started growing from time to time making a total of 15 children by 2009. The first batch of children was offered an annual scholarship fund for their school fees. Donations of blackboards were generously offered by Sri Lankan Buddhist followers living in Uganda. Other people offered exercise books to the children for the whole term of three months.
Realizing the benefits of bringing their children to attend the Peace School Dhamma classes, more parents started sending their children to the Centre. Between 2010 and 2015, the total number of children in the Dhamma School was fifty (50).
The number of children became overwhelming yet UBC didn’t have enough facilities to cater for such a big number. We used to teach children under tree shades, which was challenging especially in times of rainy seasons, not until in 2014 when we received a tent from where we could conduct classes for children.
The School maintained its founding spirit serving over 30 children from Bulega and the surrounding communities. Teachers are volunteers, local and foreigners who come with their unique backgrounds, global perspectives and experiences to provide a structured learning atmosphere for young children focusing on both individual and group learning.
Peace for All.
The Peace School is committed to bringing forth knowledge and wisdom, values, skills and health.
The aim of the Peace School is to provide education in an ethical learning environment so that children can become conscientious citizens. The school aspires to offer a mindfulness-based education that will contribute to inner and outer peace and care for the natural environment. The school is grounded in a Buddhist perspective but also teaches traditional African ethics and values, such as the philosophy of Ubuntu, explained as “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.
The school is serenely situated within Bulega village, Garuga in Entebbe, Wakiso District. The school is purposely located in Bulega to accommodate students from its locality and those from other parts of the country.
In its infancy stage, the school has a substantial number of full-time staffs recruited from the neighboring villages and other parts of the country. We also often receive international volunteers from around the world who come to support the school.
To ensure higher educational standards, the Peace School uses the National Learning Framework for Early Childhood Development for the nursery section and progress of educational experiences is continuously monitored.
The school is an educational project of the Uganda Buddhist Centre and its day-to-day operations are run by the Centre’s team. Inclusivity is one of our goals. We stand to provide inclusive education to all individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. We welcome all children and staff from the various religions, races, spiritual traditions, gender inclusivity, ethnics and so on. Current enrollment includes children and staff from different faiths.
Like any growing school out there, we are faced with a number of challenges. These include but not limited to:
- Lack of permanent learning classrooms to teach children – currently, we are teaching under temporary classrooms. We need funds to build permanent classrooms for the nursery and primary sections.
- Limited funds in our scholarship program, yet there are number of children needing support in their education. We need more funds.
We are also looking forward to building partnerships with schools and organizations or companies that will support and promote our vision and mission.
Moving forward—Strategic Direction
We are inspired by the enthusiasm of our children to learn and the achievements of our history. Peace School continues to grow and we believe that every child can benefit from all our programs.
As we embark on our next phase of evolution, we are planning to construct a primary section which will later develop into a secondary school and ultimately the first African Buddhist university.