From VOA learning English, this is the Education Report.
Award-winning Ugandan education activist Beatrice Ayuru says thousands of girls have reached her dream of a good education. But she says the struggle to guarantee schooling for all is far from over.
Ms. Ayuru’s activism started in her childhood. She was one of 16 children. Her father valued education and supported her desire for it. She graduated from high school, despite the poverty and cultural barriers affecting women in Uganda. Ms. Ayuru was then the first student from her school to attend a national university.
After finishing at Makerere University she began teaching. At age 19, Ms. Ayuru had just become the mother of the second of her six children. She had no money. But her father gave her land. She says it was the need to support her children that made her work hard. In 2000, she opened Lira Integrated School in a poor area of the city of Lira. Money from farming and several small businesses helped her build the school.
At the time, the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, was terrorizing the area. But in 2007, the LRA lost its fight for control of northern Uganda and fled the area. Beatrice Ayuru’s school has been doing well ever since.
It teaches 1,500 students from nursery through high school. The school gives money to poor students who show promise. It accepts both girls and boys. Ms. Ayuru says having both sexes study together is important because it helps boys to respect girls. She is taking steps towards building a university, and getting closer to reaching her dream.