Each year Xavier Project runs an English Course for refugee children. The English Course lasts for seven weeks and is run in December and January, prior to the beginning of the school year. The English Course is taught by a combination of registered Ugandan teachers, teachers from within the refugee community and volunteers.
English is the language of instruction in Ugandan schools (aside from the first three years of primary school where a local language is often used). Refugee children who come from countries where English is not the language of instruction, find it difficult to adjust to Ugandan schools. Students who were in secondary school or near the end of primary school in their country of origin, may be forced into lower primary classes with students half their age. Although the official policy in Uganda is that refugees should integrate into the Ugandan school system, the Ugandan government and UNHCR do not support any English classes for refugee children. The Xavier Project English Course is an attempt to fill this gap.
The English Course is also a way that we select students to sponsor. Teachers monitor students academic achievement and attitude towards learning during the English Course, and at the end of the Course, depending on what funds are available, we select students to sponsor.
The English Course was first run in December 2012 – January 2013, and was attended by 56 children. In December 2013 – January 2014, the English Course was expanded to include 100 children.