Terakoya – Literacy Education
The “Terakoya” literacy education program began in 2007. It is based on the terakoya (“temple school”) system of private education that existed in Japan during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Although the Ugandan Government provides free education via Universal Primary Education (UPE), orphans of Ashinaga Uganda are not able to study even at primary school. Their guardians cannot afford even basic school requirements, such as uniforms, lunch, and classroom materials. At Terakoya, they study English, math, science, social studies, and physical education.
There are currently 52 orphans, aged from 7 to 15, in the Terakoya Program. Many of them had never been in school before or had dropped out of school at early stage. Initially, most students could not read or write an alphabet, count in English, or do simple arithmetic. Since the beginning their studies at Terakoya, these students have learned many new things, and they have experienced a great joy of studying.
At Ashinaga Uganda, we firmly believe that education is the only way to escape from poverty. It is our sincere hope that the Terakoya program will produce many future leaders.
In 2011, 7 Terakoya students finished the Terakoya program, and they have joined public schools as Primary 5. They go to school cheerfully by using “Terakoya Scholaship”.