Article: Christopher George
'CLASS' by London-based photographer Ben Katzler is a series of candid images taken during one day at the Bigando School in Masindi, north western Uganda where he spent time working with the NGO, Redearth Education to document their work in primary schools.
The photos included in this exhibition capture how these children spend their days at in education, their moods, routines and how they interact with one another in and out of the classroom.
In cross sections of society and class, children are children and all have the same needs of community and support.
Katzler spoke about this body of work and his experience:
“Having lived my whole life in the UK where we constantly hear about the shortcomings of state run education, it was remarkable to see how eager the kids were and the fulfilment they showed by being in a learning environment, even though funding may not even cover the barest of essentials like books and pencils.
There was a collective desire and determination to learn. They clearly understood the difference that an education will make in their lives; an understanding which, sadly, most of their parents never had the opportunity to realise and one which so many kids here in the UK still have a hard time grasping.”
Its important to witness the lives of other's especially the vulnerable.
Katzler presents these stories via his visual documentation, these stories often being over looked cultural issues that bring a message home to our society regarding the education system in our own towns and cities.
Redearth Education was set up to train primary school teachers in Uganda and the wider continent in active techniques and methodologies otherwise unknown in the region.
In the 132 schools where their programmes are currently implemented, literacy levels have risen from as low as 0% up to 80%. The drop-out rate of school children before they reach high school (nationally as high as 80%) has seen significant reductions in the schools supported by Redearth and this has been attributed largely to the new levels of and engagement shown
April 23rd – 28th, 2018
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