Sikonge was the last of the three FDCs to be supported by FUM, in 2004. It is smaller than the other two but still offers a good range of courses.
Government responsibility for FDCs has now passed to the Ministry of Education from the Ministry of Community Affairs. Early in 2018 the decision was made to rebuild the Administration Block that was destroyed by the fire in August 2017 and Acting Principal, Mr Shilinde, says that work started in February.
Major fire at Sikonge
The FDC Administration Block was destroyed by a fire that started around 2 a.m. on 26 August 2017. An electrical fault is suspected but an official investigation is underway.
The principal Mr Luambano is suspended during the investigation and the college is in the capable hands of Acting Principal Mr Shilinde.
When FUM Treasurer Nick Vinall visited three weeks later he was impressed by the determination of the College Board and all the staff to maintain teaching and the curriculum, especially for students with important exams before Christmas. As a result FUM paid the student bursaries that had been suspended soon after the fire while we awaited more information.
Additional water resources were funded to replace those destroyed as a result of the fire.
Other news 2017
New water supply The FDC has long been troubled by poor access to clean water, being dependent on unreliable shallow wells and rainwater harvesting. But that has now changed radically, with help from the local water 'boss' Mr Benjamin Brighton.
Two developments were funded were funded by FUM:
- The FDC has now been connected to the improved town water supply. Water meters have been installed so that the FDC, the Principal's and staff houses are metered separately and each pays for its own usage.
- To help reduce the metered supply costs the existing but slightly dilapidated rainwater harvesting system is being refurbished and extended. This water is available free to all at the college.
Initiatives The College principal Mr Deo Luambano has needed to be resourceful in creating money-making projects to supplement the income received from government. Sikonge offers their main hall for seminars which brings an income of TShs 30,000 (£10) on each occasion.
The kindergarten, housed in a building partly funded by Cranbrook School in 2013, has become a big success, due in great part to the skill and enthusiasm of the teacher.
Each child gets breakfast when they arrive in the morning.
The college motor bike has been repaired, a great help when visiting villages during recruitment of students. This was successful, with ten students from poor families receiving support from FUM
The college small holding has been planted and it is hoped that the rains will be sufficient to give a good harvest.
Prior to his transfer in December 2014 the then Principal Mr Mguba had introduced more modern courses in domestic electrical installation and computer skills, both more relevant for students seeking employment in the local economy.
The Acting Principal was keen to continue these courses but there are frequent problems due to the unreliable electricity supply to the college. The laptop computers supplied by FUM are well used and the battery packs conveniently take over when the power goes off. Internet access via a mobile dongle is slow and unreliable so is limited to sending and receiving emails.
The good quality sewing machines supplied by Workaid in 2014 are well used, with the treadle ones especially useful when the power goes off.
Tailoring students help develop their skills by making low cost uniforms for local primary school children. Both the students and the college benefit from the income generated.