Learning in your mother-tongue

Posted Sunday March 15, 2015 by Africa Educational Trust

Learning in your mother-tongue

Meet Mary, the deputy head teacher of one of our partner schools in Uganda, Arua Public Primary School. Mary says that since the introduction of the Mother Tongue project at her school she has seen a transformation in her students. The project aims to use the local mother tongue of the students, Lugbarati, to encourage students to speak out in class, encouraging participation and greater learning. This use of the local language has helped the children to ask questions when they don’t understand, with Mary stating “Where they were meek before, they now talk freely.” This is a powerful example of the success of this project.

“Where they were meek before, they now talk freely”

Alongside the improvements in engagements from students, the project has also brought parents into the classroom. At Africa Educational Trust we believe that it is not just teachers who are involved in the estudent learningducation of children but parents too. It is never too late to learn! Mary told us about the way the school day is structured at Arua Public Primary School: “The school now has structured ‘class days’ for each class where the teachers meet and discuss children’s education with the parents as a group and on a one–to–one basis.”

These parent classes have attracted a great deal of interest in the local community. This community-led education is key to us at Africa Educational Trust, helping to achieve our aim to provide education to those who need it. In Uganda, many of the parents of students were deprived of an education during the conflict. Through this community-led education project we are ensuring that not only the primary school children are receiving a quality education, but that parents are receiving literacy and numeracy skills as well. This project is at the heart of what we do at Africa Educational Trust, and we are thankful to Mary and everyone at Arua Public Primary School for all their work.

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