Last month we featured one of the teachers connected to our Mother Tongue project in Uganda. She talked about the difference the project has made to students. Now, after our project coordinator’s visit in March, we wanted to share some of the ways parents, teachers and communities have taken the project even further. Here are just a couple of examples of the initiative and innovation people have shown in advancing local language education over the past year.
At Kisimunga Primary, the parent literacy group is very active and are working to encourage other parents to get involved. They have been using drama to spread awareness of the benefits of parents joining their children in learning basic literacy. Some of the main benefits they are highlighting include being able to read signs and letters, reading health record for their children and understanding prices and measurements at the market.
Because there are few local language learning materials, the teachers at Padrombu Primary are creating their own. After being given computer for their schools, teachers have started to create local language readers for students. One teacher, James, has made a letter wheel to help teach phonics in the local language. Teachers are also able to send report cards and letters home to parents all written in simple local language to make sure parents understand them.
Aside from work in schools, communities are encouraged to establish home learning centres for adult learners and young children. The community around Padrombo Primary have been using their learning centre as a pre-school. They were given a ‘how-to-guide’ for play equipment and with their own resources and labour have built slides, swings and see-saws from local materials. When our programme coordinator visited the home centre, some of the women were making dolls for the children to play with.
In Preneta, the community has the largest home learning centre with 72 pre-school children registered. They didn’t even wait for project funds to get started. They organised themselves and everyone who could contributed the equivalent of £1.25 and with a bit of free local labour they were able to establish a centre and also buy mats, blackboards, table and porridge for the children. They say their next step is to create a proper nursery space for the youngest children.
It’s very exciting to see both parents and teachers so involved. With this level of dedication and leadership, you can see how the impact of this project will help change education in this region for years to come.