Leading education advocacy efforts in Uganda

FENU, The Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda, is the national coalition of over 100 civil society and community-based organisations who improve education through joint advocacy work aimed at influencing government and campaigning for change. Last month, we were pleased to attend a meeting with over 54 members to discuss and agree on the coalition’s key advocacy priorities for 2021.

At that meeting, we presented the findings from our recent school improvement reports from 100 public primary schools across Kikuube, Hoima and Bulissa districts. These showed that 60% of schools were not achieving minimum standards on over half of the 18 National Education Standard indicators. Sharing our data helped FENU members to pull together the group’s advocacy priorities.

  • Only 18% of schools in our districts met the minimum government standards for access and equity. Accordingly, FENU is now committed to advocating for a school inclusion policy to be drafted to support school leaders and communities to better provide for the needs of all children. This will include advocating that social and emotional learning be included in the curriculum.
  • 60% of schools did not reach minimum standards for staff deployment and development. FENU will lobby for the government to release funding for essential CPD training for teachers.
  • We know just how powerful access to good data can be to help governments direct limited resources and support to where they are needed most. That’s why FENU will also call for refresher training for school inspectors and urge the government to hire more – to ensure that good quality inspection continues to be based on an evidence-led approach to school improvement activities.

With the combined expertise and voices of the group, we’re hopeful that good progress can be made towards addressing our concerns. There’s certainly a lot of work ahead, but I’m proud to be part of this national coalition and believe that we can help make a positive change.

Josephine Akiru is the Programme Director of Link in Uganda