Enhancing Learning and School Performance

Raising early school literacy levels across the marginalised and disadvantaged communities of Lake Albert in Western Uganda

What we achieved

32
early grade literacy teachers in Uganda supported with training on teaching in local language, Runyoro, in two districts leading to improvement in learners’ literacy levels
24
School Management Committee and Parent Teacher Association members trained on their roles and responsibilities under the later phase of the project
1
set of standardised literacy testing tools developed in the local language of Lugungu and piloted by Link to support the on-going assessment of learners’ development
20 hours
of individualised support for early years teachers in Buliisa and Hoima districts contributed to improvements in literacy skills for 4,795 learners

Background

Oil bearing areas on the shores of Lake Albert in Western Uganda have traditionally been marginalised with the communities living there receiving little external support. Learning outcomes are very poor – due in part to the economic life of the fishing and nomadic herding communities that populate the area – meaning few children complete primary school.

Link has been working to improve education and change attitudes towards learning amongst the communities in this region since 2009.

Aims and objectives

The Tullow Oil Link School Improvement Project (TOLSIP) focused on improving the quality of education in 56 target schools in Hoima and Buliisa districts. We used our school performance review to inform school management and governance training as well as the support and training of teachers to enhance school functionality and performance.

The Early Learning Enhancement Project (ELEP) built on this work to improve early learning outcomes for pupils in target primary schools in Western Uganda. The aim was to provide short term intensive classroom support to early grade teachers plus increased support from school management to raise the literacy levels of early learners. The Literacy and School Support Project in Buliisa (LaSSIB) was an extension of ELEP, targeting six Lugungu speaking schools to raise teaching quality and learner literacy levels.

The hypothesis underpinning all projects was that early grade teachers who receive short term intensive classroom support alongside school management support will see a more rapid increase in literacy levels than those with no school-based support.

How we got there

While featuring standard elements like school performance review and literacy training, our approach was multi-dimensional and reactive to school realities. Consequently, no two schools experienced the project in exactly the same way with interventions shaped to specific needs of each school.

The broad activities for this group of projects included:

  • School performance reviews and school performance appraisal meetings conducted to inform school improvement plans
  • Training of School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Associations in enhanced community participation in education
  • Intensive training for lower primary teachers in literacy and mathematics
  • Training of School Management Teams in school management skills
  • Capacity building for District Education Departments