Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for innovative solutions through home based accelerated education programme in Kyangwali Refugee settlement

Teacher

A baseline study conducted by the MIRP Consortium (Mutual and Interrelated Resilience Program) in Kikuube District and Kyangwali refugee settlement demonstrated that only 33% of refugees and 67% of the host community are attending formal schools. In order to support the Government of Uganda’s effort to address the issue, the MIRP consortium will support the education sector by enrolling 3400 children in the Accelerated Education Program (AEP) over the 4 years.

Today 1,971 learners are already enrolled in the AEP using innovative approaches during this pandemic.

The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic caused a country-wide shut down of all schools for the majority of 2020, emphasizing the need for adapted schooling and thus ignited a home-schooling component in the Accelerated Education Program (AEP).

In partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister and local government, MIRP partner organization- Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) recruited and equipped 44 teachers from the refugee and host communities with skills in the home based teaching approach for the AEP curriculum, which is based on tools and materials developed by the Uganda ministry of education and sports. They were further trained in the implementation of COVID-19 response mechanisms for schools, including social distancing, sanitization and mask-wearing.

According to Gaspali Innocent, the AEP Lead Teacher in charge of home schooling in Mombasa A village, the program is positively impacting the lives of youth in Kyangwali settlement:

“Previously our village never had a school and most youth were idle. When COVID-19 came and the country was locked down, we were almost sure that the young people would not benefit from education. When NRC came and introduced the AEP home school approach, we were able to enrol 400 youth in Mombasa A village and group them in smaller groups of 10 within the community. So even with the national gathering restrictions, our school has been able to continue to educate students. In this approach, we encourage a lot of reading by students in a supervised classroom setting, which is helping to improve the reading culture among the youth.”

According to Kemigisa Joyce, a senior woman teacher in the program,  flexible teaching approaches are enabling us to tackle others subjects as well such the usage  of renewable sanitary pads, the menstrual hygiene management, the importance of the education for those who dropped out and much more.

“Through training, I learned how to use interactive teaching methods such as experience sharing and small group discussions to develop useful relationships with the older girls in my classes. I have counselled some girls who have given birth since they dropped out of school, and they now know that they still need to take classes seriously for their future. These good practices are helping more girls to come to school. In the beginning we had about 10 girls, and now they have increased to 26.”

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

With support from the Embassy of Sweden, the Act Church of Sweden in partnership with Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Action Against Hunger (ACF) is implementing the Mutual Inter related Resilience Program (MIRP), a four-year community resilience program that seeks to combine humanitarian, development and peace building initiatives in Kyangwali refugee settlement and Kikuube district to promote sustainable development.