Tell us about your idea
In Uganda, majority of learners are in rural communities and in public schools. These come from poverty stricken households and their education is fundamental in determining whether they break the family chain of illiteracy and poverty or not. There are also many children who cannot afford the school requirements like books, shoes among others, who therefore stay home. These account for the 1 in every 10 children who have never been to school and the more than 22% who have dropped out. In rural communities these statistics are worse. The situation has further been worsened by Covid 19 pandemic. There are many children who are going to drop out of school or whose chances of enrolling have been compromised by the pandemic.
The idea is to work with teachers to record class sessions for primary and secondary school pupils and have these aired over radio during identified times where the pupils are at home and able to listen in and learn. The idea is to ensure that children can learn from home as well as offer an education opportunity to those who would rather have not been able to attend school for lack of basic requirements. Parents would be sensitised about the program and therefore encouraged to allow children to listen. Children will have to finish their domestic chores on time in order to concentrate during the study sessions. The advantage is that almost 90% of rural households own a radio or a phone with radio therefore that’s a resource to be leveraged. Through the idea, a national examinations centre for PlE, UCE and UACE will be established so that children can register and sit for national examinations for promotion to the next level. Pupils can be examined before registration. This will also give an opportunity to volunteer teachers from world over to record sessions for rural children. There will be live question and answer sessions like twice a month were children call in and ask questions. This will be for all subjects. Every once a school term, curriculum material will be distributed to the pupils to use as they follow the radio sessions and to send in questions through a toll free line.
With this, we can create a system where even the least privileged children can go to school and have same study sessions with privileged children.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
I am a social worker who is passionate about social development. MY work revolves around supporting rural households with the resources they need to thrive. The communities I work in are poverty stricken. Only a few can afford to take their children to public school where education is presumably free. So with the Covid 19 pandemic, parents who had previously taken children to school, might not be able to return them as a result to the measures which are being put in place to prevent the spread the virus. I feel if nothing is done many children are going to drop out of school while others will fail to join.