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Read-action: Innovative methods to breaking barriers to quality education for children affected by COVID 19 pandemic lockdown in Uganda.

We provide access to books and other essential educational materials to parents & caregivers serving children affected by pendamic lockdown.

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In Uganda, the closure of learning institutions, movement’s restrictions and open markets caused by the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic have posed a huge challenge in the learning activities of children affected by the pandemic lockdown. These challenges include; limited access to books and other educational resources that are critical to the learning activities for children under pandemic lockdown. Having access to books is one of the main determinants of a child’s future education level, but during this COVID 19 lockdown it is very difficult for children to have access to books and other learning materials. This limited access to books and other educational materials will limit educational achievements of children affected by COVID 19 lockdown especially those from rural and low income communities compared to their counter parts from wealthy peers in urban communities thus leading these children to future poverty, unemployment, social exclusion, and involvement in crime. Read-action is a social enterprise that provides access to books and other essential educational resources to parents and caregivers serving children during this COVID 19 pandemic lockdown. Our approach includes a team of educators who uses motorcycles and bicycles to move from house to house selling books and other educational materials to parents and educators serving children under pandemic lockdown. Through our sustainable, market-driven model, we aim at breaking down barriers to quality education by providing access to free and affordable high-quality books and other educational resources like exercise books, pens, calculators, examination instructions at an affordable price.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

In the pre-COVID 19 Ugandan education system, books and other educational materials have been scarce but critical for children. Having access to books and other essential learning materials are one of the main determinants of children’s future educational level. Even though the research indicates that just the presence of books at home improves educational outcomes (Sikora, et al. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.10.003),over 80% of children in Uganda have no access to books at home while the ratio of books to children in public schools is 1:30 (World Bank, 2011). This limited access to books and other educational materials affects more children from rural and low income communities compared to their counter parts from more wealthy peers in urban communities and private schools. I would wish to leave this part in the past because it has been instrumental in limiting educational achievements of the majority children thus leading to future poverty and involvement in crime.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

My name is Mutambi Samuel. I have been working as a teacher for the last five years. During this lockdown, I wanted to find the means of keeping in touch with my students so I decided to print and deliver reading notes to them in order to keep them in the learning moods. This action pleased the parents and attracted the attention of other parents from neighboring schools who requested me to deliver to their children at a cost. This initiative inspired me to start a social enterprise called Read-action in order to attract more teachers and educators to build the capacity to help in breaking the barriers to education during the COVID 19 pendamic lockdown by providing access to books and other educational materials at student’s home using motorcycles and bicycles.

What region are you located in?

  • Eastern Africa

Where are you located?

Kampala, Uganda

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