Jumpstart! UpdateMarch 10, 2017
A HUGE thank-you to all of our Jumpstart donors!
We are working with 10 nursery schools in the Nwoya District of Northern Uganda, to improve the quality of nursery education available. Our Jumpstart programme focuses on Early Childhood Development (ECD), which affects 7,000 children in the Nwoya District. Since our project began, dropout rates have reduced from an average of 16% to 3% in the schools we’re working with, and enrolment figures have also improved.
Classrooms: Jumpstart! is transforming nurseries across Northern Uganda to create stimulating learning environments for children. 310 books have been published and 720 learning/play materials have been produced to improve student’s engagement during lessons. The emotional learning environment has also been improved – teachers have developed codes of conduct to encourage mutual respect, observing the children’s rights and encouraging good behaviour amongst pupils.
Teacher-training: We have trained 26 nursery teachers, and a remarkable 433 primary teachers, in Early Childhood Development (ECD). We have also sent 19 unqualified nursery teachers on training to become qualified Caregivers. We have additionally trained tutors at the teacher training colleges in ECD, to ensure future teacher training provides teachers with the best possible ECD learning.
Playgrounds: Nursery playgrounds have been built at four schools, but unfortunately the build of the remaining 6 has been delayed as our partner EAP (East African Playgrounds) had previous commitments to UNHCR.
However, the construction of these 6 playgrounds has now begun. Playgrounds promote ECD by providing a stimulating environment – they attract a lot of interest from the local community!
Speed Schools: The speed schools aspect of the Jumpstart! programme has been a huge success. We have trained 30 facilitators to teach 724 children who missed out on a lot of their education. Speed school facilitators condense primary 1-3 into a one-year course, allowing pupils to re-enter mainstream education for primary 4. This month we secured further funding from Geneva Global to continue the programme next year in 40 schools, with the potential to expand the project into a further 20 schools in the region.
We have partnered with STIR Education in Uganda, to create a teacher-led movement with the aim of improving children’s learning in our ECD centres. This movement has an annual focus, set by teachers – this years’ focus is ‘checking pupil understanding before moving on’. Teachers are therefore empowered to improve the quality of education together.
To ensure improved enrolment and retention rates, we have engaged children’s parents in the project. Each class has now elected one female and one male parent leader to lead discussions and organise activities. The number of parents attending the annual open day at these nurseries has increased massively. Parents’ contribution towards this project has been valued at £2,200.
Village Savings and Loan Associations: We have now established Village Savings Loan Associations at all the schools, and parents have saved a total of £2,600. This helps to promote saving in the communities and ensures that parents can pay their school fees. When the village has adequate savings, the parents can borrow money and pay it back with a much lower interest rate than municipal banks. These associations mean that parents form much stronger links with schools, as they can observe lessons and meet teachers. Improving parent engagement has a positive impact on both enrolment and dropout rates.
If you’d like any further details, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
This project and the huge impact it is having on nursery education in Northern Uganda, wouldn’t have been possible without your donation.
This project has been made possible by match funding by UK aid.