The Government of Uganda closed schools in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Ministry of Education, more than 73,000 learning institutions are closed leaving 15 million learners and 600,00 refugee learners out of school.
The Covid-19 pandemic threatens to reverse years of educational progress in Uganda, where education is recognized as a powerful tool for economic development and social transformation.
Bridge believes every child has the right to high quality education and works in partnership with governments, communities, parents and teachers to ensure access to quality education. We continue supporting remote learning in Uganda to ensure that interruption to education is as minimal as possible.
Uganda is a country with one of the youngest populations in the world. The closure of schools has kept over 2 million young children out of early learning development centers and over 10 million children out of primary schools.
Now, more than ever, is the time to support remote learning initiatives that keep the doors of learning open to reduce learning loss when schools are re-opened. Bridge has devised several platforms to support teachers, parents/caregivers and all those who are positioned to provide education to children during this time when schools are closed.
Lesson Guides for Home Learning
Bridge has developed lesson guides for families to use with their children. These include parent-friendly lesson plans, short lessons, targeted practice questions, and answer keys that are made available online.
Interactive Mobile Quizzes
According to Uganda Communications Commission, Uganda has 63.9% mobile penetration. A 2017/2018 National Information Technology Survey found that at an individual level, 70.9% individuals owned a mobile device. Mobile phone is the single most transformative tool for development in this century, and is gaining acceptance as a learning tool.
Quizzes are an unusually effective strategy in helping children retain what they learn. To serve pupils best, Bridge integrates quizzes with the pupils’ learning plans to make them feel relaxed and comfortable. Quizzes provide pupils with an opportunity to practice a wide range of skills, from using vocabulary to solving math equations, and receiving feedback.
WhatsApp in Education is a reality. Bridge has taken advantage of this platform for the benefit of the learning process. While technology offers multiple ways for a child to access learning content, remote learning is exponentially stronger when a teacher provides feedback and guidance on a child’s work.
Bridge has deployed training resources, protocols and guidance to teachers to interact directly with students, at least several times per week over WhatsApp. Prompts and activities are pushed daily through the WhatsApp groups to pupils and their parents.
The teacher interaction between pupils and teachers via the WhatsApp groups relieves pressure off the parents and caregivers, while at the same time strengthening parent/teacher relationship. It also helps ensuring that teachers remain at the center of children’s learning experience.
. The interruption to education by this pandemic can have long term negative effects, especially to the most vulnerable children, if measures are not put in place to support remote learning. There is a real risk of regression for children whose basic foundational learning was not strong to begin with. We face difficult circumstances, but we must cope to reduce the loss of learning when schools are re-opened