Thursday, 7 March 2013


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ms. Medrace (seated) during the school visit at Alang Primary school, Kole District, Feb, 2013
  The Education Local Expertise Centre Uganda was founded by Edukans in the year 2010 as its front desk country office in Uganda. Edukans is a Netherlands based development organization with a unique focus on basic education. It recognizes that today 75 million children worldwide do not attend school although every child is entitled to high quality basic education.
The ELECU works with partners in Teso, Lango, and Rwenzori sub region to implement activities in support of improvement of quality basic education. The programme addresses gaps in community participation, literacy, and numeracy, vulnerable children and teachers’ capacity and motivation. In all, there is a strong link to conflict and peace building, food and nutrition and economic empowerment among others.  
In 2012, Edukans through the ICCO Alliance funded partners to implement programmes for an initial period of one year. RWECO which is a consortium of four Non Governmental Organizations (KALI, GHFRD, RICNET and IWDP) in conjunction with CfSU are in partnership and running EPP project with a goal: Improved literacy and proficiency levels in English language of 9000 primary school pupils and 450 teachers by 2014.  
1.0   Theme : Community involvement for improved quality basic education
All Edukans partners work directly or indirectly with communities to enhance the quality of education for all within the country’s policy  frame- work (Education Act; NDP;JAF;QEI)2 .

2.0   Objectives

1.       Exposure to different education initiatives focusing (among others) on increased and improved community participation in primary education;
        2. Interaction and consultation- also with district local government representatives- around challenges and opportunities, lessons learned, and good practices of on- going and new initiatives by Edukans partners.
Further strengthen strategic cooperation and complementarily among and between Edukans partners, district, local governments and Ugandan partner organization activities.   
Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence, on having received an invitation letter from Education Expertise Centre Uganda, on 25th/February/2013, two EPP programme officers :( RWECO, SfCU) ms Balira Medrace and Ms. Kamba Lydia respectively travelled to Lira to attend a 3 days’ Learning and Exchange visits for Edukans Partners. Thus: reporting day 25th, and arrived at exactly 5:49pm, closure was 28th at 3:37pm.
The Learning and Exchange visit and Program Review participants were hosted by Local Expertise Centre at Hotel Margherita Palace in Lira town. 
Ms. Connie (left) appreciating work done by CEASOP with the community in Kole district, Feb, 2013
 The Learning visit and programme Review started well on 26th Feb. at 8:30 am with a warm welcome and opening remarks by Connie Alezuyo , including brief introduction of the  participants as well as taking a cup of tea and   a brief on field visits and thereafter went to the field in two groups under two leading teams,  namely :    CEASOP, and TPO/POBEDAM. Group 1 departed for TPO/PODAM site at Alebtong and  group 2 went to CEASOP main vocational training center.
The major aim of the field visits is to enable all Edukans Partners access Rural Outreach Centres in Lango sub-region and see what is being done to ensure effective community participation in education delivery and how best to and collaboratively address the gaps in community participation, literacy, and numeracy, vulnerable children and teachers’ capacity and motivation which led to high quality basic education.
CEASOP Vocation training centre recruits drop outs especially primary pupils and vulnerable children plus orphans in and around Lira town. The institution provide basic skills such as; constraction and  brick laying and concrete practice, carpentry and joinery, catering, tailoring and motor vehicle mechanics, black smith metal fabrication, hair dressing, knitting business skills, bee keeping/apiary/horticulture and home management.
At 2:00pm, the participants visited  Alang primary school in Kole district and interacted with staff,  members of school management committee on school performance who appreciated the role played by CEASOP as : construction of a pit latrine, sensitization of parents about their roles as in providing scholastic materials and lunch for their children which in turn increased their concentration thus improved performance that enabled school reach  to a height of one pupil getting first grade, promising to get as many grades as possible the sky is the limit.   
-The strategies applied to improve the vocational training are: -village loans savings and schemes association.
-Use of technical personnel/ local resources to provide skills and follow up of training.
-Trade survey to aid trainers train on only needed skills within the community.
CEASOP has one major training center and three, outreach canters which have led to:
-Acquisition of skills that has led to improvement in trainees incomes for instance Abeja Brenda and Among Ruth of Kole training center testified that  parents give them clothes which they make into finished fabrics. Also brick laying skills acquired by Mary Rose and Okello Jimmy who have built a titanic house told their true story of how they earn Shs.8000  per day.   

-Shortage of sawing machines, show cased by eight machines being used by 21 trainees.
-High costs because trainees pay Shs.130,000  plus food items which is not always paid in time.
-Lack of teaching-learning materials like clothing, cookery ingredients, plus instructional materials as: designing chats with different modern fashions.
-Shortage of instructors especially in catering and home management department.
-Duration period for training basic skills is too long (2years)

-CEASOP in collaboration with ELECU should provide more tailoring machines to both main and outreach centres.
 Provide trainees with a variety of learning materials as fashion charts.  
 -Reduce on training period for basic skills instead introduce better training manual in patterning and designing to meet the community demand
The workshop was adjourned on 28th Feb./ 2013 with administrative closing remarks by Connie as follows:
-MOSIQUE  activities will start in March 6, 2013 and will deal with tutors (monitoring & sharing in education)
-Concerning ICT, the Donor (Jennifer) is likely to arrive on 18th march 2013 and will be visiting EPP and SfCU in the Rwenzori region.
A two day training workshop in April most likely he first week o last week the month in the Rwenzori region.
-Selection of  STAR SCHOOLS among EPP target schools  
-Edukans Partners to continue exchanging ideas and invite peer feedback. 
-Collect information in EPP target schools about data on school enrollment 2012 PLE results, SMC/ PTA, pupil: teacher ratio, gender and reproductive health (PIACY)
RWECO was given an appreciation for sending in their activity reports and documentation as blog stories, Rwenzori voice in time.

The project on improving the quality of basic education fits well in the National Development Plan and Education Policy priorities. The focus being the child in class and out of class, teacher and parents. The lessons in the first year are a real indication that education needs a holistic  approach other than looking at the child in class only. efforts must be made to follow the child during co-curricular activities.
The exchange visits also made it clear to the participants in integrating life schools and vocation education in the curriculum. A number of lessons were learned during the exchange visit. The recommendations of the exchange visit and sharing should inform the next programming for ELEC and Partners. 

Reported by

Ms. Medrace Balira