Strength in Partnerships

Since 2016, Elevate has worked in Mukono district with education leaders, teachers, parents, and pupils to bridge the gap between schools and their local communities in order to improve student learning outcomes. In January, we were honoured to join district education leadership, pedagogical advisors, head teachers and other development partners at the Mukono district head teacher meeting, to prepare for a successful 2019 school year.

Mukono district is working hard to improve student learning, and Elevate is thrilled to contribute to this effort through our Scorecard Program, which provides a platform for communities to identify challenges at their schools and engage in a dialogue to prioritize and solve these challenges. Elevate’s Scorecard Program has positively received by communities and education leaders, and we’re excited to continue supporting Mukono district in 2019.

At the meeting, the District Education Officer (DEO) shared some exciting news about improvements to education in the district; he noted that head teacher absenteeism has fallen, and school management committee (also known as the school board in some countries) activity has increased. Nearly all of the district’s school management committees had met at least twice in in the last term of the 2018 school year, exceeding the legal minimum of once meeting per term.

Excitingly, the DEO also noted significant improvement in student performance on the 2018 Primary Leaving Examination.In 2018, 1,800 students achieved First Grades, as compared to 1,300 First Grades in 2017. Additionally, failures declined from 1,000 to 800 students.

The district leaders praised Elevate for contributing to this improvement inperformance, noting that increased community engagement in schools contributed to the improvement in these results. The District Inspector of Schools (DIS) noted that, due to the end-of-term reporting that Elevate provides to the district, the government is able to focus their energy on challenges and specific issues that need critical attention.

Elevate’s community-centred Scorecard Program has resoundingly been appreciated by our partner communities, schools, parents, and government officials. One of the reasons for this is that our model is based in the idea that communities should be empowered to identify and solve education challenges that are most salient to them. Elevate’s role is to build on community members’ ideas and strengths, not impose our own. We believe in the power of building local solutions for local challenges, and the unique position of communities to best understand their own strengths and weaknesses. This mindset is key to Elevate’s organizational identity, and allows us to meaningfully partner with local communities and government for sustainable, long term gains to student learning.