Since March, the Elevate team has been working closely with our Village TEACH partner communities in Mukono District to understand their needs during school closures. Members of our programs team have been conducting regular check-in calls with our Village TEACH teams. We also partnered with Innovations for Poverty Action to implement a telephone survey of 88 head teachers and deputy head teachers who participated in our 2018-2019 impact evaluation. From these interactions, we found that one of the most pressing needs across the board has been supporting parents to engage with their children’s at-home learning to prevent children from falling behind or permanently dropping out.
In response to this need, Elevate has launched the Village TEACH COVID-19 Response Program in seven partner schools with the goal of scaling the program to additional locations in Mukono. The program has the dual objectives of inspiring parents with a sense of possibility about what they can do for their children and helping parents brainstorm actionable ways that they can support children’s learning in their communities during the lockdown.
In partnership with Twaweza East Africa and Bishop Willis Core Primary Teachers’ College, Elevate is implementing a Positive Deviance program in 6 districts in Eastern Uganda, designed to unearth and amplify local solutions to complex education challenges. In March, schools were shut down and our original program design was put on hold.
In response, we restructured the program to meet the pressing education needs now facing the region, while children remain out of school. First, we conducted a survey to learn about unique strategies that parents, teachers, and local communities are using to continue engaging children in learning.
Building from the initial results, Elevate is hosting a weekly radio program where parents, school leaders, and community members share their experiences during school closures and how they are helping their children continue to learn. These broadcasts will provide listeners throughout the region with contextually-appropriate and impactful steps that they can take in their communities to support learners during this time.
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