If you are aware of the invisible crisis facing the world’s poorest and youngest children, you will most likely be in support of our new ECD Training programme.
Nearly half of Uganda’s population (48.7%) is under 15 years of age; the largest percentage of this age group is between 0 and 4 years. The prospect that the majority of these children might drop out of school before the age of 12 years old is a very realistic as well as detrimental one.
There is an urgent need for wide-spread, quality pre-primary education in Uganda, so that more children are well-prepared and enabled to succeed in school, meaning they can contribute to future prosperity on both a community and national level.
Early year education interventions are an important tool for reducing income and social gaps between poor and non-poor populations – which are becoming exceedingly difficult to bridge. This is because significant investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) yields extraordinary returns that far exceed the returns on most investments, either private or public.
Redearth ECD Training
In the Redearth Nursery, pupils are able to read after just 18 months. In the average Masindi nursery, pupils cannot recognise any sounds at this stage and can read only 2 words. This is due to the high quality of child-centred teaching at the Redearth Nursery, the use of locally-made learning aids and play–based learning.
After discussions with the Masindi Education Office, Redearth have been asked to launch an ECD Pilot Project to see if the outcomes that have been achieved in the Redearth Nursery can be scaled up to nurseries attached to government primary schools.
First ECD Training
In November 2016, the Redearth Nursery Pilot Training Project for Masindi nursery teachers began. Six teachers were chosen to participate in the training from schools/nurseries in which Headteachers are supportive of the project.
The purpose of the training programme is to support Masindi nursery teachers to develop and improve their teaching practice, and to build their capacity so that they can then independently support colleagues to improve practice in their nurseries.
Throughout the programme, teachers will receive specific training on all aspects of good nursery practice by Redearth Director and Early Years’ Specialist, Di Cosgrove and Chris Barungi, Redearth Senior Field Officer. Monthly monitoring visits will be undertaken by Chris, as well as meetings to share ideas, reciprocal visits and training workshops. The Redearth Nursery will be used as a model for teachers to observe good practice as part of the training.
A successful nursery learning environment
The first training workshop focused around creating a clean and organised physical learning environment for all children in the classroom, as well as moving towards a child-centred, interactive mode of teaching to increase engagement and learning.
- Making and displaying learning aids that are appropriate for the age of children in the class.
- Making labels for objects around the classroom
- Placing a bin in the classroom for pupils to learn how to keep their classroom clean
- Displaying positive classroom rules in
- Organising the classroom to enable children to sit and work in groups
- Making fun games and resources for lessons
Follow-up Monitoring & Support
In April 2017, Di and Chris carried out observations in all six nursery classes of the teachers trained.
All teachers had made improvements in their classrooms, some to a greater degree than others. The monthly monitoring by Chris has made a significant impact on the improvements, as he was able to provide encouragement and support, and give further training as needed. All teachers are enthusiastic and keen to learn and improve.
Chris also attended a nursery parent meeting at one of the schools. Chris reported that the parents are very impressed with the new changes in teaching at the nursery and are keen to see how their children progress further.
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To find out how to support the project and help us reach more teachers and children, click here.