Play-Based Learning (PBL) strengthens Early Childhood Development Education in Northern Uganda
Jonathan Lea-Howarth, Country Director Rwanda & Uganda, Right to Play
Email: [email protected]
Introduction to the project
Uganda, West Nile- Adjumani
2017 – present
The project started in 2017 for primary education and in 2019 for Early Childhood Development (ECD).
Strengthening Early Childhood Development Education in Northern Uganda- Adjumani district.
- Improved quality of ECD provision. This includes 70% of ECD teachers that demonstrate increased knowledge of play-based approaches to support ECD and 30 government officials supporting ECD teachers’ use of play-based approaches in line with the ECD curriculum.
- Increased school readiness for primary aged children. This includes 60% of pre-primary children in ECD centres with improved life skills, 60% of children transitioning from ECD to primary school, and an increase in children enrolling in primary school at the correct age.
- Increased access to ECD centres; 1,200 children with better access to ECD centres that provide positive and safe learning environments.
The project uses a wide variety of resources to reach the targeted outcomes:
- Play Based Learning methodology resource base (Approaches, Manuals for capacity building)
- Experienced personnel on ECD for enhancing Numeracy and Literacy Learning through play in pre-primary and primary schools
- Government and implementing partners’ networks and structures for lobbying, advocacy and coordination of the project activities.
- Ministry of Education and Sports
- Office of the prime minister
- Adjumani District Local Government
- School/ Centre Management committees and parents
How challenges were overcome
- Lack of learning / instructional materials in the ECD Centres
- High child-to-classroom ratio. Most ECD centres and Primary schools in the refugee schools have high enrollments against few classrooms.
- Limited access to ECD Centres to children in pre-primary age: 3-6
- Inadequate teachers/ care-givers in the schools
- Limited funding to meet the gaps and community expectations
- Limited WASH facilities
- Starvation during learning hours
How they were overcome
- Learning/ instructional materials distributed to the ECD centres. Care-givers trained on making instructional materials
- The project renovated and constructed classrooms to provide more access to the learners.
- Play and Learning materials distributed to 8 ECD centres in the refugee and host community
- Sitting Mats, Desks, and Chalkboards availed to the ECD and Primary school classrooms.
- Training and certification of care givers who are not yet certified by the Core training college
- Capacity building of teachers to use Play Based Learning methodology to enhance teaching and learning
- Washrooms and Drainable pit latrines constructed in the ECD centres and Primary Schools
- Parents sensitised on child care, health and nutrition, provide meals for their children while at school. 10 primary schools supported to pilot school feeding program through school gardening and home grown food for school feeding.
Results of the Good Practice
- Improved quality of Early Child Development (ECD) provision. This includes 70% of ECD teachers that demonstrate increased knowledge of play-based approaches to support ECD and 30 government officials supporting ECD teachers’ use of play-based approaches in line with the ECD curriculum.
- Increased school readiness for primary; 60% of pre-primary children in ECD centres have improved life skills.
- Increased access to ECD centres; 1,200 children with better access to ECD centres and learning facilities that provide positive and safe learning environments.
- Strengthen local school structures to support ECD implementation for sustainability.
- Improve access to ECD centres to reduce on the distance children walk to school.
- Train more teachers to integrate play in literacy, numeracy Learning and development of life skills among the children. Play for competency development.
- Establish and strengthen Community of Practice for cascading the Play Based Learning model and sustainability
- Lobby and advocate for integration of play based learning into the national education curriculum