The Learning Crisis
Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Uganda registered some of the lowest primary-level academic achievement metrics in the region.
4 in 10 students
who start primary school in Uganda will complete a full cycle.
approximate number of out-of-school children pre-COVID.
of primary four students are able to read and write at grade level.
World Bank Economic Development & Human Capital in Uganda: A Case for Investing More in Education, May 2019
Today, nearly 20 million children1 in Uganda are out of school as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. Previous extended shutdowns such as those that took place during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2014 to 2016 led to incredibly high rates of out of school students when classes were ready to resume.
In conversations with local officials and teachers, we expect a similar rise in out-of-school children when the current lockdown in Uganda ends.
The path back to school for a rural Ugandan student and the road to recovery for Uganda’s education system requires innovative thinking, government collaboration and leveraging what we believe to be one of the country’s greatest assets—young people.
1UNESCO, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2020, http://uis.unesco.org/en/country/ug
Building Tomorrow recruits and trains recent Ugandan university graduates with significant leadership promise as Fellows and deploys them to rural communities to increase access to inclusive, primary education. Each Fellow is embedded in up to four placement schools for two years, with the goal of turning underserved schools into Thriving Schools. To date, Fellows have registered the following achievements:
Community Education Volunteers engaged
Formerly out-of-school children re-enrolled by Fellows & CEVs
Building Tomorrow’s current Fellowship model places one Fellow in up to four schools, improving both access (more children in schools) and quality (better learning outcomes) at each school site.
Tomorrow is Now
Following the end of the COVID-19 shutdown, Building Tomorrow will leverage its experience by launching a new, parallel pilot program to the Fellowship model, designed to achieve three key benchmarks over an 18-month period:
Enrolling or re-enrolling every child throughout each of up to five districts.
Launching innovative, systems-change approaches at the local government and community level through Community Education Volunteers.
Ensuring children are caught up to grade-level in literacy and numeracy.
Alumni of the Building Tomorrow Fellowship program will serve as embedded technical advisors at district sub-county offices to create a corps of Community Education Volunteers, initially focused on re-enrollment of out-of-school children.
These technical advisors will overlap with Cohort 6 Building Tomorrow Fellows, to be deployed upon the resumption of classes.