The month of March had several activities including parents’ meetings focused on literacy awareness and the importance of mother tongue language in lower primary classes. This is an activity that the Northern Uganda Literacy Program (NULP) runs to involve the community in the learning (education) of their children. I have been to project primary schools in Adyel and Adwila Coordinating Centers, and this year I have been overwhelmed by parent’s attendance that has tripled in most schools.
I attribute this to good mobilization, but most of all to the impact the project has attained to an extent that parents themselves testified and mentioned at these meetings that they are so happy that their children in P1 and P2 can read and write. The meetings were spiced by teachers displaying children’s works for parents to observe and a trip to the P1 and P2 classrooms for parents to look in and also see the Instructional Materials being used.
At Ayago Primary School that initially had, at most, an attendance of 30 parents, this time around the attendance was 85 parents whose children are in P1 & P2 testifying to the impact that the project has had on their children as compared to those in P4 and P5 who weren’t able to benefit from the project.
Also this time round especially with impact from the project, parents have acknowledged the benefits of mother tongue as language of instruction in the lower grade, in accordance with the Ministry’s policy.
Written by David Arach, Mango Tree Field Officer
Joan Okune, the author of the Mango Tree Storybook Amuka iyi Bung (Rhinos in the Forest), visited the P3 classes at Alidi Primary School on March 15th. Joan talked to the pupils about writing a book and got their feedback on her storybook which features the twins Apio and Ocen, the main characters in Mango Tree’s P1 and P2 primers. P3 readers are re-introduced to Apio and Ocen in this exciting mystery/adventure story that takes place over 11 chapters. Amuka iyi Bung is the featured storybook for P3 readers in Term 1.
Joan was impressed with the reading ability of the pupils at Alidi P/S. She also gained valuable insight into the aspects of the story pupils enjoyed most and looks forward to revising the story to make it even more fun for pupils to read in the future.
This past February, we were visited by Jason Kerwin from the University of Michigan. He, along with his supervisor, is working with Mango Tree in an external evaluation. This study will be for one year and will examine the literacy and other educational benefits of the Primary Literacy Project for pupils in P1 classrooms in the Lango Sub-Region of Uganda.
Participants in the study will include pupils, parents, teachers, head teachers, and coordinating centre tutors (CCTs) at 36 schools randomly selected to participate (12 full treatment, 12 half treatment and 12 control schools).
Written by: Bernadette Jerome, Peace Corps Volunteer Uganda
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