Children in Uganda, like many others across the globe, have not had access to in-person learning since March of 2020. The effects of this lack of access to education are beginning to show; we have seen some children losing interest in school, older girls are getting married or have become pregnant, and older boys have left home and taken low-paying jobs rather than wait for schools to start back up. It breaks our hearts to see children struggling and leaving the learning path. As we mentioned in our post last week, the Ugandan government is planning to start reopening schools for some of the older children in March, but it will be a slow roll-out and a lot of children will still be left at home with no access to education. To this end, ROWAN has been hard at work on a strategic plan for the new Learning Center we introduced you to last week.
Our local ROWAN members met with the primary children last week and grouped them into four groups:
– Nursery age children and those who would soon be joining that age group
– Primary 1 and Primary 2
– Primary 3 and Primary 4
– Primary 5 and Primary 6
We will hold classes for our Primary groups on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with one group coming per day. We will hold classes for the older children not yet in public school on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. This schedule allows us to give a large group of children access to in-person learning while also giving them a chance to spend time with their peers and friends.
Our local ROWAN team and board will continue to monitor the Ugandan government’s school reopening plan and will adjust ROWAN’s Learning Center schedule accordingly. The pandemic, and the necessary responses to it, will require our Learning Center plan to stay flexible; there are so many unknowns. Questions like, “Will the children need extra help to catch up to grade-level curriculum and How often will the schedule need to be adjusted?” are questions that only time can answer. The one thing we know for certain is that it is vital for these children to feel supported and to stay motivated about their education. With your help, prayers, and donations, we are taking steps to do just that.