Like in many other countries, majority of Ugandan primary school learners, are struggling with foundational literacy and numeracy skills. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and as such, remediation programmes that can be integrated within public education systems are needed.
Through VVOB in Uganda, primary school teachers are equipped to deliver remedial literacy and numeracy lessons to P3, P4 and P5 learners using the TaRL methodology in a classroom setting. Currently VVOB is implementing TaRL in five districts targeting government aided primary schools and contextualizing for specific needs such as refugee and host community learners and socio-emotional learning skills. VVOB Uganda is currently implementing TaRL in 232 schools and by January 2023, 288 primary schools will have been reached.
To deliver the programme, VVOB’s main partner is with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) at the national and district level, supported by TaRL Africa, Harvard EASEL Lab, and IPA as technical/knowledge partners. The individual projects are currently funded by Unicef, LEGO Foundation and the Hempel Foundation.
VVOB, through a team of master trainers, equips school teachers to deliver TaRL lessons following a school-based modality, with a target of running 120 hours for literacy sessions and 120 hours numeracy sessions within two school terms. These TaRL lessons are provided before and after ordinary school hours. The teachers received mentoring support from school-based mentors (Deputy headteachers) as well as from external mentors (associate assessors and coordination center tutors). Significantly, the support to the teacher remains aligned to existing teacher inspection and professionalization framework of the Ugandan education system.
Periodic assessment results indicate promising improvement in learners’ foundational skills after only a short period of TaRL lessons. Data from 12,885 over age for grade learners from a total of 172 schools in the districts of Isingiro, Terego and Madi-Okollo where the intervention has been implemented for more than a term shows significant improvements in both literacy and numeracy rates. For example, 31.6 percent of learners can read a local language story fluently after one school term of attending TaRL lessons up from 12.9 percent before the start of the intervention.