Uganda hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa, and is one of the top refugee-hosting countries worldwide. More refugees continue to arrive daily, with most fleeing from extreme violence in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and other conflict-affected countries. The influx is putting a severe strain on already limited school resources in local communities. Many classrooms have no walls or electricity and lacking latrines and basic sanitation facilities that are needed to accommodate so many children safely and with dignity. There is also a drastic shortage of teachers and basic materials such as books and desks.
When families affected by conflict are asked what are their biggest priorities, most say education. In Uganda, mothers and fathers go hungry and sacrifice themselves to try and put their children through school. Education is every child’s right, but it also protects, enlightens and empowers the next generation who will shape the future of their home and host countries.
Considering the increasing number of refugees in the Country and the challenges faced by the refugee learners and their host Communities, KAWA came up with another intervention to use technology and capacity building in supporting teachers and school leaders.
Innovative and cutting-edge approaches are being piloted and rolled out in the West Nile Region. KAWA Programme is focused on developing multilingual strategies to support teachers in the classroom, piloting new technology solutions by use ICT clubs, and working with teachers to ensure children with disabilities actively participate in lessons.
KAWA is seeking for partners ranging the Government of Uganda, Partners in Development, UN agencies and NGOs to execute this programme for the benefit of the Refugee Community in the West Nile Region
KAWA is working basing on the ICT infrastructure developed by the government of Uganda through the Rural Communications Development Fund, the Ministry of Education and Sports and the NCDC to improve access to and quality of learning across all forms of education in Uganda’s refugee-hosting districts, through activities including:
- Providing digital essential materials such as offline SD Memory Stick based textbooks;
- Addressing teacher gaps and capacity to deliver quality education to refugees and host community learners;
- Strengthening the national and district level education system for effective and sustainable service delivery;
- Getting older youth who had dropped out of school back into education, through Digital Accelerated Education Programmes and vocational training; and Piloting innovations in education through ICT clubs.
Challenges in the Refugee Areas
- The scale of need is enormous. Uganda is hosting the largest number of refugees in Africa and more continue to arrive, fleeing horrific violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. More than 130,000 new refugees have arrived so far this year alone, 60% of them children. More than half of all refugee children in Uganda (57%) are out of school – many of them for several years. Even for those who are able to attend school, the quality of education is severely compromised by a shortage of classrooms, teachers and Class sizes average more than 150 children, with some squeezing in 250 children or more. Dozens of temporary school structures are at risk of collapse but there are no funds for repairs, while newly-built learning centres for new arrivals remain closed as there are no funds to open them and provide teachers. Children with disabilities face additional barriers to attending school, such as lack of assistive devices and stigma, and need adapted measures.
- The 12 districts hosting this mass influx of refugees include some of the poorest and least developed areas in Uganda. Local communities have shown great generosity and solidarity in welcoming refugees, but services are severely overstretched. More than one-third (34%) of Ugandan children in refugee-hosting communities are out of school, while many have to walk for miles to and from class. The ERP recognises that these often-neglected communities need much more support, and sets out services to benefit all children in need.