In January 2022, Ugandan schools reopened after over a year and a half, the longest lockdown in the entire world. It soon became evident that, as had been the case after lockdowns even in wealthy nations, students had fallen behind in their education. But in Uganda, the pandemic only exacerbated previous interruptions in learning caused by poverty, social marginalization, refugee status, military conflicts, epidemics, and other crises. Girls are at the most risk for truncated learning, but so are child soldiers, child heads of household, and other groups.
To address this complex learning crisis, the Ugandan government and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are implementing programs to accelerate learning for young people so that they can complete their education and gain essential career and life skills. Here’s how accelerated learning solutions can meet Ugandan students where they are and serve their needs.
What Are Accelerated Education Programs?
Also known as Accelerated Learning Programs (ALPs), Accelerated Education Programs (AEPs) are adaptable, age-appropriate educational plans that help students build learning competencies in key subjects and qualify for grade school certifications. They are specifically formulated for students whose education has been interrupted because of major crises, including students who have aged out of grade school eligibility.
Although the names, structures, and teaching approaches of these programs vary, AEPs generally reduce the length of learning cycles while focusing on essential competencies like literacy and numeracy. Refugees from neighboring countries may also have the opportunity to learn English, Uganda’s official language, opening paths to further learning and jobs. AEPs can be used as a path to return to formal education and may use the following approaches to get learners back on track:
- Use simple reading and mathematics tests to assess each student’s learning level
- Group students based on their learning level, not their exact age or grade (within reason, so that learning remains age-appropriate)
- Conduct educational activities for a portion of each day or year that have been proven to accelerate learning outcomes
- Provide a welcoming, inclusive, and engaging environment to help traumatized or anxious students achieve a mental state conducive to learning
You can help make AEPs and other forms of educational programming available to more children by supporting humanitarian or learning-focused nonprofit organizations in Uganda.
Accelerate Learning for Ugandan Children With Simone’s Kids
Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides high-quality primary and secondary education and meets basic needs for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty. Your donations help purchase school supplies, textbooks, food, and other necessities for Ugandan students.
You can maximize your impact with recurring donations to Simone’s Kids by joining The Village. The Village is a passionate group of donors committed to bettering the lives of children in Uganda by making monthly donations that help to provide better meals, more teachers, more activities, and even post-graduation services. Give today!