Adolescents use self-study materials to continue learning during COVID-19 lockdown

NRC, in collaboration with National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) developed home study packs for Accelerated Education Programme

By Doreen Matenga
Grand mother with grand child reading
NRC/2021
24 March 2021

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), with support from UNICEF, has been implementing the project Education Support for Refugees and Host Community Children and Adolescents in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement in Yumbe District and Imvepi Refugee Settlement in Terego District from January 2020 through February 2021. The project benefitted:

  • 915 out of school adolescents aged 10-14 years through enrolment and participation in primary level Accelerated Education Programme (AEP)
  • 499 adolescent girls and boys aged 15-19 empowered with skills for personal empowerment, active citizenship and employability through participation in vocational skills training, apprenticeships and social network group activities
  • 23,211 in school children through improved capacities of 20 primary schools
  • Despite school closures due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the programme adapted its’ activities to ensure adolescents continued to benefit from NRC’s programming in the refugee hosting districts

The project was implemented with UNICEF support and funding from People’s Postcode Lottery (PPL) through the United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF.

Following the closure of education institutions on 20th March, 2020 by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) designed a Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 with a focus on overcoming challenges within the education sector, such as supporting continuous learning and ensuring safety and protection of learners while at home.

NRC, in collaboration with National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) developed home study packs for the AEP and worked in coordination with education stakeholders at district level to support printing, distribution of home learning packs for both AEP and primary learners and provided guidance to learners to continue learning at home

In Bidibidi refugee settlement, the provision of self-study materials by NRC with support from UNICEF has inspired many children from mainstream primary and AEP to continuously learn through the self-study materials during the school closure period.

The case of Draleru primary 4 pupil from Abiriamajo Primary school.

Draleru, a 12-year-old primary four pupil of Abiriamajo Primary School is one of the children who benefited from the home learning packs printed by NRC with support from UNICEF.

Daleru, like many children was disappointed when the government declared closure of all learning institutions  and wondered how she would continue to learn. However, when she later learned that she would be provided with some materials to study from home, she and her friends were really excited

“I was disappointed when children were sent home. To me, this meant that we will not be able to continue with learning any more since term one had just began, and we were sent home without homework. With the help of my grandmother, I can now revise the learning material provided by NRC. With these materials, I am able to continue learning while at home. I thank Norwegian Refugee Council for supporting me and other children in my community,”

says Draleru, a 12-year-old primary four pupil of Abiriamajo Primary School

Draleru’s grandmother confirmed that saying “Before distribution of self-learning packs my granddaughter used to move a lot due to boredom. I can now support her to revise through the self-study packs every afternoon” Hellen, a 66-year-old grandmother of Draleru.

Alikuru Nazida, Level 1 AEP learner

Just like Draleru, many other children from the AEP have been inspired to continuously revise with the help of their older siblings. One 10-year-old, Alikuru Nazida, of Level One in Abiriamajo Primary School noted that the self-learning materials have helped to revive her literacy and numeracy skills.

 “With the long stay at home, I completely forgot how to read and write. I became like a child who had not gone to school before” says Alikuru. She also revealed that children were sent home without any materials from schools.

This made it hard for them to continue learning while at home. But now with the support from NRC, Alikuru is happy to strengthen her reading and numeracy skills with the help of her brother.  

“Since I don’t know how to read well, my elder brother who is in Senior One supports me to revise my study material. I can now read some words and do simple numbers. When I grow up, I would like to become a teacher”

From Alikurus story, we learned that distribution of home learning packages has also strengthened peer-to peer learning as well as learning supported by older siblings.

self study materials
NRC/2021