Auma Kevin, a Ugandan national is an Accelerated Education Program (AEP) teacher at Paluda Secondary School in Palabek refugee settlement. She teaches both level 1 and 2 and is a witness to how successful AEP has been.
“The most interesting thing about the language bridging activity we are having in this school is that there is some development when it comes to the reading field,” Kevin revealed. “Most of the AEP learners could not read when they had just joined but now, at least 80% of those in Level 1 and 2 can read, speak and write. They can also reason, argue and debate issues in an interesting way,” she notes.
AEP is being implemented under the EQUATE project with Windle International Uganda taking lead in implementing the Secondary Accelerated Education Program (SAEP).
The Accelerated Education Program (AEP) is a flexible, age-appropriate program that promotes access to education in an accelerated time-frame for disadvantaged groups, over-age out-of-school children and youth who missed out or had their education interrupted due to poverty, marginalization, conflict and crisis. The goal of AEP is to provide learners with equivalent certified competencies for basic education and learning approaches that match their level of cognitive maturity.
It provides the learners with the opportunity for a second chance at education, and to complete the given cycle of education in which they dropped out from.
Besides seeing learners improve their knowledge, Kevin notes that she has grown on a personal level through the support provided by EQUATE project.
“It has built my instinct and made me know that everyone can have access to education provided that person has a positive attitude. It has also built my professional capacity and helped me learn how to deal with people of different backgrounds and those who need additional help especially those with children,” she says.
Kevin notes that the project enabled her attend a training for the New Lower Secondary Curriculum which has impacted her life at both personal and professional level. In addition, she gets salary which always comes on time. She notes that the school is currently running two levels with 10 great and supportive teachers (8 Males and 2 Females).
Kevin revealed that the EQUATE project has also renovated mainstream classroom blocks, built teacher’s quarters, latrine for girls and is currently constructing a breastfeeding shed. The school also has dormitories with 2 blocks for both boys and girls.
“The classrooms and dormitories once completed will encourage more learners to join school. The construction has beautified the school and more girls will join school since they love good things,” Kevin noted with a smile.
She notes that AEP learners need a lot of support internally and externally and the teachers should be motivated through staff houses which are currently under construction. She also adds that the management of breastfeeding sheds should have caregivers in the shed to limit access for the safety of the children.
“I appreciate EQUATE project because it involves all people regardless of age or gender.”
About EQUATE Project
The EQUATE project is funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and aims at increasing access to equitable and inclusive quality education for conflict affected children in in Rhino Camp, Imvepi and Palabek refugee settlements in West Nile Sub-Region of Uganda. It is implemented by a consortium led by World Vision (WV) together with Windle International Uganda (WIU), and two local organisations, namely; Rural Initiative for Community Empowerment – West Nile (RICE- West Nile) and Community Empowerment for Rural Development (CEFORD).
The project specifically; addresses barriers that prevent most vulnerable out of school children from enrolling in formal and non-formal education programmes at both primary and secondary levels.
Compiled by: Okwera John Oola and Joseph Waninda