“I didn’t know about thematic teaching,” confessed Nimuhamya Arnold a teacher under the ECW program. Arnold is a teacher at Kakoni P/S in Kyaka II Refugee Settlement, managed by Windle International Uganda (WIU). On 22 February 2019, he was fortunate to land a teaching job with WIU-a job he had earlier trained for but had not much luck securing one. He was very ecstatic to start his teaching job but from the onset found difficulty with understanding the thematic curriculum. At his time of training, Arnold says, “the methods they taught us were not like this.” Currently the thematic mode of teaching is the recommended and used model in primary schools within Uganda. He confesses to not knowing what it was and teaching was becoming rather disgruntling for him.
Fortunately, a school inspection exercise by the Ministry of Education that sought to understand the teacher’s challenges chanced upon Arnold. Arnold like many of his other colleagues cited difficulty in using the Thematic-teaching model. It is these complaints that informed the WIU team of a need for teacher training which was opportunely supported by Education Cannot Wait. (ECW). ECW thrives to push the Quality Education agenda for refugees to greater heights by ensuring quality and effective teaching hence the teacher training. The training equipped 277 teachers with Pedagogy, psychosocial and thematic skills of teaching to ensure that the teachers deliver a quality education to the learners.
Additionally, ECW constructed teacher’s accommodation. This has ensured that teachers are more available for the learners and can offer better supervision. Arnold for example lived 4kms away from school and this meant that he would only get to school after 8:30am, which is later than the stipulated time of 8:00am to start lessons. This therefore meant a late start of lessons and less time with learners, as he also had to leave school early. With the teachers’ accommodation within the school premises now, the teachers are able to come to class early, have ample teaching time and supervise school property to avoid damage from the learners. The ECW intervention has undeniably produced a new breed of teachers that are able to provide quality education and psychosocial support to the learners.