byJyry Virtanen via web
Overall there is a slight increase in the school enrolment rate of boys and girls from 41% at 2015 December to 67% at December 2016 in the target schools. A total of 109 children with physical disabilities were enrolled in all the PSGC target schools. 235 children in particular girls and boys from families of children with Disabilities reported positive changes in school related matters including deliberate steps by the school to create slot for their representation in management, and on the prefectorial bodies. 86% of girls and 30% of vulnerable children report increased access to spaces provided in the school such as the children’s council and the clubs. 56% of these children reported increased influence of the council in the school management decisions. In addition, 80% of the pupils demonstrate increased confidence, choices, self-value and shared power.
The SMS monitoring system further supported children’s participation. Approximately 900 messages were recorded in the SMS monitoring palt form, 90 % of the messages were actively from the children. 40% were messages of appreciation, 20% messages of concern in regard to day to say management of school resources which included meals provision, teacher presence, pupil presence, availability of books to mention but a few. 3% of messages were received from the parents.
There has been noticed improvements and increased participation of all stakeholders in the school governance processes. It is clear that most parents now appreciate the fact that both parents and the school must take responsibility for the child’s education and the responsibility lies not only with the school (99% in Tororo, 82.6% in Kamuli, 57% in Lira). The proportion of parents who consider girl education as important as that of boys has increased from 30% in January to 68.3% in December. 87% of women have exhibited high levels of empowerment in their communities as many contested to membership positions at management level.
750 teachers (375 Female) have been reached through the project interventions. Of these 129 teachers (56 Female) gained skills in supporting children with special needs learn and participate in the school processes in the district. 621 teachers (361 female) in project schools use learner-centered approaches. 69% of the DEO, teachers and school principals demonstrated knowledge on education governance, gender and right to education.
In collaboration with other stakeholders, the project continued strengthening child participation structures. The country is in general consensus that for child participation to be realised in Uganda, a guide on structure formation must be developed. The PSG project is taking lead in shaping the structures in the country as a model.
Many project schools had as many as 400 to 800 pupils. Yet on average, each school had only 8 teachers including the head teachers. This means that the pupil teacher ratio is between 50-100 per teacher and with the lower classes it can be as high as 150 before the drop out. This poses a major challenge for the quality of education. In addition, there is lack of facilitation from government for the routine monitoring and supervision.
The project has shown that the council meetings and peer mediation are instrumental in the development of life skills such as effective communication, decision making, assertiveness and confidence in children since it gives them the opportunity to take charge of their own issues.
The use of ICT4E in school governance is vital in revealing gaps that exist within the school governance system. On many occasions the messages revealed inconsistences in the role of the inspectorate and supported the role of parents in promoting transparent school governance.