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Uganda National Media play a stronger role in education during COVID-19



School closures in Uganda, in response to COVID-19 have resulted in about 15 million children being out-of-school. However, Uganda has learned a great deal from the Ebola crisis and is using its experience to ensure that children can keep learning in safe conditions. The Ugandan government has been supporting alternative/informal learning using mass media for distancing learning, mostly through community based radio. Radio is the most commonly used media in Uganda (87% of households has a working radio). Radio Broadcasts with short messages or communal reading are common.

UNICEF and NGOs are supporting the shift to home-schooling by funding Home learning kits which include reading materials and exercises which children can do from home. Supporting community groups have begun to flourish around Uganda, with community structures offering a potentially key resource to maintain learning promotion supported by other parents. To enhance literacy and numeracy skills, governments have set up book banks and reading clubs so that children can keep on reading, while radio programmes promote communal readings. Newspapers directly addressed to children, have already proven their impact on child literacy. The government has also supported the establishment of play groups to encourage stimulating activities, interactions and creativity in safe and healthy environments. It is hoped that distance learning and home and community schooling will reinforce the role of caregivers and will prove beneficial for disabled children, refugees and at risk children. Teachers are being paid while schools are closed, to support these home and community activities, and to continue to send advice to their students so that they will be ready to continue to learn when schools reopen. Teachers are supporting each others’ efforts via on-line platforms and social media.
See: https://inee.org/resources/covid-19-response-uganda-keeping-children-learning-and-safe-while-schools-are-closed