At Maniki primary school in Adjumani, 17-year old John-Thomas Gama is following the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) financed by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and implemeted by Save the Children. John-Thomas is a South-Sudanese refugee who arrived in Northern-Uganda one year ago. “I am learning how to write and speak English and do calculations.”
The ALP allows pupils who dropped out of primary school to still obtain their primary degree. Courses are divided into 3 levels: Level one equates the first 3 years of primary school, level two the 4th and 5th year and level three represents the remaining 6th and 7th year. Local Ugandans and South-Sudanese refugees attend classes together.
Pupils from the different countries barely talk in the beginning because they don’t have a common language. But as their level of English improves they start communicating. John-Thomas proudly agrees: “I met my friend Godfrey in class. We collaborated for calculations. Now we also play football together after school. Godfrey is Ugandan and I can speak English with him.”
24-year old Evelyne Edea was a mathematics teacher in South-Sudan and recently started that same job at the Maniki Primary school. She has about 50 pupils for each level and finds it important to give equal attention to the boys and the girls in her class. “Girls don’t raise their hand as much as boys. But then I do an extra brainstorm and you see some girls also raising their hand.”
Save The Children assists teachers through continuous upskilling, for example through pedagogical trainings on interaction with children suffering from post-traumatic stress or behavioral problems. Teacher Evelyne agrees: “Sometimes the pupils get sad because they think of their home in South-Sudan. But then I do a session with singing and handclapping to distract them. Then they forget and focus more on class. “
Throughout Adjumani, Save the Children assists 7 primary schools in 4 refugee settlements. Their support also includes learning materials such as books, benches, or even musical instruments. Teacher Evelyne remembers one child in class who refused to speak. “But that one was the happiest when they brought in the instruments. He now makes music and plays with the other children.“
Save the Children is part of the NGO Consortium of the Support Programme for Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda, focusing on Livelihoods, Conflict Management, Educational and Knowledge components, together with DRC, ZOA & CEFORD. Funding for the consortium interventions is provided through the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) under the Support Programme to the Refugee Settlements and Host Communities in Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU).
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- Danish Refugee CouncilSave the ChildrenAustrian Development AgencyENABEL - Belgian Development Agency