As children in Uganda remain out of school, the Uganda Education Consortium, the European Union Humanitarian Aid and the Government of Uganda, are working together to implement the Education Response Plan for refugees and host communities, and support equitable access to education in refugee and host communities.
The Uganda Education Consortium, together with the European Union and the Government of Uganda, have launched the second phase of the INCLUDE initiative (Innovative and Inclusive Accelerated Education programme) for refugees and the host communities. This consortium will support children in refugee and host communities to access safe, quality and inclusive learning opportunities, support safe return to school and ensure the psycho-social well-being of learners.
Fifteen million children in Uganda have been affected by COVID 19 related school closures. This includes at least 600,000 primary and secondary aged refugee learners. More than 275,000 out of school primary and secondary school aged children have also been affected. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic and prolonged periods of absence from school will increase the likelihood that children will not return to school when they open.
INCLUDE will respond to the current context over a period of 21 months in Kyaka 11, Kyangwali, Nakivale Imvepi and Rhino Camp refugee settlements. Through the project, the consortium will work closely with the Ministry of Education and Sports, the office of the Prime Minister, UNHCR and communities to ensure that all children can return to school as soon as possible in a safe manner. This will be achieved by prioritising the provision of additional safe learning spaces, recruitment of additional teachers and the expansion of the double shift approach while preparing for schools to reopen, as foreseen by the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Health’s Standard Operating Procedures.
Better access to remote learning opportunities
The INCLUDE consortium will ensure safe, equitable and inclusive access to remote learning opportunities, including through innovative approaches such as Can’t Wait To Learn and, thereby, contribute to continuity of learning. The project will help ensure that children who often miss out on school are supported through activities that focus on their mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, support to children with disabilities and young mothers, and cash for education transfers that remove social economic barriers access.
“The EU is proud to renew its engagement in the Ugandan refugee education sector through Phase 2 of the INCLUDE programme. This project will contribute to increased safe access to quality education to out of school children living in refugee hosting areas, improving their wellbeing. Every year, the EU allocates up to 10% of its global humanitarian budget to education projects around the world.” Said Bruno Rotival, Head of the EU’s Humanitarian Aid Office in Uganda.
Education protects children from poverty, violence and abuse and helps them laugh, learn, eat, play and grow. For this reason, the Education Consortium and its partners believe that education cannot wait and look forward to enabling children in refugee and host communities to continue their education.
The Education Consortium led by Save the Children, has 15 members who implement projects, funded by ECHO and Education Cannot Wait, that contribute to the implementation of the Education Response Plan(ERP) for refugees and host communities. The ERP is the first of its kind worldwide and was developed to help respond to the huge needs in what is Africa’s biggest refugee education crisis.
About the INCLUDE project and the Uganda Education Consortium
INCLUDE will be implemented by Save the Children, Finn Church Aid, Nowergian Refugee Council, War Child Holland and Humanity and Inclusion, under the leadership of the Uganda Education Consortium Management unit. Partners will work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Unites Nations High Commission for Refugees and the district governments.
The project is supported with generous funding of EUR 7,000,000 from the EU.
Text: Linda Kabuzire