Community Involvement in Education for Performance Improvement in Primary Schools in Aroi Sub County, Arua District, Uganda: Achievements, Challenges, and the Way forward

By Willy Ngaka.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines the concept of community involvement in education, which Uganda Programme for Human and Holistic Development (UPHOLD) is experimenting in selected districts in Uganda, with specific emphasis on Aroi Sub County, Arua district. The initiative was introduced for communities surrounding a particular primary school get involved in issues that adversely affect children’s learning, especially the deterioration in performance and declining quality of education under the universal primary education (UPE). The paper highlights some of the achievements the initiative has realised so far, and argues that although UPE has more than doubled primary school enrollment levels, it has been characterised by high dropout rates, inadequate attention to pupils, overcrowded and unmanageable classes, lack of physical/instructional infrastructure and trained teachers, and minimal community involvement in managing the schools. The initiative, which empowers communities to make regular visits to their nearest school to observe lessons, check availability of toilets facilities for boys and girls, assess the cleanliness of compound and sanitary provisions for adolescent girls, examine whether the classrooms have appropriate learning aids, minimize child abuse such as defilement, mistreatment and unfair punishment; and assess whether children have something to eat at school or not, not only encourages free interaction between communities, schools and pupils, but also creates strategic linkages for participatorily monitoring pupils’ learning and performance and opens avenues for communities to contribute towards addressing some of the factors responsible for deterioration in performance and quality of education . It also offers an excellent opportunity for building a learning society and promoting the spirit of lifelong learning. The author highlights some of the obstacles encountered while involving communities in monitoring issues that positively contribute to the improvement of the learning environment of their children in primary schools, and ends the paper with some concluding remarks regarding the way forward.

Keywords: Community, Dropouts, Education, Involvement, Learning Environment, Participation, Performance, Primary School

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp.169-176. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.572MB).

Dr. Willy Ngaka

Doctoral Candidate, School of Adult Learning and Higher Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Mr. Willy Ngaka is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. In Uganda, he is a lecturer in the Department of Community Education and Extra-Mural Studies (CEEMS), Institute of Adult and Continuing Education (IACE), Makerere University. He taught and Coordinated Project Management Programmes in the Department of CEEMS from 1999 – 2002. He has been coordinating the Project Management component of the Masters Programmes in Development Studies; and Natural Resources Management for Sustainable Agriculture, a collaborative Masters Programme between the Agricultural University of Norway and Makerere University Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation since 2002 – to date. He is a member of a number of professional organizations, including International Reading Association (IRA) - No.677880, International Association for Community Development (IACD), the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) - No. 005226475, and the Golden Key International Honour Society – No. 3846080. He is one of the winners of IRA’s Prestigious Elva Night’s Research Grant Competition for year 2006, becoming the 1st Ugandan and the 4th African Scholar to win it in the last 25 years. His academic interests include: Project management, Natural Resources Management, Development Administration and Adult Literacy and Community Education.


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