Covid-19 Emergency Education Response Project

The COVID-19 outbreak and school closures are expected to have a wide range of impacts on students, teachers and households. Prolonged school closures are expected to lead to a loss in learning. Households will face increasing economic difficulties with raising unemployment and income losses. This could impact the likelihood of children staying in school and transitioning to the next level of education once the schools reopen, increasing the number of out-of-school children. Parents’ ability to contribute to educational inputs may also be more limited, impacting the quality of schooling. Government expenditures on education, already at a low level, will face additional pressure and any cuts in spending could further worsen the quality.

With the COVID-19 crisis, girls may be more likely to lose out on education when schools reopen. School closures may lead to an increase in the burden of care-related tasks, which disproportionately impact girls in many contexts. Girls suffer extra constraints due to social expectations, for example to take on household responsibilities and domestic chores, and in economically disadvantaged areas, they tend to marry and have children early.

The project intends to respond to Uganda Education Sector COVID-19 Response Plan calls for actions in a number of areas. In recognition of the impact of the pandemic on the education system in Uganda, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) constituted a sector response task force to strengthen the education sector preparedness and response measures to mitigate the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 on Uganda’s education system. The purpose of this response plan is to ensure better preparedness and an effective response to the outbreak by: (1) minimizing the adverse effects of COVID-19 on students, teachers and the education system at large; and (2) enhancing the capacity of the MOES, District Local Governments (DLGs) and stakeholders to promote protection of students and teachers and ensure continuity of learning and transition to normal school program. It represents an opportunity to build the basis for long-term improvements in several areas such as pedagogy, technology (and distance learning and assessments), financing, and parental involvement. The planned activities include self-learning materials, distance learning through radio, TV, messages, and online and other methods. As there is uncertainty related to the length of school closures and, also, the economic impact of the pandemic, the MOES has worked with three different scenarios, covering: (1) the current school closures; (2) extending the period of closure; and (3) risk reduction and recovery.

With Support from OSSTF/FESSO, the grant support will assist us to successfully support students learning from primary and lower secondary during school closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure a safe reopening and student reentry

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