How we work
A majority of students in public schools do not have the means to purchase required textbooks. In addition, student to teacher ratios can be as high as 130:1 in some classrooms, which makes it challenging for teachers to deliver the lesson material and ensure that each student is engaged in learning. This leads to a loss of interest in education, which contributes to high repetition and dropout rates (68% of children in Uganda do not finish primary school).
We identified Grade 6 as a critical year for intervening in the classroom and maintaining students’ interest in school with the potential to significantly improve their learning outcomes and increase primary school completion rates. By focusing on Mathematics, we aim to enable all students to develop the quantitative skills required for them to succeed at Primary Leaving Examinations (Grade 7) and complete primary school.
Our model builds on the proven intervention known as “flipped classroom”, which has been adopted in many schools across the United States—primarily involving math and science subjects. In essence, students learn the lesson materials at home and participate in activities that expand upon this material in the classroom. This approach, as opposed to conventional rote learning, allows students to better understand and absorb the curriculum material. Based on our interviews and our visits to schools and government offices, we have developed an education intervention that we believe will effectively tackle key issues that schools, students and teachers face.
1 Provide textbooks
We provide every student with a textbook for Primary 6 Mathematics, the best and most popular government-approved textbook used in public schools. Students will be paired up based on level of ability and distance from their residences. This allows the program to remain cost-effective and encourages peer-to-peer learning. At the completion of the term, books will be returned to the school and will be reused in subsequent years.
2 Teacher Workshop
We provide teachers with training on how to flip their classroom, facilitate activities that encourage cooperation amongst students, and create Mathematics manipulatives from low-cost, easily accessible materials. Each teacher will receive two visits throughout the term from the schools inspectors assigned to each school.
We carry out evaluations at the start, middle, and end of each school term to track each student’s performance, attendance, and attitude towards Mathematics. We developed standardized evaluations in conjunction with the volunteer teachers and education officers.