Parent involvement in education makes children more likely to thrive academically, socially and economically. In many communities across Uganda however, there is a disconnect between schools and parents. Half of Ugandan parents do not know the name of their child’s teacher, and only 23% visit their child’s school each year. This lack of parent engagement contributes to poor learning outcomes.
From the inception of Village TEACH, we wanted to develop an intervention that was evidence-based, systems-focused, and scalable. We started the design process by researching what has already worked to strengthen collaboration between schools in and parents and discovered an RCT that had taken place in 100 Ugandan primary schools in 2011. The researchers found a participatory school scorecard program created an effective mechanism for parent engagement and significantly improved test scores as well as pupil and teacher absenteeism.
Village TEACH unites this participatory scorecard approach with Uganda’s traditional School Improvement Planning (SIP) process. First, communities identify their shared school improvement goals, and develop scorecards to track progress on those goals over the course of the year. Elevate-trained facilitators then work with a representative group of community leaders to develop and implement SIPs in alignment with community priorities.
Two rigorous evaluations show that Village TEACH significantly improves student learning by 0.19 SD (Barr, 2012) and reduces dropout by 40% (Kabay, 2019). Along with the fact that systemic parental disengagement is a well-recognized root cause of education systems failure in Uganda, these significant impacts have allowed Elevate to broker partnerships with 6 district governments to implement the program in 143 schools, benefitting more than 60,000 children. Through this district scaling model, we are working to reach 5,000 schools and more than 2 million children by 2025. Simultaneously, we regularly engage in dialogue with the national Ministry of Education & Sports regarding the role of parents in school governance, and how Village TEACH might be adopted into national education policy.
If you are interested in learning more about the program please contact us at email@example.com.