Best wishes for the new year from our team!
It is common in Uganda to wish everyone a happy new year the first time you meet them after the year has started, even when it is months later, so we are just going to do it:
Happy new year to you!!
We hope that your new year has taken off well, despite all circumstances currently, and that it is bringing you hope for the future. For our team, it sure did! Remember the fantastic end-of-year fundraiser towards buying a car for the organization? We may not have reached our goal yet, but we raised more during this campaign than we have before, and we’ll keep going until we get to 100%! Even better news: schools are slowly moving towards reopening. We spent the first month of 2021 preparing for this and working on a couple of new ideas that we want to bring to life this year. How about we update you real quick?
Primary 7 learners & teachers have returned to the classroom after their Christmas break, getting ready for their final examinations that will take place at the end of March. On 1st March, Primary 6 will be allowed to join as well! While we are still putting our teachers workshops on hold as it is hard to bring all of them together, our team is back to doing lesson observations on a regular basis. We are doing our best to guide the teachers through the changing situation and schedules while continuing to teach in an inclusive way. The long stretch of home learning has increased the differences in progress between learners, so we are assisting the teachers at our partner schools in dealing with this.
At the primary teachers colleges we work with, the student teachers in year 2 returned in October last year. From 1st March, the first-year students will come back as well, which means the PTCs will finally be complete again! While we already resumed our workshops with the tutors (= teacher educators) at one of the PTCs in December last year, this will give us a chance to be fully engaged in preparing the next generations of teachers once again. We just cannot wait!
Does that mean COVID-19 has finally left Uganda? Not quite, unfortunately. However, we are all learning to deal with the new ways of keeping ourselves and others safe, while keeping the work going as well as we can. Sometimes, that means having a socially distanced, sanitized and masked day of training with the new cohort of teaching fellows at Teach For Uganda. Other days, it means organizing a webinar for the speed school supervisors and coordinators at Geneva Global.
It also means coming up with entirely new strategies for our own programs, to make sure they can keep running under almost any circumstances. Guess what? We are turning our ‘usual’ training program for partner schools into a distance training program! Videos, work books, you name it & we have brainstormed about it. We will be launching this new approach within the next couple months, so keep an eye on our social media pages to be the first to know.
Speaking of which: Little by Little is coming up in March. From 8-12th, you have a chance to support the development of this distance approach, as GlobalGiving matches all donations up to $50 with 50%. We know this has been one of the most exciting recurring matching campaigns for you, so we would love to invite you to be part of it again this time. You can expect a more detailed update in your inbox soon.
That’s it for now! Thank you for taking the time to get up to speed on what is keeping us busy. Stay safe & healthy!
Much love from Gulu,
The Backup Uganda Team
A tutors workshop at Gulu Core PTC
Lesson observations - a feedback moment