School outreaches

Seeing education as the key to economic development, PARC supports other existing educational establishments (both public and private schools) working together with the local community to improve, consolidate and monitor educational opportunities, as well as helping children improve their reading culture. By addressing barriers students face.

SUPPORTING LOCAL SCHOOLS

By addressing the health barriers students face, we can increase the impact education has on their future. To this, we are doing the following;-

  • Engaging parents, local authority leaders, and traditional leaders in community sensitization activities that promote educational programs.

  • Conducting and reproductive health education (coupled with student peers facilitated health discussions) about important issues such as puberty, menstruation, early marriage, and gender roles.

  • Distribution of reusable sanitary pads to girls, so that can comfortably stay in school while menstruating

  • Promoting sanitation by constructing gender-separate toilets (private ‘girls only’ latrines) not only ensures privacy but also reduce or eliminate the rate of spread of sanitation-related diseases.

  • Mobilizing local community members to strong demand and actively participate in regular parents’ meetings, to be updated with school reports.

  • Training and encouraging the PTA and SMC committees to actively monitor the attendance and retention level of students to ensure that they attain good academic performance.

  • Promoting teacher training on child-friendly methodologies and provision of instructional and reference materials for teachers

  • Working with local communities to initiate school porridge projects and engaging them in school-based income-generating activities and student-led businesses raised funds to support the porridge projects.

  • Working with school leadership to plan and implement traveling (mobile) libraries in schools and encouraging teachers to conduct extra learning sessions to boost students’ reading and writing skills. 

TWINING SCHOOLS GLOBALLY AND STUDENT PENPAL

This is a 3-5:6 Exchange, in which schools in the developed countries are twined /partnered with Ugandan schools and together implement a pen-pal project for a minimum of 3 – 5 year that runs through the following core 6 elements:-

  • Elementary Diplomacy – By engaging children in pen-pal connections and global program goal setting, we inspire them for a peaceful world.

  • Language Support – By allowing children to exchange letters, we strengthen their English writing and reading skills.

  • Cultural Immersion – Presenting and teaching cultural diversity beyond classrooms exchange of letters, drawings and videos.

  • Digital Connections – Help children to use the internet (e-mails – exchange of scanned letters and pre-recorded videos, and live video meetings) in friendship, program planning, and leadership, etc

  • Educational Support – Help children learn about different cultures/ countries, project planning, fundraising (and donation drives), mentoring for improving the quality of education.

  • Elementary Philanthropy – Inspire children at an early age to starting promoting the welfare of others through fundraising and donations.

This program provides participating children in developed countries with the chance to learn about Uganda and the challenges faced by the Ugandan people, especially children.  The learning themes (and the letters to be exchanged) should be tied to the components of the common core or particular curriculum allowing the children in developed countries to understand the differences and impacts of access to conducive child-friendly learning environment both locally and internationally, what changes in their daily lives they can make to help the cause, and how to fundraise towards improving the quality education for their new pen-pals in Uganda.

Through this, PARC hopes to promote understanding of the global and cross-cultural issues, and ensure the creation of a shared global learning environment – what we call ‘ One World Classroom’, which brings educationoutside the classrooms’.

THE PROBLEM TO SOLVE

In both developed and developing countries, many underprivileged children have only a few outlets for creativity and self-expression. In addition, they hardly ever get the chance to directly interact with – and support peers from other cultural backgrounds.

In Uganda, the decades of political conflicts kept many people from going to school and reinforced the cycle of poverty.  Also, the introduction of the Universal Education policy’ in 2007 leads to school population expulsion that translated into over-crowded classrooms, high student-to-teacher ratios, and acute lack of facilities.   Worst still, the government has phased out the allocation of text-books and funding to public schools. In Uganda, it is well known that “universal access to education” does not mean free education, – while Uganda has a universal education policy, making public schools free for all children, the cost of education is still extremely high and few households can afford to send their children to schools.  The parents are required to pay for uniforms including shoes, school supplies (books, pens, pencils, school bags, etc), development funds, and school meals, which their parents and or caretakers cannot afford.

OUR SOLUTION 

With the objective to bridge the pedagogic gap between urban and rural students, we digitally connect schools from different countries and foster global connections amongst children across the globe. Interested schools (and /or class) in a developed country are linked or twined with a partner school or class in a developing country, particularly Uganda and they together establish a pen-pal project for their children (plus teachers and parents).

Upon getting the expression of interest from schools in developed countries, PARC identifies a match or partner school in Uganda, and we do the basic introduction of the program, how it works, and expectation sharing. On agreement for participation is reach, PARC coordinates with the contact teachers such that there is communication on a regular basis through letters or video communication, and have interested students in each partner school or class is matched with a pen-pal.

WHY TWIN SCHOOLS GLOBALLY? 

Our focus is to improve the quality of teaching and learning in rural Uganda while allowing children to devise educational initiatives and projects to share ways to improve sustainability both locally and globally. The concept is to get an education ‘Outside The Classroom Practices’ and beyond individual volunteering experiences to integrate specific learning processes, like interpersonal reflection and critical thinking. Most importantly, it gives children a voice in creating change, the experience of working collaboratively to affect change, and a deeper understanding of themselves and others; generating 4-way traffic in terms of cultural exchange, technology access, educational enhancement, and international development.

Beyond this, partner schools/ children will come up with projects based on what is happening locally and globally – they learn about an issue that is affecting the world, talk about the feelings that they would be experiencing in a similar situation, foster empathy for those affected, and then come up with an idea for how they can help.

THE ACTIVITIES UNDER THIS PROJECT

The main goal is to learn about each other’s lives, and experience ‘a true empowerment’ to help them express their own culture and absorb the knowledge of their peers across the world, while also gaining valuable experience communicating and exchanging their opinions, skills, and potential. 

While the actual projects or activates will jointly be planned and agreed upon by the partners, to reach educational goals, here is a list of suggested ideas that apply to the Ministry of Education’s prescribed learning outcomes.

  • Each student /child will be linked with a pen-pal at their twinned school (similarly a class may be linked with another class of their twin school), where children can pass on their lessons through letters and presentations (LIVE / online) to their peers or twins around the world throughout the year.

  • Share information through the internet  (Skye, Zoom, Google meeting, WhatsApp, etc ), letter-writing, arts, photos, videotaping, and other student-generated ideas. By writing about themselves, pen-pals in partner schools learn to better express who they are and what their aspirations are in life.

  • Throughout the year, each school will prepare presentations on areas such as culture, home/family, school, water, animals, healthcare, food, language, etc.

  • Create ‘A Day In Life’ documentary, where children will share stories of the family and school life and of community events that occurred during the year.  This can be done film (video) as well as expressing traditions of own countries through various compositions and drawings.

  • Implement online tutoring, mentoring, and training projects for children and teachers

  • Stimulate sustainable educational improvement and secure the future of children in partner schools. This will involve;

  • Obtain or exchange books and supplies – collect donations and pay to ship

  • Assist in fundraising – students at/in third partner school will run fast-paced fundraisers to collect funds for a specific project at Ugandan partner school. This involves many options of making the whole school community aware of the twinning experience such as (just to mention a few – think of more)

  •  Working with school administrators to arrange non-uniform days with some specific donations.

  • Discussing with school administration and parents to request participating children in the project can make small donations periodically.

  • You can prepare an exhibition and auction of drawings and conduct screening of day-in-life films from Ugandan children to make the whole school aware of the twinning experience, with a call for donations from views (this could be either mandatory or voluntary for views). Here you can invite the parents to these events!

  • The eventual sending of aid for particular needs, which emerged during the term or year, will be useful for involving the young people in solidarity initiatives while serving to express their mutual friendship.

  • Promote exposure to interactive learning/teaching methods (through online training, webinars, etc) and aids, and teacher training by visiting and interacting with their peers at partner schools.

  • Conduct exchange visits, where a group of children under the guidance of a teacher can make trips to Uganda to meet, learn from and share with their peers.

LIBRARY AND ONLINE TUTORING

We are offering a contingent of related services aimed at improving children’s skills in language (English), numeracy (Maths), communication, and research. This is being done through various interactive activities ranging from access to reading materials to supplementary online tutoring, as well as experimental labs to bring together and engage learners (children) and educators (teachers/ tutors) from all over the world. The project is focused on building a comprehensive support system to improve the academic performance and educational outcome by;-

    • Ensuring access to learning materials through the library (both physical and virtual/ digital libraries) where academic materials and several computers connected to the internet will be free to use. 

    • Organizing online tutoring classes that concentrate on Science, Technology, English language, Mathematics (STEM concepts).  

    • Organizing and conducting virtual training/ meetings/ webinars for Ugandan teachers with their peers globally to learn about children-centered methods and share how best they can improve education delivery in Uganda. 

    • Offering computer classes will be offered to students, parents, and teachers and they will be taught how to access educational resources online. 

    • Planning the opening and maintaining of community contact points (to become a meeting place) for reaching out to – and active engagement with the children on the street, who have dropped out of school and started working at a very young age, supporting them to continue with their education..

    • Distributing print materials in local communities and providing encouragement so the children can continue their studies at home.

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