Uganda - Early Childhood Development - AKDN
Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), Kampala, Uganda

Aga Khan Education Services (AKES), Kampala, Uganda.

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

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The Aga Khan Foundation is assisting in the creation of locally owned early childhood centres in Kenya, Tanzan...

AKDN / Zul Mukhida

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The Aga Khan Foundation's Madrasa Early Childhood Development programme - Kampala, Uganda.

AKDN / Lucas Cuervo Moura

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Uganda | Early Childhood Development

65,000

The early childhood education programme has benefited over 65,000 children

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In 2018, the Madrasa Early Childhood Development Programme in Uganda, an affiliate of the Aga Khan Foundation, graduated 90 ECD qualified teachers. Above, a teacher trained at the Madrasa Early Childhood Development Institute is using natural materials to help a young child reach their potential.

AKDN

Aga Khan Education Services

The Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) has been operating a nursery programme in Kampala for almost 30 years. Children as young as 18 months (up to six years of age) have access to an integrated, internationally pegged curriculum that prepares them for the transition to international or national curriculum pathways at the primary level. The two nursery campuses (Kololo and Makerere) educate approximately 400 children and have a strong reputation in the community.


Village Health Teams offer parents of children under three information on health and nutrition, basic screening for common illnesses and referral of ill household members. They use the UNICEF/WHO-approved Care for Child Development model, training district health and education officials to support parents and community ECD centres.


Supporting Transition to Primary School


Children accustomed to a conducive learning environment face large class sizes and a teacher-centred “chalk and talk” atmosphere when entering primary school between the ages of six and eight. In response, MECP ensures that lower primary classrooms are conducive to learning. We provide training on developing a variety of low-cost, age-appropriate, safe, attractive and culturally relevant educational resources.


We also support schools to gain more resources for the lower primary grades, both from the community and the government.


Lockdown Learning


During the COVID-19 lockdown, MECP worked with the National Curriculum Development centre to deliver radio programmes in Arua and Central regions. These targeted children aged three to six years with interactive lessons on riddles, songs and stories. MECP also developed and delivered home learning packages to over 10,000 children in both West Nile (Arua) and Central region (Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso).


Influencing and Supporting Government ECD Policy


We are guided by government policies, sign memoranda of understanding with local government and cultivate relationships through membership of working groups within MoES and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. MECP encourages the government to improve ECD policy implementation by disseminating policy guidelines and organising workshops for local government and relevant ECD stakeholders, including private-sector preschool management and proprietors.


We have contributed to the development of operational guidelines supporting the implementation of key policies – these include the learning and training frameworks, Early Learning Development Standards, and basic requirements and minimum standards for ECD centres. We played a key role in the review of the 2007 ECCE policy and the integrated ECD policy spearheaded by MoES and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, both of which were important milestones for ECD in Uganda.