Returning the ECD program to the classroom following the end of the Covid-19 lockdown
The government of Uganda announced the opening of schools in January 2022. The ECD project strategy has been switched from a community to a school context, with schools hosting ECD programs. For the communities, the program has reported an inflow of up to 1200 children. The influence of the ECD community structures that occurred during the lockdown was partly responsible for the strong turnout. All stakeholders embraced the ECD program and commended APPCO for the effort once the schools were operational.
The Signpost planting was a success as we were welcomed by the different school administrators. They also helped with the planting material and tools but also more help came from the ECD facilitators and the caregivers we got on the ground. In total all the 15 signposts for the ECD schools were planted in the communities to identify the ECD host schools.
PREPARING THE CLASSROOMS FOR ECD SESSIONS
When the government of Uganda opened up the schools on 11th /January 2022, a team of APPCO staff conducted a needs assessment of all the ECD centres under the Appco area of operation. Parents from three ECD centres teamed up with APPCO to ensure that the ECD centre host schools got the resources they needed to keep the program functioning. Because some ECD centres lacked facilities for the ECD portion, most of the class sessions were held outside under the trees.
we attended the meeting where the main issue for discussion was how to address the need for classrooms that were scattered. The chairperson centre management committee Mr Okot stated that “Due to the strong winds a few days back, the roofs of the classrooms were blown away from another ECD centre”. Parents agreed by mobilizing resources together and also lobby from different stakeholders like APPCO, AVSI, Windle international and others, they would work together to build this classroom. As a result, the parents agreed to start digging the foundation the next day and to buy and deliver bricks the next week.
The construction activity began, which demonstrated the community’s devotion, and we urged them to continue with the same attitude. In this article, we recognize the efforts of the Parents of the Kapetta ECD centre and St. Andrews Paloga ECD centre seen engaged in the process of constructing decent classrooms as part of a community-led initiative to promote inclusive ECD learning in their community given the prevailing constraint of ECD focused infrastructure.