US Mission launches group study programs for early grade learners

By Gloria Nakiyimba
The United States Mission in Uganda has launched a study groups program to provide continuity of learning for Ugandan early grade learners who are not able to attend school due to school closures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The study groups program is providing early grade reading materials and instructional support to 17,500 learners in Primary 1 through Primary 4 at home and in community-based study groups to help Ugandan children to access learning while schools remain closed and help prepare them for a return to school planned for June.

“When children acquire early grade reading skills in primary school, it improves their chances for success later in life,” U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown said while launching the study groups program at Lake Victoria Primary School in Entebbe.

The study groups program supports Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports’ COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and is part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Integrated Child and Youth Development (ICYD) project.

The $148 million ICYD project will work with the Government of Uganda to improve the quality of education service delivery in 50 districts and reach more than 4 million children over five years with early grade reading support.

The activity will also train 42,000 teachers, provide 5.5 million copies of teaching and learning materials, and strengthen district government capacity to effectively supervise schools.