In order to change lives of pupils in rural and poor schools through reading, several non-governmental organisations have partnered to bring NiE to these pupils.
The government, through universal secondary and primary education, is making an effort to ensure that all children access education. However, more still needs to be done to produce students who can compete globally. Newspaper in Education (NiE), through its partners, are moving in to fill this gap. Following the launch of NiE in 2007, several partners have joined the project to propel its implementation forward.
Daniel Omaye, the programmes manager Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS), says ever since they joined the NiE project, the performance of the students in the 28 secondary schools, which they support, has improved.
“Our focus is on disadvantaged students, mostly in upcountry schools, who do not have access to good education. For instance, we take up students who join secondary schools after scoring Aggregate 32 at Primary Leaving Examinations but NiE content has shaped their literacy levels by improving their grammar, mathematics and providing other relevant information,” he explains.
Oyama also reveals that by supporting the project, they wanted to improve the reading culture among students in poor schools to boost their confidence and enable them compete with pupils in ‘good’ schools.
“There is a lot of improvement in the reading and writing skills of pupils in our schools. We would like to maintain this performance by supplying with them many more copies of NiE to maintain the standard,” he says.
In March, MTN foundation handed over Shs216 million to Monitor Publications Ltd to supply 100 schools in impoverished rural schools across the country with NiE. While handing over the cheque, Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN chief executive officer said: “As a communications company, 70 per cent of our social corporate responsibility expenditure goes to education,” he explained.
Joshua Businge, the NiE project supervisor, says they move to different companies trying to find partners for the project.
“We explain to them our major focus and those who pick interest join us. With many partners on board, we have been able to expand our circulation to all the districts in the country,” he says, adding: “But there are more schools we are yet to reach and so we welcome more partners to support the project.”
Sandra Batte, the Ernst and Young associate director business and market development, education, especially girl-child education and empowerment are some of the areas that drive their corporate social responsibility.
“Majority of the disadvantaged schools out there do not have access to better learning materials and that is why their performance is always poor. By supporting the project, we want to see literacy levels improve among learners,” she says.
Batte explains that as an organisation, they aim at transforming the lives of Ugandans through empowerment. With projects such as NiE, make their objectives are met.
More partners on board make NiE’s major objective of improving literacy among pupils in poor and rural schools more likely to be realised.
Some of the benefitting schools
St. James Bbiina, Kampala
Murchsion Bay Luzira P/S Kampala
Kireka COU P/S Kampala
Misindye Church of Uganda p/s Kireka Barracks P/S
Kityerera-Ark PEAS High school Sarah Ntiiro Secondary School
Malongo Peas High School
Amuda Primary School
Agwata Primary School
Ngoma P/S, Kamwenge
Bisozi P/S, Kamwenge
Rutsya Unit for the Deaf
Budiba Primary School Bundibygyo
Bulambagira P/S, Bundibygyo
Budhababgula P/S Luuka -Eastern
Bugabula P/S, Luuka -Eastern
Angwecibange Primary school
Dokolo Primary school
Koroto Primary school
Akoromit PEAS High School Akore/Acowa P/s
Toroma PEAS High School, Soroti Town @ the Agent Place
Bwesumbu PEAS High school Rugendavara(God Trading H’se)
Kaiti Primary School Mbale/Butaleja
Nabiganda Primary Schools
Akisim P/S Eastern- Ngora-
Ajeluk P/S Eastern- Ngora-
Aspire PEAS H/S Ibanda Town,
Noble PEAS h/s Ibanda Town