Mother Tongue Education (MTE)

The Mother Tongue Education (MTE) project seeks to increase meaningful access to primary education for marginalized children through advocacy, training, and development of resources to enable primary level instruction in students' mother tongue.

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
School supportLABE Africa Educational Trust (AET)PrimaryLower secondary

Location Data

The Mother Tongue Education (MTE) project, implemented by African Educational Trust (AET) and LABE, supports implementation of the Ugandan government’s mother tongue policy, which stipulates that mother tongue should be used as the medium of instruction in lower primary school, as a remedy for the current poor learning outcomes in primary schools in Uganda.

In response to limited implementation of the mother tongue policy, the MTE project developed a workable model for easy implementation of mother tongue education in government schools. The 4-year program operates in 240 schools across 6 districts of Uganda. MTE engages all community members in its approach including pupils, teachers, and parents, with a special focus on girls and the marginalized.

The MTE model is comprised of 3 key approaches:

1.      Advocacy

MTE facilitates various community activities to increase community and parental awareness of the value and importance of mother tongue. MTE also participates in existing sensitization activities in the project's districts, including school meetings, radio programs, and adult literacy classes. MTE disseminates the experiences from the project to education policymakers in other districts with large minority language communities in order to advocate for and strengthen national implementation of the mother tongue policy.

2.      Training

MTE tutors and district education staff deliver an initial 3-5 day training to teachers in participating schools, which is followed up with refresher courses. Training includes preparation of lesson plans in mother tongue, creation of teaching and learning aids using local materials, and use of mother tongue supplementary resources. Parent Educators are also trained to support teachers in the classroom and deliver home mother tongue teaching to children and mothers outside school hours.

3.      Resource development

LABE developed mother tongue teacher handbooks for use in both pre-service training and in the classroom. To widen mother tongue literacy, the project supports the production and use of sample children’s books and magazines in 5 languages (Acoli, Kakwa, Aringa, Madi, Lugbara) for use in primary classes 1, 2, and 3. 

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