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:
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.
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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CEI approaches in actionSchool supportTeacher trainingParental/community engagement for school accountabilityStudent support
Model details2009Not-for-profitLocal language/Mother tongue languageActiveLong-term project108,00055%45%
MTE works in 240 schools in 6 districts of Uganda
720 Parent Educators
36,000 Mothers participated in home training conducted by Parent Educators
13,000 children's books distributed in 5 languages
15,800 children's magazines
14,700 children's learning chartsApril, 2013
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Monitoring and evaluation of the MTE project is undertaken on a number of different levels:
1) At the management level, AET regularly monitors project implementation by LABE in-country, including conducting regular project visits and ensuring that project reporting (including financial) meets required standards.
2) At the implementation level, LABE has put in place monitoring and supervision systems by central and regional offices to ensure project delivery on the ground. Additionally, LABE has set up a project database which monitors project activities, including pupil enrolment at project schools, pupil performance with annual literacy, and numeracy testing. This data is disaggregated according to gender.Standardized assessment performanceInternal assessment performanceUser satisfactionIncreased enrollmentNo