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DVV International – Supporting the Establishment of a Robust Adult Education System in Uganda

| Caesar Kyebakola | DVV International – UgandaInnovative practice

Our work in Uganda

DVV International has a long history of working towards building a sustainable adult education system in Uganda. We have supported various adult education projects dating back to the early 1980s and have carried out a variety of activities in adult education in partnership and collaboration with government, universities, local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and networks.

Our role is well-documented in supporting the government of Ugandan in its endeavor to address basic education needs so as to eradicate illiteracy in the country and promote effective participation in the socio-economic transformation and development of communities. Support from DVV International also includes support to other forms of non-formal education such as livelihoods skills development, business skills training, Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) as well as establishment of Community Learning Centers as one stop integrated adult learning and education service delivery points.

DVV International implements a programme entitled “Promotion of Adult Education in Uganda” with the overall objective of “establishing a well-managed and resourced ALE System that responds to the needs of adult learners (through the provision of relevant and quality programmes)” Specifically, we are pursuing the following results;

A). Political dialogue and lobbying at local, national, regional and international level lead to greater consideration of adult education in policies and budgets.

B). Government sector offices involved with ICOLEW (Integrated Community Learning for Wealth Creation) at national, district and sub-county levels are strengthened in terms of their institutional capacities. Adult educators receive basic and further training.

C). Institutionalized Community Learning Centers and ICOLEW groups with trained facilitators deliver improved and increased integrated adult education services.

Since 2016, DVV International has been supporting the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) in the conceptualisation and implementation of the Integrated Community Learning for Wealth Creation (ICOLEW) Programme. The ICOLEW programme is currently being implemented in the 4 districts of Namayingo, Mpigi, Iganga and Nwoya under the leadership of the MGLSD which is responsible for adult literacy and non-formal education in Uganda with the professional guidance, technical and financial support of DVV International.

Progress of the programme

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Figure1: Nwoya district leaders, DVV International and MGLSD Staff during the launch of Alero CLC

DVV International continues to support the government of Uganda towards the overall objective and vision of “a well-managed and resourced ALE System that responds to the needs of adult learners.” DVV International partnered with MGLSD since 2015 to assist with a total transformation of the adult education system in Uganda.

Using the conceptual framework and tools of DVV International’s Adult Education System Building Approach, the project started with a systematic entry point related to technical processes, indicated as the area where most assistance was needed. This refers to the design of an integrated adult education system, curriculum, training methodologies, etc. Gradually attention has been given to other elements of the adult education system, such as the institutional arrangements needed for integrated adult education services across sectors, as well as the management processes in the form of planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, etc. To date, the following progress across the 3 levels of implementation has been registered:

Micro Level: Institutionalized Community Learning Centers and ICOLEW groups with trained facilitators deliver improved and increased integrated adult education services

The provision of adult education services has been redesigned to address un-met needs of learners by including 5 key components of the ICOLEW programme (adult literacy, livelihoods skills training, business skills training, savings and loan schemes and community-led development). As a result of this new methodology, the programme is already receiving interest and demand from other districts. It can be stated that a new adult education service delivery approach and methodology has been delivered with evidence across 4 districts and lessons provided for up-scaling.

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Figure 2: Members of a Community Empowerment Group in Nwoya district during a livelihood skills training session in their group garden.

The establishment of Community Learning Centres (CLCs) as effective service delivery mechanisms for literacy, continuing education and lifelong learning programmes through community-based approaches has brought additional value and have seen the delivery of ICOLEW Programme components and access to other government services beyond the original target group. CLCs contribute to the sustainability of the programme by delivering an institutional mechanism for adult education service delivery.

Meso Level: Government sector offices involved with ICOLEW (Integrated Community Learning for Wealth Creation) at national, district and sub-county levels are strengthened in terms of their institutional capacities. Adult educators receive basic and further training

In the programme implementing districts, the capacity of government experts from different sector departments at all levels have been strengthened for effective and efficient implementation of ICOLEW Programme. Curricula and training materials are now locally developed for all ICOLEW components.

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Frame 3: Sector experts from Namayingo district in a joint ICOLEW Planning session

The sector experts at every level of implementation jointly plan, implement, support and monitor the project on a monthly basis. This integrated approach includes the highest levels of administrative and political authority at the district and sub-county, thereby contributing towards programme ownership and sustainability.

Macro Level: Political dialogue and lobbying at local, national, regional and international level lead to greater consideration of adult education in policies and budgets

The National Adult Literacy Policy and the National Community Development Policy, now have a roll-out mechanism through the ICOLEW programme. ICOLEW had been adopted wholly as a flagship programme in the National Development Plan (NDP) III for the period 2020/21 – 2024/25. Accordingly, the programme is already seeing financial and in-kind contributions at all levels and some of the ICOLEW components like the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) have already been officially adopted by the MGLSD as a methodology to be used for other related projects and programmes. The district local governments as well extend services to learners by using budget from other sectors like agriculture, health, and production as well as lobbing civil society actors and other government agencies to support the programme.

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Frame 4 Members of a Community Empowerment Group (CEG) in Iganga district in a VSLA session

Looking into the future

DVV International is committed to supporting establishment of a robust adult education system in Uganda which supports social economic transformation. We continue engaging key stakeholders both state and non-state in adult education programming that comprehensively addresses the ever changing needs of adult learners especially through establishment and sustainable management of Community Learning Centres as one stop service delivery points for lifelong learning with linkage to the parish development model.

About DVV International

DVV International is the Institute for International Cooperation of Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V. (DVV), the German Adult Education Association. DVV represents the interests of approximately 900 adult education centers (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest further education providers in Germany. DVV International provides worldwide support for the establishment and development of sustainable structures for Youth and Adult Education. As the leading professional organisation in the field of adult education and development cooperation, DVV International has committed itself to supporting lifelong learning for more than 50 years now.

DVV International’s vision is to fight poverty through education and support development. As a globally acting professional organisation for adult education, DVV International builds a sustainable system for further education, along with citizens, educational organisations and governments. Together with the people in our partner countries, we establish places for lifelong learning. DVV remains one of the leading global professional Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for adult education (AE) and operates in more than 30 countries globally. Our work around the globe is financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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