Improving teaching skills and ensuring that each child has access to a grade appropriate reading text are key elements to improving the reading skills of one million Ugandan children
For Immediate Release
Friday, June 6, 2014
Kampala, June 6 2014 – U.S. Mission Uganda, through the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID), will deliver more than 400,000 pupil books and teacher guides in eight local languages and English to over 1300 schools in Uganda as part of USAID's School Health and Reading Program. In addition, approximately three thousand primary school teachers from twenty-one districts have completed refresher training to increase their capacity to teach young children in their respective local languages as well as in English. Teacher training, two books per child, and support supervision are key elements of the reading program.
Funded by USAID, the School Health and Reading Program is a five-year reading and health education program designed to support the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) in the dual challenges of low reading skills and high HIV prevalence by improving reading outcomes in primary grades and strengthening HIV/AIDS interventions in schools. U.S. Mission Uganda recognizes that education is a key factor in the demand for health services and early grade reading is the basis for girls' and boys' success and retention in school. The program goal is to have at least a million Ugandan children reading and while improving HIV/AIDS prevention and AIDS among adolescents.
"Improving teaching skills and ensuring that each child has access to a grade appropriate reading text are key elements to improving the reading skills of one million Ugandan children," said Mark Meassick, USAID Uganda Deputy Mission Director. Results from a 2013 baseline study show that on average, grade 3 children in Uganda read as few as 4.8 words per minute. An international benchmark holds that grade 1 students should read 45–60 words per minute to read with comprehension.
Earlier this year, USAID distributed pupil books designed to teach reading in eight local languages and in English to over 200,000 children in grades 1 and 2 as part of the School Health and Reading Program. As many as 28 titles and teacher’s guides for each language and grade have reached 1,319 schools in 21 districts across the country. The School Health and Reading Program is implemented for the U.S. Mission Uganda by RTI International.
For additional information about USAID's work in Uganda, please visit http://www.usaid.gov/uganda
Last updated: June 06, 2014