Scaling up Early Grade Reading in Uganda [CIES 2019 Presentations]

This panel shared presentations from Uganda government officials and development partners which are collaboratively engaged in the efforts to improve and assess EGR in Uganda’s primary schools. Panel participants will discuss the process of gradually scaling up program activities to reach the majority of the nation’s schools by working with and through government structures. The Uganda MoES which has led the process from the begin will discuss how it has worked with donors and other development partners to mobilize resources and technical assistance by incorporating EGR in the ministry’s overall strategic plans. The Uganda National Examinations Board and the Uwezo Uganda initiative will discuss how they have been able to scale up assessment of Ugandan children’s reading skills through government ownership and civil society engagement in conducting early grade reading assessments. The GPE, SHRP, and LARA projects will share how they have worked through government structures at both the national and district levels to develop instructional materials in 12 local languages plus English and improve EGR instruction and learning in schools in a sustainable way. The panel will illustrate that attaining measurable improvements in reading scores at scale takes considerably more time and effort than smaller scale and pilot programs because interventions at scale require working through government structures and personnel, requiring systems strengthening and capacity building while also implementing program activities. This requires enormous effort and constant collaboration among government and development partners with sustainability as the ultimate objective.