A best practice: The Government of Uganda upscales accessible lifelong learning spaces – Community Learning Centers

The Mpigi District Council Office towers above the communities, perched on a hill, about 60 kilometres from Kampala city centre. The Programme and Partnership Advisor (PPA), DVV International, Ms. Rita Kahurananga flanked by Joseph Kifampa, Programme Manager, DVV International Uganda were greeted with a warm smile at the entrance of the District Council by Annet Nabuuma, DCDO Mpigi District. It is noteworthy to see how the district Community Learning Centre has been maintained over the years. This care is echoed in the demeanour of the staff and officers and how they handle their duties.

One could not help but notice the poster promoting “equal opportunities” for all at the Parish level as we entered the DCDO’s office. Mainstreaming gender and inclusive programming are a hallmark of this district council. With much enthusiasm, the DCDO shared briefly the different programmes being administered by the council, specific to community development and social welfare at Community Learning Centres. Capacity building and skills development form a large component of the DCDO’s interventions. The Ministry of Labour, Gender, and Social Development (MGLSD) is the ministry taking the lead in administering Adult Learning and Education (ALE) in Uganda, in partnership with key stakeholders like DVV International at the macro, meso and micro levels. This cooperation was exemplified when about 50 stakeholders met during a four-day workshop convened by MGLSD, supported by DVV International Uganda from 20-23 March. The purpose was to review the draft version of the National Adult Learning and Communications Strategy (NALCES).

The stakeholder meeting was attended by key officials from the government, Non-governmental Organizations, Academia, and faith-based sectors. This workshop brought together representatives from more than 50 organisations in the field of ALE.

The first day focused on sharing updates on the national Integrated Community Learning and Education for Wealth (ICOLEW) programme led by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD). There were opportunities to hear from the participants as well as key beneficiaries of the ICOLEW programmes and projects from around Uganda, whose stories were captured and interpreted during the workshop. The aim of this session was to encourage ALE stakeholders in Uganda to engage in the implementation of the national ICOLEW programme and support the MGLSD in their efforts to create lifelong learning opportunities at CLCs for individual and community development and growth.

For the full article, please follow this link: https://www.mojaafrica.net/en/magazine/the-government-of-uganda-upscales-accessible-lifelong-learning-spaces-community-learning-centers 


Community Learning Centers

What is a Community Learning Center?

Community Learning Centers (CLC) are places of learning and community development, where a variety of Adult Learning and Education (ALE) services can be delivered to the community, such as functional adult literacy, livelihoods and business skills training, savings and credit schemes, libraries, agricultural and health services, etc. The Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (RALE, UNESCO General Conference of 2015) states that ‘Adult learning and Education is a core component of lifelong learning’ and member states are advised to establish appropriate structures such as CLC for delivering ALE services, and at the same time, encourage adults to use CLCs for learning and development. Therefore, it is acknowledged CLCs have a strong role to play in ALE, and particularly in ALE service delivery at community level.

Why CLCs in the region and next steps of implementation?

The CLC model was transferred from Morocco to Ethiopia through a peer learning process that was supported by DVV International. After adapting it to the local context in Ethiopia, and later in Uganda, it was piloted by both countries. Today, CLCs are recognized as hubs for lifelong learning that deliver a wide range of integrated services based on local community needs and national development agendas in these two countries. By creating places such as CLCs, ALE services can be delivered in an integrated manner with our partners. CLC forms one programme component in the national integrated ALE programmes in Ethiopia and Uganda. In Tanzania, the CLC model has been introduced through exchange visits to Uganda and Ethiopia and Tanzanian government as well as other key stakeholders in the ALE sector are appreciating the concept.

While in Uganda and Ethiopia governments put an emphasis on establishing CLCs country wide, Tanzania has launched its first CLC in December 2022. A second CLC will be launched early 2023. DVV International facilitates the process of further establishing and institutionalising CLCs in the three countries by organising exchange of experiences and peer learning among the three countries and also among Districts and regions within a country. 

Community Learning Spaces: innovative approaches to life-long learning in Tanzania.

The singing, clapping and the dancing all made for an exciting event as two community learning centres and one community learning hub were launched in an Adult Learning and Education (ALE) pilot project funded by DVV International. “Elimu endelevu kwa watu wote Tanzania” is a slogan that means “life-long learning for all in Tanzania, and this was placed on all three Community Learning Centres and one learning hub during the official launches in 2022 and 2023.

A CLC is defined as a one-stop centre for provision of non-formal youth and adult learning and education, lifelong learning and integrated service delivery for socio-economic transformation and improved quality of life. The aim is to ensure the following:

  • To provide ALE services and provide lifelong learning opportunities.
  • To facilitate individual and community development for sustainable development and improving quality of life
  • To address local needs with tailor-made services
  • To deliver a range of services in one location
  • To promote empowerment, social, cultural, and economic transformation.

During the launch in Kisarawe District, Ms. Senkoro, the District Adult Education Officer (DAEO) gave an overview of adult learning and education in the district and shared some alarming statistics: “According to the educational census conducted using village officials, the total number of adults who are illiterate are 3,839 (1,537M) and (2,302F). Currently 652 adults have enrolled in literacy classes (117M and 435F) among them 31 (8F and 23M) are people living with disabilities. This is equal to 17% of the illiterate people in the district” Remarked Ms. Senkoro.

The concept of life-long learning still bears a certain level of stigma for adults over a certain age. An older man or woman “going to class” like their children and grandchildren sometimes holds the connotation that they are way behind in formal learning. There is a 14% adult illiteracy rate that needs to be addressed.” (The District Adult Education Officer of the newly launched Mzenga Community Learning Centre)

Insufficient human resource capital, inadequate facilities (learning centres, land) are some of the barriers to rolling out effective ALE interventions in Tanzania. Similarly, the intersectionality between basic education and ALE needs to be explored further, especially as parents are required to provide the children with learning support when the get home from school.

Technology (MoEST) and President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG). In these workshops, it was agreed to contextualize and pilot the East/ Horn of Africa CLC model in Tanzania and build a supportive system from national to micro level that supports effective, relevant and needs oriented service delivery at the CLC. In this pilot CLCs will be established in four districts of Kisarawe, Kibaha DC, Kongwa and Mpwapwa located in Coast and Dodoma regions.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s (MoEST’s) role is to provide revised guidelines that will be used in management and operations of Community Learning Centres (CLCs) to manage the quality of Education provided by CLCs. They would also ensure that facilitators at the learning centres are capacitated.” (Ms. Felista Mapunda, Focal person, Adult Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology)

In Kisarawe district, the government provided a ward office located at Mzenga to be used as a CLC. As a result, DVV complemented the government efforts by renovating the building to meet the standards of a CLC. Similarly, the building was provided with furniture to be used by the adult learners group at the centre. After the renovation, the CLC was officially launched on Thursday 23rd February 2023.

For the full article, please follow this link: https://www.mojaafrica.net/en/magazine/community-learning-spaces-innovative-approaches-to-lifelong-learning-in-tanzania 

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