Mango Tree works to improve early primary literacy through working in the local languages, Lango and Kuman, and English. The Northern Uganda Literacy Program (NULP) works in the following capacities:
Mango Tree and the NULP trains teachers in the basics of their local spelling and grammar system as well as a set of simple, effective teaching methods so that they can teach effectively and confidently in their own language. Teachers are trained during school holidays and are provided additional support through in-school monitoring and additional Saturday, in-service trainings.
Effective, affordable language instruction resources
NULP has written a teacher's guide that provides an outline for every language lesson. They have also provided primers and supplemental readers to every student. Materials are developed and printed locally.
Comprehensive lesson and classroom assessment model
In order to support the Ugandan Ministry of Education's curriculum, NULP has developed a continuous assessment monitoring program for teachers that aids them in measuring literacy competencies for their students. Through this monitoring system, teachers are able to measure their students' progress daily as well as from end-of-term grades. In addition to assessment monitoring, NULP has provided a literacy report card template for teachers to share with parents.
Community support for local language literacy
Community and parent advocacy programs have been established by NULP to garner understanding of Uganda's government policies regarding early primary literacy. Schools participating in NULP organize activities to educate parents and engage them in their children's education. In addition to advocacy events, NULP sponsors a weekly radio show and an annual literature event.
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CEI approaches in action
NULP is exploring ways to foster local language publishing to sustain the long-term development of a culture of literacy.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Mango Tree’s Northern Literacy Program includes a significant M&E element, which is aligned with a Continuous Improvement workstream. Activities include:
- On-going assessment of training
- Testing of student literacy development and comparison against previous results and control schools (e.g. EGRA assessments)
- Forums for trainers and trainees to provide feedback on training activities
Internal Assessment Performance - Literacy | EGRA was created by literacy experts as a simple and low-cost way of measuring the development of children's basic reading skills in early primary grades. The test, administered by trained assessors in one-on-one sessions with individual children, takes about fifteen minutes for each child. In November 2010, Mango Tree used the EGRA model to acquire baseline data on P1 pupils in the pilot and control schools participating in the project. In November 2011, Mango Tree tested P1 pupils in their Literacy project pilot schools to see if their reading skills had improved following a year of instruction using our model and materials. Below are key improvements of pupil scores in the 2010 baseline and 2011 assessment:
- Letters read correctly per minute increased from 8.7 to 19.6
- Words read correctly per minute increased from 0.77 to 7