British Council in Uganda works with primary school teachers to improve their English teaching methodologies, and increases pupil access to English language reading materials.

As a district we have attached great importance to this training. The teachers showed a high level of enthusiasm, happiness and willingness to put into practise what they have learnt. They have already started even before they graduated. You could just see it with classroom arrangements already. – Lydia Musungu Constance, Inspector, Mbale District

Primary school teacher training

Since 2011, 384 primary school teachers from 150 schools in 10 districts in Uganda have been trained in using interactive, pupil-centered English language teaching methodologies. This approach, using the Certificate in Primary English Language Teaching course, contrasts with the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ and rote learning methods of language teaching.

The teacher trainers were the founding members of the Uganda National English Language Association, which the British Council helped form in 2011. The participants graduated as teachers of English from Makerere University.

Working with them have been English tutors from the Colleges of Primary Teacher Education. They observed the teachers over the period of the training and co-facilitated training in World Vision clusters in Lango region (northern Uganda).

Producing English language story books

Over 50 000 books of stories, written by teachers from 20 primary schools in the Iganga district and illustrated by their pupils, were published in June 2013. These books will be used by children, both in the classroom and at home.

The British Council sponsored these story books in order to help primary school children and their families to read English and Lusoga languages.

CiPELT transforming English teaching in rural Uganda

The British Council has been working in partnership with World Vision over the last two years to train 190 primary school teachers in learner centred teaching methodologies using the Certificate in English Language Teaching (CiPELT) course.  The work has centred around two areas in Uganda where educational performance has been poor. 

In March 2015, follow up visits were conducted to provide extra support for the teachers and give the British Council more information about the impact of the training programme on teaching.   One of the teachers who was observed as part of this exercise was Lawrence Kunihira in Nalweyo Primary School in Western Uganda.  

Nalweyo Primary School is a rural school in Kibaale district and as is typical in the district, has large class sizes and poor quality buildings.  Despite this, the teachers are dedicated to ensuring that primary school students stay in school and complete their primary school education and they have made a lot of progress in reducing Primary school dropout rates,   Lawrence was trained by British Council trainers in CiPELT methodology in September last year and since that has been using many different aspects of the training in his classes. Unlike many other classrooms, Lawrence’s classroom is full of learning aids produced by his students.

He has been experimenting a lot with different activities and the students are really enjoying learning. His classes are active and he gives his students lots of opportunities to speak in English and enjoy they classes. The head teacher, Adad Tugumisirize, came to the school around one month ago and was ecstatic when he started observing teachers in the school.  ‘I went into Lawrence’s class and I was so happy, you can just see that the children are learning’ 

Lawrence has been sharing what he learned on the training with the other teachers in the school too.The Primary 4 class teacher uses group work to encourage collaborative learning.  A tough thing to do with a class of over 100! 

There is good news for the future of the school too as new classrooms are being constructed, they should be ready for use next month.  We are sure that Nalweyo Primary School will continue to provide motivating and engaging learning opportunities for its students and inspire other teachers and school to do the same.  





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