Our approach in education

We know that education has the power to transform a child’s life, give them a more prosperous and healthy future, and help their entire community beat poverty and inequality. Put simply, an education can change everything – so we work hard to give every child the opportunities they need and make sure that nothing stands in their way.

Our aims

SCOEN aim is to: Improve access to education for children and improve the quality of education that they receive.

Improving access to education

We aim to help children overcome the barriers that prevent them from going to school, including tackling inequality in their community and working with parents to provide for their families.

  • We help parents to earn a secure living, so they can afford to support their children through school.
  • We support families to learn basic financial skills and access community-based savings and loans groups.
  • We work with community leaders and families to help them better value education and to nurture each child’s development at home and in the community, as well as at school.
  • We enable farming families to grow more sustainable crops and partner together to get a fair price for their work.
  • We help girls, minorities and vulnerable children overcome the inequalities that can hold them back, and support them to go to school.

Improving the quality of education

We aim to help children have the best possible education during their time at school, including support from well-trained teachers in a safe and engaging environment.

  • We train teachers in child-focused teaching methods appropriate for each age group, making sure staff are motivated and well supported.
  • We make sure schools are safe and accessible by working to renovate and construct classrooms, libraries, staffrooms and kitchens, as well as improve access to clean drinking water, hygienic toilets and sanitation.
  • We help schools to access engaging learning resources, inspiring text books and educational games to help children get the most out of their time at school.
  • We ensure children learn important health, relationship and life skills so they have the power to make better decisions and become successful after leaving school.
  • We help establish and monitor school policies and practices that promote and protect the welfare of children and teachers.

The challenge

In schools across Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, children are not receiving the quality of education they need and many are forced to dropout or leave without vital basic skills. Outside of the classroom there are also huge inequalities to overcome, including poverty, discrimination and cultural attitudes that can prevent many children from having the chance to learn in the first place.

The challenge for communities

  • Families don’t have enough income to meet their basic needs
    Agriculture is often the main source of income for parents. However many farmers struggle without the right seeds, equipment or training in sometimes harsh environments. As a result, they become unable to provide food for their families, pay healthcare bills or afford their children’s education.
  • Inequalities stop vulnerable children from going to school
    Minorities, children living with disabilities, and girls are at a particular disadvantage as discrimination, abuse, early pregnancy and child marriage can stand in the way of their education.
  • Parents can’t support their children’s learning
    Without an education themselves, many parents are unable to nurture their child’s development at home. Cultural attitudes towards education can also stop families making education a priority for their children or engaging with teachers on important issues.
  • Limited access to financial services
    A lack of basic financial skills and limited access to banking services means that families can’t invest in their livelihoods or access vital support in times of need – leaving entire communities vulnerable to economic or environmental crisis and putting their children’s future at risk.

The challenge for schools

  • School environments are unsuitable and unsafe
    Children in rural areas often struggle to have access to schools. When they do, classrooms can often be old, badly built, or insufficient in number – leaving children without an appropriate place to learn and play. Limited access to clean water and hygienic toilets also put children and teachers at risk of dangerous but preventable diseases.
  • Teachers struggle without proper training
    Training and mentoring is vital to quality teaching, but few staff receive support beyond their basic qualification. Teachers often have to use outdated or ineffective methods that cause children’s education to suffer and lead to higher dropout rates. Poor support can also lead to a lack of motivation, meaning teachers don’t show up for work or use their skills properly.
  • School resources are limited
    Without access to age-appropriate textbooks, materials and games, children struggle to engage with their lessons and don’t find learning fun. Available resources are often poorly designed and don’t support their development.
  • Poor policies put child welfare at risk
    Essential policies and practices that keep schools functioning can be missing. These include comprehensive child protection and safeguarding policies, staff training on inclusiveness, and the basic management practices that enable children to get the most out of their education.

We work to promote free, equal access to quality education for all children – from early learning to secondary education
Our priorities in Education:-

Institutions, Policy and Laws

How governments set policies and implement laws and budgets have national implications for children’s education. For these to be effective, they need to be fully aligned with human and child rights, and be developed with the active and meaningful participation of children and communities.

Access to Education

We are committed to ensuring that every girl and boy has access to an education and that they are never denied this right. We believe every child has a right to enroll in education and to be supported to transition between and complete their education. Achieving this often requires identifying and addressing deep-rooted barriers that exclude children from learning opportunities.

Inclusiveness and equality in education

We partner with education institutions, other organisations and communities to ensure education for all children. This includes developing and supporting formal as well as non-formal initiatives for children and young people who are out of school, facilitating community early-learning initiatives and providing remedial support for children with learning difficulties.

We place a heavy emphasis on removing the many financial, social, cultural, geographical and other systemic barriers that prevent children, particularly girls, and marginalised groups, including children living with disabilities, from accessing and moving through the different stages of education.

We also partner with education institutions and communities to provide inclusive education as part of our disaster risk reduction planning and our response to disasters.
In accordance with Sustainable Development Goal target 4.1, SCOEN is committed to supporting access, transition and completion of free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.

Quality Education

Children and young people have a right to a quality education – one that is safe, child-friendly and includes a broad range of life experiences and learning processes. Their education should promote human rights and gender equality, be fully inclusive and be adapted to meet children’s diverse needs.
We are dedicated to providing a quality learning environment for children that provides them with a meaningful and relevant education and supports them to develop to their full potential.
We work closely with education providers to ensure all children have relevant curriculums, receive appropriate teaching and learning resources and that they can enjoy safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environments.

To achieve this, we are committed to ensuring there are sufficient teachers who have the knowledge, skills and attitude to provide this, and that they have the capacity and resources to respond to learners’ different needs, particularly those with disabilities.

Accountability and Participation

Children and young people have a right to participate in how their education is governed and how decisions about their education are made. They have a right to influence their learning so that they can benefit from a just, equitable and quality education.

While governments and public authorities are responsible, as duty bearers, for promoting and fulfilling children’s right to education, parents, teachers and local leaders have a duty to support children to participate more fully in this process. We are committed to working with education systems and institutions to ensure they are more accountable for their own performance, and that they are more open and responsive to the voices of children, youth and their communities in generating long-term changes to education.

Our approach involves working in alliance with education authorities to establish and enhance public accountability mechanisms that monitor the delivery of national education commitments, the quality of education services and provide opportunities for redress.
Ensuring all children, including the most vulnerable, can access an education

SCOEN is committed to the welfare of children aged six to 12 years, and seeks to ensure that children’s rights are respected, protected, realised and fulfilled at home, in primary schools, and in the community.
We endeavour to ensure that:

  • girls and boys, including those with disabilities or other vulnerable groups are safe from all forms of neglect and abuse
  • primary school-aged children are protected from preventable disease and have access to affordable quality health-care services, use safe water and effective sanitation at home and at school, and enjoy opportunities for recreation and sports
  • children are able to complete quality primary school at the appropriate age