Impact of Community-pioneered Interventions to Improve Learning in Rural Primary Schools


The World Bank believes 90% of children in sub-Saharan African schools are not learning (Hodal, 2018). Myriad reasons may account for this statistic; educational capacity development (CD) would be prominent. The Education for All Fast track Initiative (2008) refers to CD as “the ability of people, organisations and society to manage their affairs successfully.” Environments influence the behavior of institutions and individuals by defining the rules, the structures, the outputs, and the interactions between them. CD is the purview of local institutions, organizations, and individuals, “a process undertaken jointly…in collaborative partnerships (Vallejo and When, 2016).” By CD “individuals, organizations and societies obtain, strengthen and maintain the capabilities to set and achieve their own development objectives (UNDP, 2009).” In Uganda, enrollment for primary education is 94%; however, only 32% complete primary school (UWEZO, 2015). For many remote rural schools, learners rely on their communities rather than districts authorities or education service providers to improve learning environments. We evaluate the effects of education interventions pioneered by parents at a primary school in a hard-to-reach rural district in eastern Uganda between 2015 and 2018. Our emphasis focuses on how the community-pioneered interventions influenced enrollment, literacy and numeracy. Methodologies developed by UWEZO (2012) were used to evaluate literacy assessments. The results have facilitated confidence in the community and the district authorities to enable students take National Primary Leaving Examinations. The approaches, achievements and lessons described in this study may inform efforts of rural communities seeking to improve learning environments in primary schools.


Learning, Community-pioneered, Rural


2019 Special Focus: "Learning to Make a Social Difference"


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Dr. Dominic Bagenda
    • Associate Professor, Media Architecture, Future University , Japan Hokkaido, Japan
    • I have lived and worked in Japan since 2009. I am interested communication for behaviour change in the contexts of public health and primary school education. My efforts on primary education are focussed on hard-to-reach schools in Eastern Uganda. My efforts in public health focus on food safety at outdoor festivals in Japan.
  • Dr. Malcolm Field
    • Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kyorin University, Japan Tokyo, Japan
    • I have lived and worked in Japan for about 20 years. In the past five years I have been conducting training in Vietnam, particularly about teaching practice, pedagogy and educational leadership. In the past several years I have been fortunate to collaborate in research with a higher educational instituions in Thailand. I am particularly interested in the learning and heuristics and how beliefs and world-views influecne learning outcomes.