FIRST LADY LAUNCHES JOURNEYS ACTIVITY HANDBOOK
The First Lady and Minster of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has launched an activity handbook titled Journeys which is an initiative to empower teachers, pupils and communities to promote a positive and supportive school climate for children.
The First Lady, who was flanked by the US Ambassador H.E Deborah Malac, Gender, Labour and Social Development Minister Hajat Janat Mukwaya and the Youth and Children State Minister Florence Kiyingi, launched the book during the celebrations to commemorate the Day of the African Child held at Bulamagi Sub County grounds in Iganga District on Tuesday.
The Journeys Activities handbook developed by the Ministry of Education and Sports with support from USAID-Uganda Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity seeks to eliminate violence against children in schools.
Mrs. Museveni said the Journeys handbooks will greatly support the implementation of the Children Act (amendment) 2016, the reporting, tracking, referral and response guidelines plus the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on Elimination of Violence against Children in Schools 2015 – 2020.
She said the Government of Uganda has shown its commitment to ensuring that schools are safe, non-violent and inclusive as reflected in the National Development Plan 2015-2020.
The Ministry of Education and Sports in partnership with USAID is piloting Journeys in 2,600 Primary Schools in 28 Districts in the country.
Mrs. Janet Museveni explained that in each school, three change agents including the head teacher and two other teachers are trained to lead the implementation of Journeys activities. They are also tasked with igniting the commitment of all staff and pupils to work together to establish a positive and supportive school climate. The Education Ministry is also working with local based organizations to identify representatives of communities to lead Journeys activities.
“When a school climate is positive and supportive for learning, pupils are positively encouraged in both their academic and social development. Violence is not tolerated because teachers are confident, deliver quality instruction and are themselves supported and on the other hand pupils are more likely to stay in school to complete the primary cycle and to succeed in their school work”, she said.
Mrs. Museveni expressed the Education sector’s gratefulness to USAID and RTI International for supporting the Ministry’s efforts to increase the number of children who stay in school to completion.
She also thanked Ambassador Deborah Malac, the Government and people of the United States of America for the continued support to the education sector.