The Simameni project is an important initiative that is making a significant impact in the education sector in Uganda. It is a five-year initiative (2019-2024) led by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE) and Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), supported by Global Affairs Canada. The project is being implemented in the Western and Teso regions of the country, and it is already making a significant impact.
Through the Simameni project, UNATU is committed to improving the quality of education and the welfare of teachers in Uganda. One of the ways that the Union aims to achieve this is by empowering teachers and communities by providing support and training.
As an initiative of the Simameni project, school visits in both the Teso and Western region have been conducted to assess the progress of the project and provide support where necessary. Sandy, the CTF program officer, has been leading these visits, and they have been instrumental in shaping the goals of the project while giving support to the schools.
In addition to school visits, the project has been providing psychosocial support sessions for teachers in both the Western and Teso regions. These sessions are designed to help teachers deal with the post-COVID-19 effects that come with teaching. By providing teachers with the tools to manage their mental health and those of their learners, Simameni through UNATU hopes to improve Access, Retention, and Educational Opportunities for secondary school-going girls.
Another critical aspect of the Simameni project is mentorship, Gender, and Woman Empowerment training. The training, which was conducted successfully in March 2023, focused on leadership, women’s rights, laws, and the last will statement. Women in the region face unique challenges in leadership roles, and UNATU through Simameni is committed to empowering them to take on leadership roles in the education sector.
Simameni recognizes the importance of involving key stakeholders in the education sector in its activities. To this end, a meeting was held on 17th March 2023, bringing together Headteachers, Board of Governors (BOG), Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Chairpersons, District Inspector of Schools, and UNATU. The meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to share their experiences and the impact of the project and discuss ways to improve the access and retention of secondary school school-going girls. Finally, a successful school community meeting was conducted in the project schools, these meetings are an opportunity for the schools to showcase their improvements since the inception of the Simameni project. It’s also a good opportunity to engage with the school community inclusive of parents, teachers, students, district officials, local leaders, and the police to listen to their testimonies and challenges to forge ways to cover those gaps. One of the activities carried include the creation of School community Simameni committees to oversee all aspects of education for the retention of the girl child within the various project schools.