Elizabeth Kuluume, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Partners for Livelihood Enhancement Services Uganda (PLES-U) and an advocate of equality for all Ugandans, argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed challenges as well as opportunities in the education sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left unbelievable damage to Uganda’s economy. But it has also expanded the horizon of possibilities in a number of business more so in the education sector.
In an interview with The Sunrise, Kaluume points out that the lockdown exposed the impact of economic inequality in learning something that will have adverse impact on society for generations to come.
She argues that one of the biggest benefits of COVID has been the fact that it has allowed stakeholders to reimagine education. This is made even possible by the abundance of technological tools for delivering skills and knowledge.
“We have witnessed the fact that informal learning, home schooling, digital learning, distance learning or use of mass media (TVs and Radios) are possible. This has been an eye opener that some of the strategies that we thought were impossible can actually work,” says Kaluume.
But she points out that while possibilities abound, they are hampered by poverty especially in rural areas that deprive millions from tapping the opportunities of technology in education.
“There is a great link between people’s livelihoods and literacy. You will find that literacy plays a very vital role in transforming livelihoods in such a sense that if one is literate that is to say she/he is able to read, write, use numeracy or numbers but also with understanding, the person must understand what they read or what they count to have an impact on their day to day life, Kuluume explained.
Kuluume adds that if supported, the proposed alternative education programs can accelerate the attainment of the UN sustainable development Goal Number 4 that aims at promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, if well executed.