2023 IDELA Endline Report: BAANA Programme in Wakiso District, Uganda

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Save the Children International,Save the Children Uganda

With a global shift to improve the quality, and not simply the quantity, of education, SCI has developed programs that focus on strengthening school readiness skills among 3–6-year-old children in order that they may be better prepared for and succeed in the beginning years of school. SC Uganda supported 51 ECCD centers that are attached to government schools in the four Sub counties of Wakiso district – Kakiri, Namayumba, Masuliita and Gombe where the Sponsorship programme is being implemented. A total of 3863 children (1981 males and 1882 females) aged 3-7 years were reached with ELM at Centre complemented with ELM at home activities, to develop their gross and fine motor skills, emergent literacy and language skills, emergent numeracy skills and social emotional development.

To effectively gauge children learning and development progress during the year, SC Uganda conducted an endline assessment using the International Development Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) tools, while focusing on the five domains of gross and fine motor skills, emergent literacy, emergent numeracy, socio-emotional development, and approaches to learning. A team of 20 Research Assistants was engaged to follow up a cohort of children that had been assessed at baseline. This report compares endline to baseline assessment results to establish the impact of ELM teaching methodologies that were used within the period of Implementation in 2023.

Study Purpose, scope, and methodology:

The activity aimed at providing a holistic picture of children’s development in a way of establishing the level of impact of ECCD learning approaches especially Early, Literacy and Math (ELM) commonly used to improve children’s learning competencies. The assessment also measured the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of parents in relation to ELM at home. This report compares results from the baseline and endline assessment of the International Early Learning and Development (IDELA) in the district of Wakiso, Uganda.

A total of 254 children (126 Female and 128 male) were assessed in 51 ECCD centres in 4 sub-counties (Namayumba, Masuliita, Kakiri and Gombe) in Wakiso district, where Save the Children implements the Sponsorship/BAANA programme. Between 3- and 7-year-olds and their parents/care givers were interviewed. The domains which were tested with the IDELA tool included early literacy, early numeracy, motor development and social emotional development.

Study findings:

An overall IDELA score of the four domains was 60% with performance on the different domains as follows;

Best performance was observed in Socio-emotional development (70%): Children have strong skills in empathy (81%), emotional awareness (77%), self-awareness (77%), conflict resolution (75%) with the lowest score recorded in social connections at 39.6%.

This was followed by Early Numeracy (66%): Under this domain, Children have strong skills in measurement (Size and Length) at an average score of 96%, followed by simple operations (addition and subtraction) at 81%. They struggled most in the puzzle where they scored only 21%. Then Motor Development was at 55%, in which the subtest that children performed best was drawing a person (86%), followed by hopping on one foot (81%) and struggled the most in folding a paper (24%). Children performed worst in Early Literacy (49%) where the best subtest was oral comprehension at 68.9% and the worst performance was Expressive Vocabulary with only one of every 20 children (5%) assessed able to name ten things that are bought from the market.

Additionally, 228 individual parents were assessed to ascertain their areas of support to the children during ELM@Home. Findings showed that 85% of the parents that were assessed were female. 96% of the households had at least one adult supporting ELM at home while only 63% of the parents confirmed that they attend ELM sessions in their communities. 72% of those that supported the children were their biological parents who were mostly below 40 years (56%) and could read and write (88%).

Generally, children in the impact area demonstrated average school readiness skills with an overall IDELA score of 60%. Girls displayed stronger skills than the boys with an average score of 61% and 59%. The assessment assumes that background characteristics between girls and boys in the impact area are similar and therefore did not attempt to collect details on background characteristics of the children.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Consequently, learners scored less in emergent literacy and motor development skills. These should be prioritized while implementing ELM interventions with development of key skills like expressive vocabulary, phonemic awareness and letter identification and the motor skills like folding a paper and copying a shape where children scored below the overall average IDELA score should then follow. Other areas of support to focus on are the social emotional skills of social connections, the numeracy skill of critical thinking (puzzle) in which we also performed below the overall average score. ECCD facilitators need to be intentional on checking concentration of learners when they have been assigned a task as not being attentive normally leads to poor performance as seen while children were folding a paper. Additionally, increasing male engagement in ELM should be emphasized going forward.

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