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Arua Hill Primary School Pupils Views on Cooperative Learning

In partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports, UPHOLD has launched a Teacher Effectiveness (TE) program in six pilot districts. The TE module addresses both the content and process of using Cooperative Learning (CL). This will directly impact on the quality of teachers in schools, equipping them with the skills to make learning more participatory. This approach has many implications for the social development of children, such as teaching them to work in collaboration, share experiences and develop reasoning skills.

Arua Hill School Receives CL Training Material

One of the pilot districts, Arua, lies to the North West of Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Arua Hill Primary School has a total of 1,909 students in 22 streams from Primary 1 to Primary 7, with 47 teachers, giving a Teacher:pupil ratio of 1:41. The two school trainers in CL have now completed four lessons in P5, P6 and P7.

Suzan Ayikoru (P5), an orphan who lives with her brother, and Brian Museme (P5), both like CL because the pupils work freely together contributing different ideas and learning from one another and feel this has improved their performance. According to Suzan the advantage of group work is that she can ask fellow pupils questions, in the local language, that she would be too intimidated to ask the Teacher.

Shalili Abdallah (P6) lives with her mother in the slums. She likes CL because of the interaction and sharing with the other children. “I was by the way poor in reading and writing but have improved” to avoid being embarrassed by the boys. She believes she will do better in her exams as she can now understand what she is reading with help from the group members.

Shamim Onzia (7) believes group learning prepares students for leadership, she has been group secretary and says it has enhanced her writing skills and improved the whole groups spoken English. Vincent Feni (P7) likes CL because through sharing and working together it cements relations among the children and speeds up the learning process, after all it is better to work together than do things alone. Although cooperative learning is new to the school, the children were enthusiastic; all of those interviewed “wished it a long life”.