This week the Yiya team traveled to Lira to conduct a comprehensive community need-finding survey to inform development of our engineering curriculum!
With guidance from the team at the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), we developed need-finding surveys and interview questions for focus group discussions, in order to learn what key stakeholders in education in Lira District think about the current state of education in Uganda. We interviewed a wide range of stakeholders, including parents, school dropouts, primary and secondary teachers, District Education Officers, Head Teachers of schools, and many students!
One of the main concerns that came through in our needfinding interviews was that many stakeholders feel secondary education does not currently prepare students for life outside of school or life after graduation. Teachers felt their main job was to prepare students to be successful on national exams, and students in particular felt they were learning knowledge in school that was not relevant to life outside school. This sentiment was best summed up by one story a student told, in which, after a chemistry lab, his teacher told the class never to repeat the lab activities outside of school. The student told us this story with frustration and ended by asking our team: "If I can't repeat a lesson outside school, then why am I learning it?"
We are excited to get to work developing our engineering modules with this feedback in hand! We are so grateful to all these stakeholders for their time, their feedback, and their vision for what improvements can be made to make education more valuable to youth in Lira District! The Yiya team will use this very thoughtful feedback to accurately align our program and curriculum to the most critical community needs.