Laptops for online learning

Funding required: $138,800

This project will help: 178 post-secondary students

Estimated completion date: June 2022

Country: Uganda

Executive summary

COVID-19 has brought serious disruption to students all over the world. Children and youth living in poverty are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of school closures, including learning loss and social isolation. While most countries have pivoted to online education during the pandemic, UNICEF estimates that 463 million children worldwide still do not have access to technology for remote learning.

In Uganda, all educational institutions were closed in March 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus. While primary and secondary schools have since reopened, post-secondary institutions have not yet resumed in-person classes, leaving students reliant on Internet access to continue their studies online. However, families living in poverty can’t afford to purchase computers or tablets. Many don’t have access to the Internet at home or in their communities.

In feeding so many children, the problem is that the cost of firewood to cook meals that support the children’s healthy growth and development is unsustainable. The price of wood and charcoal keep climbing due to government restrictions to discourage deforestation.

Prolonged school closures pose a serious threat for vulnerable children and communities. The longer students remain out of school, the less likely they are to return. Students living in poverty are more likely to drop out, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation or a life of gangs and crime.

Compassion’s church partners in Uganda have seen first-hand the impact of school closures on the children and youth they are serving. In fact, since schools closed in March 2020, no Compassion-assisted student in Uganda at any level—from primary school up to university—has progressed to the next phase of his or her studies. Our partners knew they needed to intervene. But they can’t do it alone.

Your support will enable 10 frontline church partners in Uganda to provide 178 post-secondary students with access to the technology they need to continue online learning. Compassion centres will be provided with computers and tablets and will be equipped to set up their own computer facilities for students to access at any time.

Did you know?

While 83 per cent of countries have used online platforms to deliver education during the pandemic, only about 25 per cent of school-aged children worldwide have been able to access these services.

Summary

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on education worldwide. Children and youth living in poverty have been especially vulnerable to the long-term consequences of learning loss and social isolation. In Uganda, all educational institutions were closed in March 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus. While primary and secondary schools have since resumed in-person classes, post-secondary students continue to learn solely online. However, many students Compassion is serving in Uganda don’t have access to electricity, let alone the technology for online learning, and are falling behind. The Uganda National Office and frontline church partners carried out a survey identifying 178 students who need assistance in this area. The survey found that 139 students needed laptops and 39 needed tablets to allow them to continue attending classes, researching and submitting assignments online. Without intervention, these students are at increasing risk of dropping out and forfeiting their education altogether, losing hope and repeating the cycle of poverty.

The need

Compassion recognizes that getting an education is key to helping children, their families and entire communities break free from poverty for good. That’s why supporting education is a key part of Compassion’s comprehensive child development strategy. Our frontline church partners in Uganda are committed to helping children and youth complete higher education so they can get good jobs and become economically self-sustaining. However, many of the post-secondary students they are serving still don’t have access to the technology they need to continue their studies during the current period of remote learning.

You can help 178 students from 10 churches in Uganda get access to computers, tablets and Internet service so they can keep up with their studies until institutions resume classes in person. A total of 139 students will receive laptops and 39 students will receive tablets for educational use. Your gift will also help our partners set up computer labs, so 86 students without Internet service or electricity at home will be able to access it at their local centres. Laptops and tablets will be the property of Compassion centres and will be provided to students on loan so that others can use them in the future. Students will also receive training on how to properly handle devices and will sign an agreement pledging to take care of devices when on loan. Devices will also be returned to centres periodically for maintenance.

What your gift will do

Your support will provide post-secondary students from across Uganda with the means to continue online learning:

  • Laptops for 139 post-secondary students
  • Tablets for 39 post-secondary students
  • 86 laptops and Internet service will be installed across 10 Compassion centres

Logistics

  • Local contribution: $2,288.72
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Uganda will ensure that this intervention remains within budget.
  • Follow-up: Students will sign agreements to ensure proper handling and safety of devices when on loan. Churches will also monitor students through regular virtual meetings.
80%

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.