Our Plan for Iganga District, Uganda

Our Plan for Iganga District, Uganda

OUR PROJECT: PROVIDE AN EDUCATIONAL MODEL THAT IMPACTS 30,000 UGANDAN STUDENTS

In 2013, approximately 65 million adolescents were out of school. A third of these adolescents live in sub-Saharan Africa (UNICEF Out of School Children Data Release, 2015).

Fifty-seven percent of secondary age children in Uganda have not completed a primary school education (National Education and Policy Center, 2014). Even more troubling is the decline in the quality and relevance of educational outcomes (see, for example, EPDC Spotlight on Uganda). As a result, communities have little incentive to keep children in school, and those who stay learn few skills to apply what they have learned for the good of the community.

Remaining on the current path will likely result in systemic failure. The proportion of out-of-school children will grow, the skills taught in school will be inadequate and irrelevant, and the efficiency and effectiveness of the money spent will decline.

Our method shifts educational emphasis, broadening traditional academic goals with the development of the skills needed to effectively address real community issues. By adding critical thinking and problem-solving skills, value-based prioritization, greater independence, and self direction to a solid foundation of academic skills, our pedagogy is designed for relevance and lifelong learning.

Our approach sets adolescents on a direct path to relevant and productive careers, effecting desperately needed economic progress within their communities, while exposing and resolving the social issues that are the barriers to progress in the first place: social injustice and exclusion, gender inequity, and poor personal health and well-being.

Our proposal is a partnership between ConnecTeach, and the Menya Zirabanuzale Schools (MZS) in the Iganga district of eastern Uganda. We have worked together before at the WalugogoTeacher Training College, one of the organizations under the MZS umbrella.

Our project will impact 1,300 teachers and 30,000 secondary students from 72 schools in 88 parishes in north and east Iganga.

You can support this project by clicking the “Donate” button or joining our GoFundMe campaign (www.gofundme.com/connecteach4uganda ). Just $5 can go a long way toward reaching our campaign goal. Please share our campaign link with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

By helping us, you help us all. 

Thank you.

 

Bhavani Parpia Honored with Inaugural ‘Triumph of the Spirit’ Award

Bhavani Parpia Honored with Inaugural ‘Triumph of the Spirit’ Award

DALLAS (SMU) — Peruvian champion of indigenous women’s rights Eliana Elias and innovative global-minded local educator Bhavani Parpia will be honored at SMU Nov. 12 as the first two recipients of Embrey Human Rights Program Triumph of the Spirit Awards. The awards carry a combined $30,000 in funding for the recipients made possible by an anonymous supporter of SMU’s undergraduate human rights program.

The inaugural Triumph of the Spirit event will include a 7 p.m. dinner in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom and 6 p.m. courtyard reception. The evening will feature thought-provoking interviews with Elias, Parpia and other human rights leaders, a mix of music and spoken-word performances and a compelling array of mixed-media art by past and present Embrey Human Rights Program students.

Reserved tables and individual tickets for the event are available at various sponsorship levels. For details, visit https://sites.smu.edu/apps/events/triumphofthespirit/tickets.asp or contact 214-768-3241 or kleinb@smu.edu.

The Triumph of the Spirit Awards aim to “reward people doing great work for others, sometimes at great risk to themselves,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin. “The awards represent a microcosm of life-changing work being done locally and around the world on issues affecting everyone. The awards also are meant to give us all hope that change can be made even by small steps of awareness and action.”

Elias and Parpia were selected for Triumph of the Spirit Awards from among several dozen human rights defenders nominated for providing selfless work on behalf of individuals and communities. The award selection committee, comprised of 19 SMU faculty and staff members, University alumni and regional community leaders and activists, chose Elias and Parpia for work best exemplifying the missions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Embrey Human Rights Program.

The Embrey Human Rights Program was created in 2006 as the result of a gift from the Embrey Family Foundation of Dallas. By 2012 SMU would become the fifth university in the nation and the first one west of Ohio to offer an undergraduate human rights degree.

Montessori teacher Bhavani Parpia is founder of the educational nonprofit ConnecTeach, helping underserved communities in South Asia and the Middle East improve the quality of education for hundreds of thousands of children one teacher at a time.

Parpia also serves as district world languages coordinator for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District (HEB ISD), where she develops and oversees Arabic, Chinese and Hindi programs.

Before joining HEB ISD, Parpia founded the Primary School at North Hills Preparatory in Irving. Under her leadership, North Hills was ranked 13th-best performing school in the U.S., and in 2013, she received the World Affairs Council International Educator of the Year award.

Parpia has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hindu College/Delhi University and a master’s degree in sociology from Virginia Tech.

Presenting the regional Triumph of the Spirit Award to Parpia will be S.M. Wright II, president/CEO of the S.M. Wright Foundation, which since 1998 has provided food, financial and social service support to inner-city children and families in need. The South Dallas pastor and civic leader is the son of the late Civil Rights pioneer Rev. S.M. Wright.

Serving as moderator of the Triumph of the Spirit Awards event will be Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders.

Sanders’ reporting work has earned him a regional Emmy Award and also garnered awards from the National Association of Black Journalists; the Houston, New York and Chicago film festivals; the Dallas Press Club; and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Offering creative expressions of music and spoken word will be Will Richey, Alejandro Perez Jr., and David Rodriguez of Journeyman Ink; the eclectic ensemble-in-residence at SMU Meadows School of the Arts Brazen Brass 5 (featuring five SMU students and alumni) and SMU student, opera singer, poet and dancer Maya Jones.

The Triumph of the Spirit Award is an iron elliptical sculpture with concentric rings around a circular core. Each award is engraved with the award winner’s name and the motto of the Embrey Human Rights Program, “There is no such thing as a lesser person.”

“The award symbolizes the interconnected spirit of humanitarians around the world, and that the community effort to work for peace is never-ending,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Assistant Director Bradley Klein. The rings represent different spheres in which such people as women’s rights activists, lawyers, physicians, and those fighting against torture work to uphold human rights.

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award. My hope is that it helps bring awareness of our mission of quality education in the world’s poorest communities, as well as to inspire others to action in human rights causes,” said Ms. Parpia.

ConnecTeach is a non-profit organization that provides quality professional development for teachers in underserved schools around the world. Their highly-qualified volunteer educators provide teachers in these schools the tools they need to create stimulating learning environments, including on-site professional development, mentoring and certification in effective teaching practices. ConnecTeach contributes directly to the odds of success in the global fight against poverty by training and supporting teachers dedicated to the success of students in the world’s poorest communities.

ConnecTeach Speaker Series: Jolly Okot

ConnecTeach Speaker Series: Jolly Okot

JOLLY OKOT

Activist and Producer of The Rescue: The Story of Joseph Kony’s Child Soldiers

Please join us at ConnecTeach World Headquarters to hear Jolly Okot’s inspiring story.

March 20, 2017, 6 – 8 p.m.

8411, Sterling St., Irving, TX 75063

Donations gratefully accepted.

“The change people want to see
in Africa starts with empowering
women…Education is the vehicle
of hope and the instigator of
lasting change.”
— Jolly Okot

 

Jolly Okot has dedicated her life to improving the lives of women in Northern Uganda.

She believes nothing is more powerful than education and
has shared her inspiring story worldwide—from high school
auditoriums to the oval office, Influencing the lives of all
who listen.

By providing women with employment, empowerment and education, Jolly is giving Northern Uganda the kind of hope that will last for generations upon generations.

The Difference We Make

Usha in Hope Foundation Kannagi Nagar describes how Connecteach has made a difference in her teaching and the lives of her students.

Help ConnecTeach when you shop for back-to-school supplies

Help ConnecTeach when you shop for back-to-school supplies

You can help ConnecTeach when you shop for back-to-school supplies on Amazon. You purchase and Amazon donates. It’s a simple and easy way to help us in our mission of education for all children.

Please support us:

#StartWithaSmile at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/45-3192080 and Amazon donates.

Position Paper: “Early Language and Literacy in India”

Position Paper: “Early Language and Literacy in India”

ConnecTeach recommends EARLY LANGUAGE AND LITERACY IN INDIA, A POSITION PAPER. We are proud and honored to have participated in the development of this document that “will enable policy makers and educators (practitioners and academicians) to develop a set of informed actions based upon the principles of language and literacy development in young children.”

The entire document is available here.

Today is #PrimeDay! #StartWithaSmile and @Amazon donates to Connecteach.

Today is #PrimeDay! #StartWithaSmile and @Amazon donates to Connecteach.

Today is #PrimeDay! #StartWithaSmile and @Amazon donates to Connecteach.

Go to http://amzn.to/29Tx1we

Prime Day-July 12, 2016

2nd Annual International Conference on Education as a Human Right

2nd Annual International Conference on Education as a Human Right

The second annual International Conference on Education as a Human Right kicked off Saturday, April 16 in Farmington, NM.

Four panels of experts discussed how indigenous peoples, environmental issues, poverty and gender intersect with education.

ConnecTeach and the Dallas Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University sponsored the event along with Navajo Prep.

The first conference was held in 2015 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. This year, ConnecTeach and Embrey Human Rights Program partnered with Navajo Preparatory School to host the conference near the Navajo Nation in order to discuss the rights of indigenous people.

The keynote presentation was delivered by Zoe Tryon, founder of One of the Tribe, an organization dedicated to protecting the rainforest and the advancement of indigenous rights in the Amazon Basin. She spoke about her experiences working with the indigenous people in Ecuador, including people of the Cofán and Shuar nationalities.

Other speakers included Bhavani Parpia and Amy Merk from ConnecTeach, Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts, Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch, singer and domestic violence activist Radmilla Cody, and Jennifer Denetdale, an associate professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico.

As with our conference last year at SMU , this year’s conference highlighted many important issues and initiated important conversations including the balance between preserving tribal culture while changing those practices that serve as barriers to gender and economic equality and environmental sustainability.

 

The Kikulu Foundation + ConnecTeach + Walugogo Teacher Training College

The Kikulu Foundation + ConnecTeach + Walugogo Teacher Training College

This past April (2016) in Uganda, ConnecTeach partnered with the Kikulu Foundation and Walugogo Teacher Training College in an initiative to train more than 350 teacher trainees and more than 15 training college instructors.

kikulu_foundation_and_walugogo_teacher_training_college

In a country where teacher development opportunities are rare in rural communities, a teacher can spend an entire career without the opportunity to attend professional development focused on teaching and classroom management strategies. In fact, a Kikulu partner Director in Uganda never had the opportunity to attend a teacher development workshop in her 20-plus-year career. ConnecTeach is honored to be a part of this multi-year teacher development initiative and our role in the week-long workshop training current teachers and teacher trainees.

kikulu_foundation_and_walugogo_teacher_training_college

“I teach because it is the only way to sustain life. It is a part of survival. Pupils become somebody through teachers”
– Walugogo Teacher

Once trainees complete their training and begin teaching, many of them will have classrooms of more than 100 students and will be required to teach with little to no resources. To make matters worse, they do not receive the continuous training they need to be most effective. In fulfillment of our mission to empower educators in the world’s poorest communities, we look forward to our partnership with the Kikulu Foundation and Walugogo Teacher Training College in providing access to professional teacher development to 353 teacher trainees and 17 teachers in rural Uganda.

ConnecTeach is a nonprofit organization committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by equipping teachers with the skills needed to give their students a quality education and lead in the development of the world’s poorest communities. We believe that teachers and students are the most powerful changemakers- locally and globally. Think. Change. Join our movement.

Student- Led Conference on Education as a Human Right

Student- Led Conference on Education as a Human Right

We are pleased to announce that students from Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy and Newman Smith High School will be coming together for a student-led conference on education as a human right. This conference, which will be held at the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy on Saturday, November 14, will explore the impact of gender, poverty, and displaced communities on education. Breakout sessions will include action planning, using social media for change, and a poetry anthology. BOMLA Flyer Final_

ConnecTeach Receives Dell “Powering the Possible” Grant

ConnecTeach Receives Dell “Powering the Possible” Grant

ConnecTeach is honored and proud to be the recipient of a one-year Dell Powering the Possible learning grant to support youth learning initiatives in partnership with Hope Foundation, Chennai, India.

Dell Powering the Possible

Empowering the Next Generation provides tools, resources, and opportunities for teachers and students to move beyond basic technology skills and integrate digital literacy into Hope Foundation-affiliated classrooms so that children can achieve the critical 21st century learning skills to be globally competitive.  Empowering the next generation requires empowering their teachers, not only with the strategies to facilitate instruction so that all students are engaged, but also with the digital literacy needed to develop student skills to be on par with those who have privileged access to education.  A recent report on BBC News (Footnote 1) shows that there is an appalling 100-year gap in educational levels between students in developing countries when compared to their peers in developed countries. The intriguing question they pose is whether there is a “technological way for education systems to leap-frog a few stages forward.” We believe there is–by providing a strategic process whereby technology is viewed as a highly effective tool to complement classroom instruction, “a powerful springboard to higher-level learning”, that replaces a disconnected activity to be tacked only when time permits.

Empowering the Next Generation develops teacher instructional skills that are integrated with digital literacy. It is critically important for teachers and school leadership to increase their level of ICT competence in order for students to develop ICT skills.  Incorporating teacher outcomes into this project ensures scalability and sustainability of student learning outcomes. A balanced approach to improving student achievement and youth learning ensures that all stakeholders understand and acquire the skills and knowledge to effectively use digital resources and critical thinking skills to navigate a 21st century education. This also allows for grade-level and subject area alignment of instructional strategies, which increases the opportunity for collaboration among teachers as well as ensuring long-term student success.