Link Community Development

Improving the quality of education in Africa

Masindi District Education Development Project (MDEDP)

Link was invited to support the implementation of the Universal Primary Education and administrative decentralisation policies in Uganda. The Masindi District Education Development Project was designed to develop and demonstrate processes which enhance the capacity of District managers, education officers, school inspectors and Headteachers to plan for and deliver school improvement in partnership with the local community.

Funder: Big Lottery

Date: 2000-2005

The Challenge

Masindi district had been identified as one of the worst performing districts in the National Primary Education Performance League Tables. The challenges faced by schools in Masindi district were typical and representative of those faced by schools all over Uganda. Masindi district was struggling with the twin challenges of implementing Universal Primary Education (UPE) and administrative decentralisation. The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) invited Link to share our experience of district interventions and decentralisation in South Africa and Ghana which had proved to be effective.

Project Aims

The overall aim was to support Masindi district to:

  • Improve the quality of teaching and the effectiveness of management and governance in all schools, leading to better learning outcomes for all pupils.
  • Improve access to learning opportunities for all pupils
  • Promote meaningful parental and community participation in their schools
  • Enhance the effectiveness and responsiveness of educational management at district level
  • Share lessons learnt to positively influence decentralisation in Uganda and beyond.

Project Activities

  • Placing two pairs of experienced UK school inspectors in the field for the duration of the project to mentor the district inspectorate
  • Supporting district planning and management interventions
  • Providing budgetary support necessary to keep the district inspectorate vehicles and equipment functional
  • Developing new inspection procedures and supporting the Directorate of Education Standards to use them.
  • Conducting School Performance Review and School Performance Appraisal Meetings in Masindi schools.

Headline Achievements

In 2007, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted a national impact assessment of Universal Primary Education.  This assessment established that “In Masindi, the District Office, the Education Standards Agency and the NGO LCDU have worked since 2000 to improve district and school management… Examination results in these schools are approximately 50% higher than the results of comparable schools” (De Kemp, 2007)[1].