May 18, 2024
Careers & Opportunities

Education Expo: Women Educationists Hopeful

By Kellen Owente                                                           

With two weeks to the New Vision Education Expo, the Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE) Uganda chapter is optimistic that the event will contribute towards the recovery of the sector, which was heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Susan Tumusiime, the FAWE-Uganda executive director, says schoolchildren were severely impacted by the two-year school closure triggered by the pandemic. Some of the children did not return to school when the lockdown was lifted at the beginning of last year.

“We thank Vision Group for organising this expo and I am glad that different issues will be discussed,” Tumusiime says. “This is a chance for us to find the way forward for our young teenagers that have left school due to different reasons and how to keep children in school,”

Learning opportunities

FAWE is a non-governmental organization that seeks to accelerate female participation in education. The expo, Tumusiime says would also offer opportunities for discussing parenting challenges and sharing tips for raising children in the post-pandemic period.

The expo will take place at the Uganda Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Nakawa, Kampala, between January 27 and 29. It will be held under the theme: Where education and the world of work meet.

“It is important to discuss responsible parenting of our children,” she adds. “We should not forget that we are still living with the repercussions of COVID-19 which resulted in neglect, abuse and so much more,”

According to a survey done by FAWE, while a substantial number of girls did not return to school when educational institutions were reopened last year, many children in rural areas still have no access to learning opportunities due to a two-year disruption by the pandemic.

A 2021 study by United Nations Population Fund shows that 354,736 teenage pregnancies were registered in 2020, and 196,499 in the first six months of 2021 in Uganda. Between 2020 and 2021, schools were closed as Uganda sought to contain COVID-19.

Recovering from COVID-19

Tumusiime says the expo also presents an opportunity for the education sector players to further disseminate the “Protect the girl, Save the Nation” nationwide campaign launched in 2021 by the minister of education and sports, who is also the First Lady, Mrs Janet Museveni.

Mrs Museveni, who is the FAWE patron, launched the campaign to fight defilement, child marriage and teenage pregnancy. Sidney Miria, the Vision Group special projects manager, says, indeed, the expo is part of this multimedia company’s effort to contribute to the recovery of the education sector from the COVID-19 shocks.

“We have put together workshops for experts to talk to Ugandans about skills and the opportunities, as well as ways to address COVID-19, impacts through education,” he adds.

The Vision Group events sales manager, Nelson Mboijana, says the expo also presents an opportunity for service providers to showcase their products and find buyers ahead of the start of the 2023 first school term early next month.

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