We are a Ugandan Movement of
Parents, Teachers, and Pupils
Revolutionizing Public Education.
Confident communities transform schools
into continuously-improving learning environments where
all children thrive.
Delta Education Collective is a
of parents, teachers and pupils working together to
the quality of Ugandan public primary
"We are the ones we have been waiting for."
- June Jordan
Our Vision and Mission
The world has significantly improved access to primary education in the last two decades:
primary enrollment rates in developing countries reached 91%,
school age kids out of school halved, and
gender parity dramatically improved.
This is no small feat.
However, quality remains unacceptably poor in many low-income countries,
squandering a devastating amount of human potential in our increasingly global world.
If this status quo continues, we all lose.
Africa is one of the worst affected regions.
Of the 97 million children who enter school in Sub-Saharan Africa,
over one third (37 million) will reach adolescence unable to read, write, multiply, or divide.
This is particularly urgent because, Africa is home to 1.3 billion people (17% of the world),
and is expected to reach 2.5 billion people by 2050.
In 1997, Uganda was one of the first countries to implement universal primary education,
increasing enrollment 70% in one year from 3.1 million to 5.3 million students,
and to 8.5 million by 2013.
We are also one of the youngest countries in the world;
half of our population is below age 15.
Despite this progress,
less than half of 12 year olds are literate (41%) or numerate (45%), and
just over half of students who start primary school complete it (53%).
The Power of Parents
Parent Teacher Associations
Parent, family, and community involvement in education correlate with higher academic performance, making Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) a powerful tool.
When schools and communities work together to support learning, students at all levels,
regardless of the parents’ education, family income, or background:
earn higher grades,
attend school more regularly,
stay in school longer, and
enroll in higher level programs.
If you have ever benefited from or participated in an effective PTA anywhere in the world,
you understand their power to transform.
PTAs in Uganda
PTAs used to play a big role in education in Uganda, mobilizing local resources to support schools. However, when the government promised free education to all children in the 1990s,
they took over the void that PTAs had been filling.
While the government has provided universal access to education,
challenging budget constraints have limited quality.
It is time to reignite the PTAs’ voluntary spirit to transform schools into
the educational experience we all deserve.
1. Identify District
We identify a district in Uganda with poor test scores and high dropout rates.
We meet with the district leaders to see if they think mobilizing communities could
improve schools in their district. If they do, we begin the partnership.
2. Hire Coaches
We hire a cluster of community coaches from the area who are university graduates and
understand the local culture, traditions, and languages.
3. Create School Scorecards
If education is a priority challenge for the community, the coach facilitates a visioning process to imagine their ideal school and convert this vision into a “school scorecard,”
summarizing the 5 metrics most important for their school.
4. Support PTA Implementation
The community volunteers create a plan to achieve their scorecard. As they implement,
they use design thinking to continuously solve problems and improve,
with support and training from the Delta coach.
As parents see the tangible impact they have on national exam scores and dropout rates,
the PTAs create momentum as agents of change in their communities.
5. Measure, Learn, Improve
Throughout this process Delta communities will constantly learn,
using our lessons to systematically improve our results for the long-term.
We will pilot this approach in a few representative districts around the country
to continue learning and creating a
national, homegrown, community-led, quality education movement.
Our 2019 pilot will engage:
Throughout this journey, we are tracking the following metrics to measure progress:
national exam scores
levels of parent participation and motivation
their perceptions of their own ability to solve problems and make impact
There are many great causes for you to join, so why ours?
Here’s a bit about who we are and who we are not that highlights our trailblazing model:
We are Community Led.
Many organizations have great intentions and knowledge and use them to make decisions
on behalf of the communities they serve, reinforcing a dependency mindset.
We know our member communities are the real experts, so at Delta, we follow their lead.
They make the decisions and do the work that improves schools.
We offer guidance and support from a back seat.
We are Design Thinkers.
Communities will use world class design thinking tools to continuously test their ideas,
improve their impact, and understand their power to make change,
using Participatory Action Research to measure progress.
We are Focused on Results.
What’s the point of all this hard work if there is no measurable impact?
We track national exam scores, dropout rates, and school specific scorecards to
measure progress toward quality education and pivot until we see it.
We are NOT Child Sponsors.
Child sponsorship relies on external, randomly distributed gifts to transform individual lives.
We work with communities to break down the systems holding them back,
so they can transform their whole village, at a lower cost and in a way they can replicate and sustain.
We are NOT too Big to be Agile.
Some organizations are locked into 5 year plans by donor commitments and constrained by
generic policies from headquarters thousands of miles away.
All our decision makers are on the ground, making us lean enough to change,
in real time, in response to what we learn, to maximize impact.
We are NOT too Small to be Globally Relevant.
As Ugandans, it is important for us to start this revolution at home.
However, our community-led education reform movement is open source,
sharing our lessons with any community around the world who are also excited to
take their future into their own hands.
Aaron Kirunda is a social entrepreneur creating innovative solutions to tackle the challenges of poverty, ignorance, and exclusion. He co-founded and runs enjuba, a catalytic education organization focused on improving learning outcomes of children in Africa through a number of literacy initiatives, like spelling bees, teacher training, and local publishing of children’s books. enjuba reaches over 1 million students in 1,500 schools and has trained over 7,000 teachers. Aaron also co-founded the African Spelling Bee, enjuba Credit microfinance, JAMY peer lending platform, Business Innovation Consortium Uganda, and Musana FM community radio station that reaches over a million listeners. Aaron received his MSc from the London School of Economics and is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Global Startup Workshop Fellow, an LSE Programme for African Leadership Fellow, and an Acumen East Africa Fellow.
Meredith Bates is a rural development expert with over a decade of leadership experience in East Africa focused on rural community mobilization, agriculture, education, and private sector led development. As Chief Impact Officer at the New Forests Company, a sustainable, greenfield forestry company, she created and implemented their Shared Value Strategy, raised $1.5m in grant funding, started a 5,000 farmer-10 million tree outgrower scheme, and co-designed a risk mitigation strategy with neighboring communities that reduced risks by over 70% in two years. Prior to that, Meredith worked on smallholder agriculture at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a few African startups. Meredith received her MBA and MEd from Stanford University.
Alex Kyabawampi has dedicated his career to making a difference in the lives of rural communities through improving service delivery and building agency, enhancing the capacity of common people to determine their own destiny and hold duty bearers accountable, rooted in an enduring belief in the dignity of every human being and the potential of education to liberate and allow individuals to develop to their fullest extent. He brings almost three decades of professional experience at increasing levels of responsibility and complexity in program
leadership and development in civil society and the private sector in East Africa. In his current role at The New Forests Company, he leads the innovative risk mitigation approach called Forests for Prosperity under the company’s Shared Value Strategy.
Peter BenHur Nyeko co-founded and runs Mandulis Energy, a social enterprise developing new technologies to deliver affordable, reliable, clean energy that can scale without reliance on subsidies. Their initiatives include developing Earth
Energy, Africa’s largest grid-tied biomass power plant, and REPARLE, which uses biomass waste from thousands of rural smallholder farmers in Uganda to generate energy and improve livelihoods. Nyeko has founded other businesses in renewable energy finance, transport and logistics and education; and sits on the advisory boards of Kampala Diplomatic School, Educate! and AFFCAD. He has an MEng in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bristol.
United by our belief in
the power of education to transform lives and
the power of committed communities to solve our own challenges,
these founding board members initiated Delta Education Collective in 2018.