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Pilot Testing Global Citizenship Education (GCED) Curricula and Training Materials in Refugee Settlement Camps Primary Schools, Kiryandongo District, Uganda

Tuesday, 15th August 2017

In May 2015, UNESCO member states adopted the Incheon Declaration and its Framework for Action (UNESCO, 2015), which reaffirm the states' engagement with Education for All and their commitment to realizing Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) (UN, 2015): 'Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.' Target 4.7 of SDG4 specifies the key role of GCED and ESD in reaching sustainable development; 

"By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture's contribution to sustainable development."

In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), UNESCO has been supporting GCED implementation through existing programmes in Education such as Peace education, learning to live together and Teaching respect for all, but also through Social and Human Sciences programmes (Intercultural dialogue and Culture of peace and social inclusion) as well as in the Culture sector. Successful programmes on education for a culture of peace,sustainable development, human rights, civics and citizenship, democracy and good governance, conflict management, as well as the prevention of violent extremism have been promoted across the sub-Saharan Africa region. GCED studies and reports have been produced and sub-regional meetings held.

With support from UNESCO Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), Uganda has been at the forefront of this agenda and has embarked on programs to implement GCED in the primary education curricula. This program is spearheaded by the Ministry of Education and Sports, the National Curriculum Development Centre in collaboration with the UNESCO National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Kampala Antennae Office.

GCED programs are anchored within one of the broad aims of the education sector in Uganda, i.e. "to promote understanding of the value of national identity, patriotism and cultural heritage, with due consideration of international relations and beneficial inter-dependence".

Key activities have included conducting a situational analysis on GCED to establish the status of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in the Uganda education system; to identify the nature and extent of GCED implementation in the local context; to analyze existing strategies sand activities which address Global citizenship education (GCED); to identify teaching materials for enhancing GCED in the curriculum at primary, secondary, and Primary teachers college  and; to identify key actors and stakeholders, including students,principals and curriculum developers to participate in GCED.

The findings of the situational analysis were presented and validated by the international consultants on 8-10 November 2016, at IBE-UNESCO, Geneva, Switzerland.

Based on the recommendation from the situational analysis, the integration of GCED has targeted primary education curricula (for Primary four and five) in selected subjects i.e. Religious Education and Social Studies.  A teacher's resource book, readers' manual, an orientation manual and classroom observationtools have been developed and are to be piloted in 4 primary schools in the 2 regions (Central and Eastern) in Uganda in districts that don't host refugees. These regions selected for the pilot phase of GCED had been predetermined based on the MOU between the Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda and APCEIU.

The integration of GCED will also target co-curricular activities that are being developed through e.g.Music Dance and Drama (MDD), Development of posters, poems; talking compounds and community work to promote learning and living together & respect for all.

Rationale for piloting GCED in primary schools in refugee settlement camps

A request is being made to support the piloting of GCED curricula and training materials in 2 schools from the refugee settlement camps due to take place from July - August 2017 in addition to the 4 schools that had been previously selected.  

Uganda is now home to over 1.27 million refugees and asylum-seekers (60% children and 54% women and girls) in 28 settlements in 12 districts (including Kampala), a number greater than at any time in the country's history; and this is projected to increase by an additional 400,000 by the end of 2017, given the average daily influx of about 2,000 refugees from South Sudan.

Uganda's settlement model is globally acclaimed as it guarantees the protection of refugees and host communities dwelling side-by-side in peaceful co-existence by ensuring that the resilience capacities of both refugees and host communities are strengthened in the spirit of solidarity, safety and dignity. This model is the manifestation that there is a thin line between humanitarian actions and sustainable development, and that both must be addressed together to have lasting impact.

Despite the good intentions, refugee hosting areas and associated public services are completely overwhelmed, and the hosting districts are unable to fully respond to the needs of their population for example schools and health centers are now handling four times the capacity they are meant to serve which had led to congested classrooms,high teacher pupil ratios, increased drug stock outs, water scarcity, reduction of land available for host communities and poor sanitation to mention among others.

In line with Uganda's strategy to create hope and self-reliance for the refugee and host population, the role of global citizenship education in instilling peace and harmonious living amongst the host communities cannot be underscored. The role of teachers in providing a quality global citizenship education remains central to this process.

Objectives of the GCED pilot phase

The pilot phase for the newly developed GCED materials aims to:

1. Test out the feasibility of the proposed education strategies for implementing GCED in the national primary education school curriculum in selected schools;

2.  Build the capacity of primary school teachers with the relevant knowledge, skills and values needed for the implementation of GCED and to share best practices of education initiatives that are relevant to GCED; 

3. Gather teachers' opinions and use their experience to develop well-informed, sustainable and invaluable GCED resources

4. Test the suitability and effectiveness of GCED materials and make changes before it is distributed or offered widely;and

5. Identify which sections of the GCED materials are effective in achieving the intended objectives for GCED as well as those that require improvement.


The pilot phase will target two teachers, from each of the primary schools that are actively involved in the teaching of Religious Education and Social studies at Primary four and five; two district Inspectors of Schools and two Head teachers for the participating schools.

Proposed content of the GCED integration

  •                   Living in Peace
  •                  Rights and Freedom
  •                   Understanding origins of people and cultures among others
  •                   Good neighborliness and forgiveness
  •                   Behaviors at home, school and interaction with other people
  •                   Climate change
  •                   Natural vegetation
  •                   Governance systems
  •                   Sustainable use of resources

Implementing partners

The activity is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports, the National Curriculum Development Center in collaboration with the UNESCO National Commission for UNESCO, the Education standards agency, the district education officers and the local government and the UNESCO Kampala Antennae Office.

Expected outcomes

1. Understanding the effectiveness of the proposed global citizenship education strategies in the national primary education school curriculum and supplementary materials for different settings;

2. An identification of the entry, the opportunities and the key challenges for the implementation of GCED in the implemented curricula;

3. Understanding of effective methodologies needed for delivering and integrating GCED in the existing curriculum materials;

4. An improved version of the GCED training curricula and supplementary materials needed for primary schools.















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