THE LUIGI GIUSSANI INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION is an innovative social enterprise that is responding to the lack of quality education pervasive in Uganda and much of Africa. LGIHE focuses on education as an aid in the discovery of personal identity, self-worth and sense of belonging through professional development and learning opportunities for the whole school community.
The Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education (LGIHE) is an accredited non-profit academic institution located in Kampala, Uganda.
AVSI helped to co-found LGIHE in 2009 and continues to support its vision to be a leading institution of higher learning that has a transformative impact on society by improving the quality of education and professional development.
In 2014, LGIHE received accreditation as a private tertiary institute for higher education from the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports, thus enabling LGIHE to grant officially recognized diplomas and certificates. The institute has trained over 25,000 professionals in 500 workshops since 2005. LGIHE has also guided the foundation of primary and secondary schools in the outskirts of Kampala, which serve as model schools for LGIHE’s educational methodology and school leadership approach.
For many years, Uganda was a leader in quality education in East Africa. However, when free universal education was introduced into the country in 1997, the necessary staffing and resources required for such a large influx of students never followed. Since that time, conversations surrounding a “crisis of learning and teaching” have emerged among experts, politicians, families and communities in Uganda. A general “teaching deficit” exists both in terms of academic learning and in the social-emotional dimensions of character development of Ugandan youth, which now represent the bulk of the population.
Although education is highly prized in Uganda, the teaching profession is often undervalued and, general speaking, Ugandan teachers suffer from a lack of professionalization. Teachers are not adequately supported to engage learners in positive motivational strategies, which are more effective than the traditional use of corporal punishment in the classroom. Likewise, many school heads have not received adequate training to fulfill the responsibilities as school leaders and administrators.
Furthermore, the push towards standardized exams has created a culture of high stakes testing which focuses resources on the highest achieving students. As a result, public and private educational environments that should inspire learning and personal growth are unable to reach their full potential.
Since 2012, AVSI-USA has been a close partner, supporting LGIHE in its goal of becoming a leading teaching and research institution with a sound financial foundation and organizational capacity to meet the demand for its professional development services in Uganda.
AVSI-USA has built strong relationships with US-based donors who are committed to the quality of education and protection of human dignity in Uganda.
From 2015-2017, the partnership between AVSI-USA and LGIHE expanded to include the Ford Family Program at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.
Researches from Notre Dame worked side-by-side with LGIHE professionals to consolidate a “Whole School Approach.” The approach contributes to the rebirth of quality education in Africa by working with the wider school community to unite around common goals, to catalyze and manage school change and to offer opportunities for personal growth to all members of the school community.
In 2018-2020, AVSI-USA and LGIHE will be working with Echidna Giving to improve learning outcomes in Ugandan schools. Echidna Giving has awarded AVSI-USA and LGIHE a grant to address the problem of high stakes testing by developing a modified lower secondary school leaving exam which incorporates critical thinking skills.
Echidna Giving is part of the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE), a collaboration of funders and partner organizations seeking to catalyze innovation and systemic change around access to quality and relevant secondary education globally. Supporting the development and testing of innovative solutions to challenges facing the most marginalized, since 2012 the Partnership has given over $60 million to over 60 organizations moving the needle on secondary education in eight countries.
- Continuous professional development and workshops in 142 schools for 648 teachers and 1456 parents.
- Developed monitoring and evaluation instruments such as Classroom Observation and Soft-Skill Assessment tools.
- Consolidated LGIHE core services including school-based training for school administrators, teachers and parents. Initiated three academic programs: Diploma in Primary Education, Certificate in Early Childhood Development and Certificate in Education Management (in partnership with Strathmore University).
- Nation-wide, LGIHE is currently working with the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) to study learning outcomes in secondary schools within 29 districts. In addition, LGIHE is conducting a study of some 20,640 exit-exams in 5 subjects (Chemistry, Biology, English, Mathematics and Physics) to assess the prevalence of Higher Order Thinking (HOT) questions.
MAURO GIACOMAZZI | INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISOR
SENTAMU JAGENDA ROAD
PLOT 828-829, LUZIRA
P.O. BOX 40390 – KAMPALA
TEL. +256 0414 222517
FAX. +256 0414 222510