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Experiences and well-being of Ugandan teachers working in a refugee settlement during the COVID-19 school closure
DisciplineKansainvälinen kehitystyö (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Development and International Cooperation
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The aim of this study was to find out how the Ugandan COVID-19 school closure affected the well-being of Ugandan teachers working in a refugee settlement. Teacher well-being has been recognised as a major driver of quality education and it has received a lot of attention from researchers, but the well-being of teachers working in low-resource, crisis and conflict-affected settings is an under-researched topic, and there is little research on teaching during the COVID-19 school closures in contexts where online learning was not feasible. This study concentrated on the challenges, successes, and stressors that the Ugandan teachers working in a refugee settlement experienced during the first year of the school closure, from March 2020 to March 2021, and whether their job motivation changed during that time. The data for the study were collected from 20 teachers through a questionnaire with open questions. The study was conducted in cooperation with Finn Church Aid (FCA) that supports schools in Ugandan refugee settlements. Interviews with the FCA education specialists provided valuable background information. The data collection was carried out by FCA personnel in May 2020, and the data were analysed using a qualitative content analysis method. The findings of the study show that school-level and community-level contextual factors affected the teachers’ job satisfaction, job stress and motivation. Insufficient income was the most prominent stress factor for the teachers. Many teachers had found additional sources of income to have their basic needs met, and financial distress was the main reason for decreased job motivation during the school closure. Difficult working conditions affected the teachers’ job satisfaction negatively. Factors that supported the studied teachers’ well-being were respect and recognition from the community and relationships with the learners and their families. Successes in carrying out their responsibilities, such as raising COVID-19 awareness in the communities and facilitating learning also supported their well-being. ...
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