Monitor Lizards at the arrivals section of Entebbe Airport

Samuel Mbuto, March 2021

Back on track in Uganda with bTG’s Teaching With Impact project

The Coronavirus is still wreaking havoc across the globe and there are no signs that this will end soon. Countries all over the world are facing a ‘third wave’ of COVID-19 infections. Notwithstanding the pandemic, things have to move on; in what we are now referring to as the new normal. Before the pandemic, blueTree Group (bTG) had some ongoing projects and anticipated to start others in Africa and Latin America. Unfortunately, some of the projects ended abruptly and the kick-off for the projects that were set to begin became uncertain. The ongoing projects were progressing albeit at a snail speed since some key aspects of the project were greatly affected by the pandemic.

Teaching with Impact in Uganda

The Edukans Teaching With Impact Project (TWI), which entails the production and distribution of Correctbooks and pens in Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Uganda is one of the projects which was significantly affected.  Lockdowns and other restrictions saw many businesses shut their doors and nearly every industry was affected, including print.

Print procurement of the Correctbooks was scheduled to commence in May 2020, however this was postponed to September 2020 due to the effect COVID was having on nearly every facet of our lives.

Print procurement of the Correctbooks was scheduled to commence in May 2020, however this was postponed to September 2020 due to the effect COVID was having on nearly every facet of our lives. Distribution of the Correctbooks and Pens was postponed to 2021 although this was initially planned to start from October 2020.

New beginnings

Around the globe, as the pandemic prolonged, uncertain conditions were prevalent but countries eased the restrictions, lockdowns were lifted, businesses started opening but everyone had an obligation to adapt to the new normal. Hitherto, the project has experienced tremendous progress. Production of the Correctbooks and assembly and packaging of the pens is almost done in all the countries.

Coming down the pike, children in various schools and countries. will receive the Correctbooks and pens for their daily use.

Coming down the pike, children in various schools in the above-mentioned countries will receive the Correctbooks and pens for their daily use. blueTree Group is the technical partner in this project and bTG’s role is to ensure that high-quality Correctbooks are produced and distributed efficiently and on time to all the schools. For this reason, bTG’s Book Chain Specialist, Samuel Mbuto travelled to Uganda to conduct quality checks on the produced books and also have the initial discussions with the Edukans country office regarding the distribution exercise.

Uganda, the Pearl of Africa

Uganda is a beautiful country, rich in history and full of lush natural beauty from border to border.

The country boasts of some of Africa’s stunning landscapes, crystal clear lakes, tropical rain forests, primates, birds and much more.

The country boasts of some of Africa’s stunning landscapes, crystal clear lakes, tropical rain forests, primates, birds and much more. The reason Winston Churchill called it Pearl of Africa, describing it as a fairy tale, with unique environmental attributes and moderate climate due to the country’s location on the equator. As a first-time visitor to Uganda, the sight of monitor Lizards outside Entebbe International Airport is fascinating and scary at the same time.

Monitor Lizards at the arrivals section of Entebbe Airport

Quality checks in Uganda by bTG

BTG in collaboration with Correctbook developed the technical specifications for the Correctbooks and an expert needed to visit the country to conduct quality checks on the final Correctbooks to ensure that they conform to the requisite specifications. This included sampling a few books to check the type and weight of paper used for both the inside pages and the cover, printing quality and color, resolutions of the images, quality of lamination, among others. As per the quality controls checklist, the quality was good and the production was up to standard and adhered to the required specifications. The packing and labelling was ongoing and the Book Chain Expert guided the Uganda Edukans office on the criteria they will use to verify the final packaging once the cartons are delivered. This includes checking whether the packing list was followed to the latter and the quality of cartons used and whether they are properly sealed.

Back on track in Uganda

Students back to school & Distribution

Although Uganda is still grappling with a spike in COVID-19 cases, students are back to school and it will be our joy if learning can proceed uninterrupted. Therefore, the distribution to the schools is scheduled for April and blueTree group will be heading this exercise. 49,330 Correctbooks and 97,600 pens will be distributed to 100 schools within the Central region of Uganda. In any distribution, prior planning is key and as it stands, the preparations are in full gear. Some of the activities that are currently ongoing include developing a distribution plan that clearly maps out a complete distribution list, distribution points and resources and preparing all the required delivery documents in-advance and populating them with the general information such as regions, schools, etc to save on time. blueTree Group will be in the lead in the procurement of a reliable and efficient logistics partner for the distribution exercise.

The ultimate goal is to ensure the Correctbooks and pens are finally in the hands of the children and BlueTree Group will be closely monitoring the distribution exercise. We will be sharing more updates once the distribution exercise commences.

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