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Education in Uganda

Posted on September 23rd, 2015.

The Republic of Uganda is one of many African nations struggling create a stable and effective education system. With a population of over 30 million people, nearly 7 million are between the ages of 15-24. Ugandan youth play a predominant role in the prosperity of the country; however, many youth lack the ability to attend adequate education facilities.

Currently, only 54% of students complete all seven years of primary education, 22% of the entire population progress to secondary school and a mere 4% attends a tertiary institution.

Though current President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has attempted reforms to combat the challenges posed by the education system, there continues to be frightening low levels of youth enrollment and an overall lacking quality of educational institutions.

This past month with the help of Okello Geoffrey, coordinator of the Alliance of African Assistance’s Uganda office, we were able to get into contact with five teachers who shared their experiences of working in education in Uganda.

Primary school teacher Abalo Betty, who has taught in Uganda since 2005, stated that if there were one thing she could change about the Ugandan education system it would be the salaries of teachers. “There needs to be prompt payment of teachers…this is because a teacher cannot teach effectively without money.”

According to a study done in 2013, on average primary school teachers in Uganda make the equivalent of $97.16 per month. The wages, according to public school teacher Auma Doreen Innocent, are directly correlated to the level of education teachers are able to provide their students with. “Private education is better than public education because pupils [teachers] perform better… [the schools] know how to motivate their teachers in terms of salary…giving the teachers morale.”

Private school teacher Akot Judith stated that if teachers were paid more, students would benefit as well. “They should increase the salary scale of teachers so that they can focus on the work hence improving the performance of the students.”

In addition to the difficulty of determining adequate pay for instructors, Uganda also struggles with its student enrollment. In 1997 the Ugandan government launched the Education Strategic Investment Plan, a policy which allowed four children out of every family to access government-funded primary school. With the high levels of poverty in Uganda, the reform aimed to provide greater access to education.

However, there are still a number of additional school costs which restrain the ability of youth to attend these free institutions. Many cannot afford school uniforms, text books and the other school materials which are required for all individuals to attend school.

At the Alliance we work to provide Ugandan youth with scholarships to help fund their education. Our Child Scholarship Program helps to partner generous donors with children who are in need of financial assistance. With a donation of $25 a month the child you sponsor is able to afford tuition, a school uniform and school supplies. Though the problems with the education system in Uganda won’t go away in a day, with a small monthly contribution you can help provide a child the education they deserve.

In a speech given at the African Union a few weeks ago, President Barack Obama stated that with an education, you can do anything. “History shows that the nations that do best are the ones that invest in the education of their people. In this information age, jobs can flow anywhere, and they typically will flow to where workers are literate and highly skilled and online…Africa’s young people are ready to compete. I’ve met them — they are hungry, they are eager.  They’re willing to work hard.  So we’ve got to invest in them.” By donating to our Child Scholarship Program you are helping to solve the education crisis in Uganda and you are helping to give youth the tools which will help them succeed.

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