Education Is Vital

to mitigate the circle of poverty

The Challenges of Education in Uganda

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The ability to access education in Uganda can be a major struggle.

Despite the Ugandan Government’s introduction of Universal Primary Education in 1997 which was designed to offer a free education for primary-aged students, the accessibility and quality of public education poses challenges for the majority of Ugandans. It is common to find public school classes with well over one hundred students, very few facilities and demotivated, over-worked teachers. Additionally, due to poor infrastructure and the fact that the government doesn’t provide transportation to and from school, the distance to obtain a free education makes it out of reach for many Ugandan children. For most of the population, the only other option is private schooling.

Private schools do not have government funding and therefore require fees. Although the fees may appear nominal to those in developed countries, many families cannot afford them. Many children remain at home waiting for relatives to scrape up enough money so that they can attend school. Once schooling begins, if children do not show up with the fees on an ongoing basis, they will be sent home until they return with money. This can result in students who are absent from the educational system for days, weeks or months. Some parents switch schools every term as they cannot fund the ongoing costs of education for their children. The impact of absenteeism is a disjointed education that lacks the consistency needed for academic performance.

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