In order to improve the literacy rates of future generations, the Uganda Government introduced a policy of free education for all in 1997, known as Universal Primary Education (UPE) which is credited for increasing school enrollment. However, the UPE package provides for teachers’ salaries and the basic facilities, leaving out school meals, sanitary pads for girls and scholastic materials which are important factors to quality learning. In addition, the teachers’ salary too is not adequate enough to match the expected education service delivery standards.
According to Uganda’s 2012 PLE (Primary Leaving National Exams) results a total of 565,663 pupils registered to sit PLE, up from 535,933 in 2011 but only 543,071 showed up for the exams, indicating that 20,989 (3.7 percent) were absent, and according to statistics from the Ministry Of Education 1,598,636 pupils enrolled in 2006 for Primary one in government-aided schools but only 463,332 pupils sat for the PLE (which is only 29% of those who enrolled in 2006). Education Minister Jessica Alupo herself expressed concern over perennial absenteeism at PLE, saying it defeats the government’s free education policy with such notable drop out and class repeating at such a study level“. According to the Nov 10, 2012 New Vision paper, Critics also attribute to the hidden costs in UPE passed on to the parents to these high school drop-out rates in Uganda. Under UPE, parents still have to contribute towards school meals, scholastic materials and uniforms making it hard for many children from poor families to complete the seven-year cycle.
Also, lack of reliable lighting or paraffin in their candles makes it hard for some to revise or do their homework greatly affecting their performance. So it is becoming very difficult to study and teach effectively wi
thout a manageable part-time income generating activity and this has resulted to poor school performances. It is to this regard that we find it vital to intervene in the provision of quality learning to save the plight of the Uganda child education future.
This project has so far been supported by Bluebonnet Hills Christian Church of Austin Texas, USA, Tools With a Mission(TWAM) of UK, Pens For Kids and Individual donors such as Ms. Joyce Young of USA, James Dro. For more information about what has so far been delivered please visit this link.
We still need support in terms of: