Education Sector profile in Uganda
Education is a crucial sector for the development of the economy as it equips Ugandans with the necessary skills and knowledge necessary for effective performance in both business and work places. Education also enhances the capacity of the recipients to confront and overcome challenges as they progress in their life journey. Education enables one to explore the new ideas that leads to development. In FY 2017/18 , the country achieved 95.9% access to education at primary level with schools being within a 5 kilometers reach to the children. The primary school enrolment stood at 10.2 million pupils.
Education sector regulatory framework
The Education Sector Strategic Plan
The Education and Sports Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2017-2020 has been prepared to provide the policy framework that will guide the Sector as it navigates through its ambitious goals of providing quality education with an insufficient resource envelope.
Key education policies
- In 1997, the Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy was launched resulting in universal primary education for all children;
- In 2007, the Universal Secondary Education policy was launched with Uganda becoming the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to introduce universal secondary education;
Characteristics of the sector
- Education sector in Uganda is one of the most robust with good export potential
- The private sector participation is encouraged in the education sector
- The sector has attracted international students contributing to the national export earning
- Enrolment in the education sector tends to be driven by students quest for good, affordable and competitive schools in the region
- The private sector owns 70% of secondary schools.
- Government owns about 30% of secondary schools
The Education Sector in Uganda has government and private sector as the key players. The sector has both formal and non-formal educational institutions spanning all educational levels. Uganda has the following levels of education:
- Business; Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET); and
- Higher Education levels.
The sector includes public, private and community Physical Education and Sports institutions.
Formal education system
Uganda has a formal education system based on a 7-4-2 formula. Formal education starts with seven years of primary education followed by four years of O Level secondary and two years of A Level secondary education. The A level secondary education is followed by a 3-5 years of University level education. This structure has been in existence since the country achieved political independence in 1962. At each level of the education system, the country produces a number of graduates but the numbers are reducing as one goes up the formal system due to a number of reasons including challenges of affordability and limited capacity intake of education establishments of higher learning.
Early Childhood Development
National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy and Action Plan of Uganda has been developed to guide the process of developing the full potential of children from conception to 8 years of age. Therefore the parents and caregivers are expected to help the children grow and thrive physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, morally and socially.
Non-formal education system
The non-formal education system grooms people to become socially acceptable and responsible adults. The first transfer of knowledge and skills is done at home where children are taught to carry out various activities including cooking, cleanliness, building, ethics, gardening, respect for elders and discipline among others. The non-formal education is about the education, learning and training which take place outside recognized educational institutions.
Current national priorities in Education sector
In FY 2018/19 the priorities will be as follows;
- Commence, with support of the World Bank, civil works in selected primary schools and provide instructional materials and construct secondary schools in sub-counties where they do not exist;
- Procure instructional materials including bilingual dictionaries, for use in teaching in local languages in Primary schools;
- Operationalize through teacher provision, 100 secondary schools in 92 Local Governments in pursuit of establishing a Government Secondary School in sub counties without any;
- Accredit to international standards 6 Technical Colleges and Technical Institutes at Arua, Buhimba, Mubende, Kiryandongo, Nyamitanga and Iganga; and continue civil works at Technical College Centers of Excellence at Elgon, Lira, Bushenyi and Bukalasa Agricultural College;
- Complete construction works at Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba and Uganda Technical College Kichwamba .
- Procure an oil rig under Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba in order to enhance practical skills acquisition in the oil and gas subsector
- Finalize civil works for workshops, incubation centers, teaching facilities and laboratories in 8 beneficiary universities at Kyambogo, Gulu, Busitema, Makerere, Muni, Mbarara, Makerere University Business School and Uganda Management Institute;
- Advance loans to 1,000 undergraduates and 200 diploma students admitted in academic year 2018; and 2,950 undergraduate and 200 diploma continuing students under the students’ loan scheme.
Key strength of Uganda’s Education Sector
- Political commitment to both equitable access and quality education for all Ugandans.
- Enabling policy frameworks.
- Increasing – though modest budget allocations to the Sector.
- Government commitment to provide instructional materials.
- Government commitment to improve the welfare and motivation of teachers.
- Qualified human resource in the Sector.
- Liberalized Education and Sports Sector
- Functionality, particularly data entry interface, multi-user access,
Education demand by foreign students
Uganda’s education sector attracts students mostly from neighboring countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sudan and Burundi.
Challenges in the Education sector
The challenges facing the education sector include the following:
- The 3.2% growth of population per annual is creating an ever increasing pressure on budget resources
- Weak institutional alignment
- Low utilization of ICT
- Inadequate budgetary resources allocation
- Primary children progressing to secondary school is still a problem
- Capacity gap in Education sector
- Inadequate infrastructure resulting in quality challenges
- Inadequate sports facilities
The information on education sector profile is organized as follows
Key Drivers in Education Sector