For every child, an education
Every child has a right to learn and access quality services to fulfil their potential. Education enables gainful employment opportunities and empowers boys and girls to participate in decision-making to build a better future for themselves and their communities.
Uganda faces major challenges in providing quality and accessible basic education to children and adolescents. Today, around 4 out of 10 young children aged 3 to 5 years attend early childhood education, showing marked progress from 2011 that saw 2 out of 10 children enrolled. Similarly, 8 out of 10 children aged 6 to12 years attend primary school and more than 1 in 4 attend secondary school.
However, access remains inequitable: the secondary level enrolment of the richest 20 per cent of the population (43.1 per cent) is five times that of the poorest 20 per cent (8.2 per cent). In geographical terms, the highest Secondary Net Enrolment is seen in Kampala (52 per cent) and lowest in Acholi (7 per cent).
Child marriage, teenage pregnancy, abuse at schools and school fees keep many teens, especially girls, out of secondary schools. Costs associated with education account for 6 out of 10 people leaving school, and pregnancy accounts for 8 per cent of girls who left school. Similar challenges remain in the quality of education: only about 50 per cent of the children in Primary 3 were proficient in literacy and numeracy in a 2018 survey conducted by the Government.
UNICEF in action
UNICEF collaborates with partners to improve access and quality of education by:
- Supporting the development of policies and strategies for better efficiency, equity and quality in education.
- Supporting making ECD centres and schools accessible, inclusive, affordable and safe.
- Helping parents support their children’s learning and provide early childhood stimulation.
- Ensuring classrooms are resourced with learning materials and teachers are motivated.
- Providing out-of-school children and adolescents with relevant, second-chance or alternative learning opportunities, including life skills, in keeping with the National Sexuality Education Framework.
- Encouraging schools to innovate and engaging with communities to promote learning, attendance and achievement.
- Supporting the strengthening of the District Education System for efficient use of resources for improved learning of children.
- Support for preparation and response to emergencies.
By 2025, girls and boys ages 3 to 19 years will achieve age-appropriate learning outcomes, in the following ways:
- Boys and girls aged 3 to 5 years, especially the rural, urban poor and refugees, access quality pre-primary education through formal and non-formal learning centres.
- Girls and boys demonstrate increased learning achievement in literacy and numeracy through increased access to inclusive, equitable and relevant quality education.
- Adolescent girls and boys are empowered with life skills, active citizenship and employability options.