Education in Uganda
The education situation in Uganda is dire. Slow progress is being made the government to improve accessibility but persistent problems remain. Since 2006, the ratio of students to teachers has increased to 57 pupils per teacher. The overall literacy rate is 69% amongst those aged 10 years and above.
Many children are being ‘chased away’ from school on a daily basis. Their parents may not have paid the school fees, or they do not have uniforms, shoes, books and other vital equipment.
There aren’t many school buildings in the Muduuma district. This means children have to travel long distances to the nearest school. Often they don’t have adequate meals before leaving for school, meaning they are restless and lacking concentration during lessons. Without adequate nutrition, their ability to absorb valuable information is significantly impaired.
Can you speak English?
Fluency in English is increasingly important in Uganda. Without appropriate English language skills, children cannot progress onto high school and into employment in the local community. Primary education is a vital first step in the route out of poverty.
Between 2003 and 2007 the number of students enrolling in secondary school increased every year. UFF aims to continue this growth and improve enrolment numbers. UFF’s primary school will encourage learning as an important tool for child growth and development. We aim to produce successful and skilled students who will continue onto secondary schooling.
The current school buildings in the Mpigi district are sub-standard. Due to a lack of resources, children are often schooled in community-built mud-huts and seated on crowded, flimsy wooden desks. Blackboards are generally poor quality. There is little or no lighting in the classrooms, making teaching difficult and ineffective. Ventilation is insufficient.
Primary schools in Uganda often lack water supplies. There may be a small or polluted water source or often no water source at all on the school campus. If there isn’t any water source, children must fetch water before they begin class in the mornings. This is both strenuous and time-consuming. Lesson time may be shortened and the children are left unattended while teachers sit outside under the trees or in their staffroom.
Children are taught in a boring environment without any motivation or stimuli. Teachers use little more than basic guide texts to teach the children. Teachers often use intimidation to make students memorise by rote. Students are threatened and live in fear of being caned if they offer the wrong answer.
Poor facilities, lack of water, uninspired teaching tools and the use of fear in the classroom create an environment which is far less that ideal and not conducive to study.
UFF’s primary school aims to create an exemplary model of education. We will focus on using skills and interesting teaching methods, supply adequate water and nutrition to students and provide a balanced and supportive educational environment.