School and Education in Uganda


Uganda has, since independence in 1962, placed great emphasis on education, which has been central to the national development plans. The structure of the school system has remained largely the same and bears strong British character. In the seven-year primary school, almost all children of every age group start, but almost half of them drop out, which is why almost 25% qualify for secondary school. This is a six-year course with a four-year lower stage, followed by a two-year stage, which gives eligibility for university studies. A large part of secondary school students undergo a three-year technical education. In primary school, an equal proportion of girls attend that of boys, while slightly more boys start in secondary school.

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Despite political turmoil and decline in the economy, the education system has expanded since the beginning of the 1980s. The problems have mainly been the quality of teaching and the dropout of students. Makerere University in Kampala was for a long time the only country and still encompasses the majority of students at this stage. In 2010, 73% of the adult population (over 15 years) was estimated to be literate (83% for men and 65% for women). Of the state expenditure, 15% went to the education sector in 2009.

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At the same time, the conflict with neighboring Sudan continued. The two countries mutually support each other’s guerrilla movements, which has caused tens of thousands of killed and refugees. Uganda received support from the United States in the form of military equipment and training, for its participation in the destabilization of Sudan and from the Mobutu Sese Seko regime in Zaire (later Democratic Congo ).

In mid-1998, Ugandan military invaded neighboring Democratic Congo, joining the rebels’ fight against President Laurent Kabila. On October 18, 1999, Uganda Defense Minister Stephen Kavuma of Kampala confirmed that the Ugandan forces would remain in Congo until the peace was restored.

Uganda Country Flag

Uganda flag source:

On November 12, 70 journalists in the streets of Kampala protested against the government’s persecution and the government’s systematic denial of freedom of speech. At the same time, they demanded the repeal of the so-called “rebel law”. On November 30, the presidents of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in the Tanzanian city of Arusha signed an agreement restoring the East African Common Market. On December 11, the IMF granted a loan of DKK 12 million. dollars to Uganda for the country’s “poverty reduction efforts”, as IMF Deputy Director Shigemistsu Sugisaki put it. However, Sugisaki also recommended the government to invest less in the country’s defense. Yet, a few days later, Museveni met in Kampala with Rwanda President Pasteur Bisimungu to analyze the possibility of forming an alliance to overthrow Kabila in the Congo.

On February 1, 2000, Museveni accused Sudan of breaking the agreement signed two months before and resuming diplomatic relations – which had been discontinued in 1995 – and exchanging prisoners. A few days later, UN representatives began investigating the country’s supposed participation in arms supply to the UNITA rebel group in Angola. Meanwhile, fighting between government forces and rebels in northern Uganda continued to demand human lives. On March 18, a mass grave was discovered in the village of Kanungu with hundreds of dead followers from the sect “Restoring the 10 Commandments of God”. They had committed collective suicide.

In April, representatives of the Ugandan army met with their rebel allies in the Congo to launch the ceasefire that had been set up a few days before at the UN’s request. On May 2, the IMF – with the support of the World Bank and the African Development Bank – left $ 640 million dollars of Uganda’s foreign debt. It was explained that “the country was safe for foreign investment”. A few days before the IMF decision, President Museveni had spent $ 35 million. dollars on the purchase of a private jet.