Determined to improve an educational system beset by challenges, advocates recently launched Uganda’s first Quality Public Education Week. Talk shows, panel debates, exhibitions and rallies were held throughout the country April 22-26, 2013—a call for action from Ugandan decision-makers.
While public schools are available at no charge to Ugandan boys and girls ages 6 through 12, experts question the facilities’ quality and effectiveness. As youngsters age, drop out rates soar - as many as 66 percent leave, according to SC. An alarming 18 percent of those eligible do not attend school at all.
Teachers in Uganda are striking for a salary increase which will provide them with a living wage.
Teachers in Uganda earn as little as $96 a month under conditions where inflation is running at 20 %. The teachers – who are members of the union Ugandan National Teachers Association (UNATU) are demanding a 100% rise. Teachers are among the worst paid government employees in the country – yet Yoweri Museveni – President of Uganda since 1986 – says that an increase for teachers is not a priority. Instead the government is prioritising infrastructure which will allow it to become one of the world’s top 50 oil producers.
Uganda will introduce Kiswahili as a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools this year as a way of integrating fully with the other EAC partner states.
Uganda joins Rwanda in the list of regional countries seeking to boost their language use as they seek opportunities in the integrated EAC where English and Swahili are the main languages of communication.
Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni says his country will send teachers to South Sudan as an effort to help the new nation build its human capacity and recover from decades of conflict that have badly affected literacy and the education system.
Speaking at the opening of a leaders retreat for his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Monday in the town of Kyanykwanzi, president Museveni said this will aid job creation for his citizens.