Education in Uganda
The government of Uganda considers education a basic human right. Participating in education is also viewed as part of the solution to reducing poverty. The government is dedicated to providing equitable access to quality and affordable education to all Ugandans.
The education sector in Uganda is constrained by many challenges. These include a high level of teacher and student absenteeism, weak school level management structures, inadequate availability of learning materials, and large class sizes. A major issue is also the availability of teachers in disadvantaged areas and a lack of accommodation for teachers in rural, hard to reach areas.
The Education Sector Strategic Plan 2010-2015 (ESSP) is aimed at addressing three critical concerns:
- The failure of primary schools to provide literacy, numeracy, and basic life skills to all children.
- Inadequate preparation in secondary schools for the workforce or tertiary education.
- Students from disadvantaged backgrounds did not have access to tertiary education.
The overall objective of the updated ESSP is to achieve universal primary and secondary education, while enhancing equitable access to tertiary education. The ESSP outlines 8 specific policy objectives to achieve this goal:
- Increase and improve equitable access and completion rates in primary and secondary education, while ensuring gender equity.
- Improve the quality and relevance of primary and secondary education.
- Enhance equitable access to business, technical, vocational, training, and tertiary education.
- Improve relevance and quality of business, technical, vocational, training and tertiary education.
- Improve effectiveness and efficiency in delivery of education services at all levels.
- Improve access and quality of education at post primary level.
- Enhance equitable access at higher/tertiary education.
- Enhance the capacity to plan, manage, and monitor the performance of education sector as a whole.
The ESSP also includes objectives focused on the crosscutting issues of HIV/AIDs, reproductive health, and gender. These are:
- Increase the participation, performance, and progress of women and girls in the education system.
- Reduce the vulnerability of all education personnel and learners to HIV and AIDS.
Strategies to achieve the objectives involve supporting programs targeting disadvantaged children and youth, expanding and improving school facilities, improving instructional processes leading to student achievement, and strengthening the teaching force.
Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.
Primary completion rate (%)
Lower secondary completion rate
Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age
Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age
Pre-primary gross enrollment rate
Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary
Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)
Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)
Students/trained teacher ratio
Teachers trained (%)
GPE in Uganda
Uganda’s first GPE grant of US$100 million is focused on improving teacher and school effectiveness in the public education system.
The three components of the grant are:
- Strengthening teacher competency, resources, motivation, and accountability.
- Establishing a supportive enabling environment for strengthening teacher competency.
- Financing advisory, technical, and capacity building for project implementation, data management, monitoring and evaluation, improving teacher payroll, and preparing the next education sector plan.
Implementation of Uganda’s first GPE grant of US$100 million began in 2015 and has so far contributed to the following results:
- 18,489 teachers trained in early grade reading in local languages and English
- School management committees and head teachers have received training in 972 schools in targeted districts, school management committees and head teachers have received training.
- 89% of teachers are present in public schools in targeted districts.
- A learning assessment, Early Grade Reading Assessment and NAPE Grade 3 and 6, was conducted
- There are currently 553,880 direct project beneficiaries against 14,635 only in May 2016