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:

  1. Increase and improve equitable access and completion rates in primary and secondary education, while ensuring gender equity.
  2. Improve the quality and relevance of primary and secondary education.
  3. Enhance equitable access to business, technical, vocational, training, and tertiary education.
  4. Improve relevance and quality of business, technical, vocational, training and tertiary education.
  5. Improve effectiveness and efficiency in delivery of education services at all levels.
  6. Improve access and quality of education at post primary level.
  7. Enhance equitable access at higher/tertiary education.
  8. 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:

  1. Increase the participation, performance, and progress of women and girls in the education system.
  2. 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.

Blogs and news

Grace, age 12, in the Primary 5 classroom at Makamba Primary School. Uganda. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
January 10, 2019
The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat has approved grants totaling more than US$1.3 million to support education sector analysis and planning, as well as education program development in...
Children and teacher raise their hands. Malawi Primary School. Credit: GPE/Tara O'Connell
January 10, 2019
As we start 2019, we share some of our New Year’s resolutions to ensure more children are in school and learning.
Students read in class. Burkina Faso. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
November 20, 2018
For Universal Children’s Day, we review a few examples on how GPE partner countries work every day to further the right to education so that children, no matter their circumstances, can thrive.

Latest grant

Girls in class at Makamba Primary School Uganda, November 2017.

CREDIT: GPE/Livia Barton
Development objective: Support government in improving teacher and school effectiveness in the public primary education system.
Grant agent:IBRD

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:

  1. Strengthening teacher competency, resources, motivation, and accountability.
  2. Establishing a supportive enabling environment for strengthening teacher competency.
  3. Financing advisory, technical, and capacity building for project implementation, data management, monitoring and evaluation, improving teacher payroll, and preparing the next education sector plan.

The ministry of Education and Sports leads the program with the World Bank as the grant agent and USAID as the coordinating agency.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2014-2019 100,000,000 66,199,287 IBRD Progress report
Sector plan development 2013 250,000 249,717 IBRD
Program development 2013 300,000 299,949 IBRD
  TOTAL 100,550,000 66,748,953    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Uganda. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.


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 (%)

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.

Last updated October 03, 2018