COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$15 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

The US$15 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • student learning during school closures with the provision of self-studying home packages and use of radio and television to deliver lessons
  • safe reopening of schools and re-entry of students through school grants and funds for handwashing facilities, WASH, psychosocial support, safety and security of students, and fumigation and repairs of schools that were used as isolation centers for COVID-19
  • vulnerable and disadvantaged groups through large print and braille materials, radio lessons saved on memory cards and TV lessons with interpreters for students with hearing impairment
  • a remedial program for at risk girls and a re-enrollment campaign to reach girls and children from vulnerable populations
  • strategies to support the continued learning of students, teachers, activities to improve coordination among various stakeholders and building capacity of systems of education at all levels.

These initiatives are based on the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Uganda received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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.

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Latest grant

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

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.
Allocation: US$100,000,000
Years: 2014-2020
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$98,470,076

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 UNICEF as the coordinating agency.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020-2021 15,000,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2014-2020 100,000,000 98,470,076 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2018-2020 500,000 500,000 UNICEF  
2013-2014 249,717 249,717 WB  
Program development 2022-2023 200,000 21,033 WB  
2013-2014 299,949 299,949 WB  
  Total 116,249,666 99,540,775    
Data last updated: February 02, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda (FENU) for the 2019-2021 period.

This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.

GPE had provided the Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda (FENU) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Last updated September 11, 2021