Basic Education and Literacy Enhancement Program

It’s your chance to make the changes we need in our schools and contribute to the larger education sector through the Rotary 2022/23 signature project.

Background and Justification

Uganda is the third youngest country in the world. 78% of Uganda’s population are youth and children. Children ranging from 3 – 12 years are 11.5 million, forming 25% of the population in Uganda.

As per the Uganda National Household Survey of 2019/2020 undertaken by the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics, there is limited access to Early Childhood Development services. The Proportion of children aged 3-5 attending formal pre-primary education is 37.9% in rural areas and 38.7% in urban, making an average of 38.1 across Uganda. Worse still, the education at the pre-primary level is private and costly.

In 1997, Uganda took a bold step to implement Universal Primary Education. The enrolment rose from 3.1 million in 1996 to 5.3 million in 1997. Over the years, this enrollment has kept growing and is currently over 8m. The overall net primary school enrollment (number of children of official primary school age. i.e. 6-12 years, who are enrolled in Primary education as a percentage of the children the total children of school-going age) ratio for Uganda was 80% in 2019/2020 (79 male and 81 female). While the statistical evidence portrays increase in access, Uganda’s education system is struggling with attaining quality.

The rate of full reading competence (ability to read and comprehend a P2 level English story) for the whole set of grades P3-7 has risen from 32.5% in 2018 to 39.5% in 2021. But the overall proportion of children who are at the ‘non-reader’ stage doubled from 6.2% in 2018 to 11.6% in 2021. For P3, the proportion of non-readers increased from 12.7% in 2018 to 25.1% in 2021, (UWEZO, 2022).

According to the National Assessment of Progress in Education report (NAPE, 2018), 49.9% of P.3 learners were rated proficient in literacy (could use vowels to complete familiar words, rearrange letters to form a four-letter-words, complete sentences with simple three-letter words, recognize words that relate to given occupation and can name familiar objects using correctly spelled long words and arrange words to form grammatically correct sentences). The same report indicates that 53% of P.6 learners were rated proficient in literacy.