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Part I Descriptive Section


Education took root in Uganda basically as a result of the efforts of various organisations and individuals to introduce and promote formal and informal education amongst the people of Uganda. I commend all of them for their contributions in promoting education for the badly needed economic progress and development in this country.

The Education For All (EFA) 2000 Assessment should be seen as a major global endeavor that will enable the participating countries, Uganda inclusive, to:

  1. construct a comprehensive picture of their progress towards their own Education for All goals since the 1990 Jomtien Conference in Thailand;
  2. identify priorities and promising strategies for overcoming obstacles and accelerating progress; and
  3. revise their national plans of action accordingly.

The assessment results will no doubt be useful for policy makers, planners and managers both within and outside national governments. The Assessment process in general provides an opportunity for us to refocus attention on basic education and reinvigorate efforts to meet basic learning needs and Country EFA 2000 Assessment reports to a great extent do provide the factual basis for local and international discussion and decision making.

At the international level, however, a Consultative Forum on Education For All, the EFA Forum, which is responsible for the global co-ordination of the EFA 2000 Assessment, has provided General Guidelines to all countries.

As a country we established a National EFA Assessment Group, and Technical Sub-Groups, comprising planners, school inspectors, statisticians and researchers, to collect and analyze the various data needed. The EFA Forum’s Technical Advisory Group, comprising of specialists from UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank, prepared the Technical Guidelines which greatly enhanced the work of the National Technical Sub-Groups.

It will be recalled that the 1990 Conference brought together Governments, International Agencies, NGOs, Educationists and Planners. The outcome of this conference is therefore, the Framework for Action to meet Basic Learning needs. One of the provisions in this Framework is the need for countries to periodically review comprehensive policies and assess the effectiveness of their efforts to reach their EFA goals to enable them revise their plans accordingly.

In this framework, a National workshop was one of the activities we undertook to complete the National EFA 2000 Assessment Report after a thorough discussion of the draft National EFA 2000 Report for Uganda. The importance of the workshop need not be over emphasised because it was necessary to illustrate the need and the fact that Uganda has and should continue to be part of the global effort for the Education For All endeavour. Participant's contributions will essentially form part of the valuable global effort to totally banish illiteracy and its associated ills in order to prepare and establish a firm foundation in our countries for rapid and wholesome economic progress and development.

The assessment inevitably implies giving value judgements in comparing our set objectives as a country, and our performance which will act as a prelude for further action in future. Our judgement today therefore, will be a platform from which we decide on the future of the global community in general and our people in particular.

As you go through the document, you will probably observe that Uganda was at one point ahead of the Jomtien Conference, especially when we make reference to the Education Policy Review Commission Report of 1989. The most significant achievement is the Universal Primary Education, which was started by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri K.Museveni and implemented in 1997. As a result of this initiative, enrolments have increased from 2.3 million pupils in 1996 to 6.59 million pupils in 1999.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to particularly extend my gratitude to UNICEF for supporting the biggest portion of EFA 2000 Assessment activities in Uganda. We also extend our special thanks to UNESCO for the initiative and co-financing some of the activities.

Dr Edward Khiddu Makubuya (M.P)

Minister of Education and Sports


01. Introduction

At a World conference held in Jomtien, Thailand in 1990, all countries, which participated, resolved to provide education for all their citizens, both young and old. A set of goals and targets to be met was set and these were to be monitored under the Education For All 2000 Assessment, hereafter referred to as EFA.

The anticipation by then was that EFA goals and targets should be achieved by the year 2000.

At that conference, it was agreed that six thematic areas should form the core of the EFA goals and targets.

The six thematic areas (EFA goals and targets) include:

  1. Expansion of Early Childhood and Development Activities.
  2. Providing Universal Access to, and Completion of, Primary Education by the Year 2000.
  3. mprovement in Learning Achievement.
  4. Reduction of Adult Illiteracy Rates.
  5. Expansion of Basic Education and Training in other Essential Skills Required by Youths and Adults.
  6. Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living made through education channels.

For the six thematic areas above, which form the core EFA goals and targets, there is a set of 18 core and other ESIP indicators which were used to measure where we are in relation to the targets. The evolution of trends in the provision of Basic Education and in its impacts has been covered in the report beginning from 1990, up to the latest year where data is available.

02. Progress towards EFA

This section summarises where Uganda is with respect to each of the six goals and targets as shown by the indicators.

Indicator 1. Gross Enrolment in Early Childhood Development Programmes, including Public, Private, and Community Programmes, expressed as a percentage of the official age-group concerned, if any, otherwise, the age-group 3-5.

Indicator 2. Percentage of new entrants to Primary grade 1 who have attended some form of organised Early Childhood Development Programme.

These first two indicators above are meant to give us an indication of where Uganda is in as far as the "Expansion of Early Childhood and Development Activities" (EFA goal number 1) is concerned.

The findings show that Early Childhood development programmes are not yet very well developed. For example, although time series data is not available in this field, indicator number 2 shows that the percentage of new entrants to primary one who have attended some form of organised early childhood development programme is about 2.6%. This proportion is low and it should be improved upon.

Indicators 3-14 relate to EFA goal number 2, "Universal Access to, and completion of, Primary Education by the Year 2000. These indicators are summarised below.

Indicator 3, Gross intake rate, has increased from 83% in 1993 and it has since increased to over 200% since 1997. This is due to government policy of Universalization of Primary Education, which was introduced in 1997.

As a result of UPE, enrolments increased from 2.3 million pupils in 1996 to 5.3 million pupils in 1997. Latest figures from the headcount exercise carried out in March, 1999 show that enrolment stands at 6.591 million pupils, showing an increase of 180 percent in the same period.

Indicator 4, Net intake rate, has been low in Uganda for quite sometime, averaging 33.2% between 1990 and 1995. It jumped to 92% in 1997. Again, this is due to systematic government policy of providing universal access to primary education.

There is no significant difference in net intake rates by gender. During the period 1990 – 1995, NIR averaged 33% for males and 31.7% for females, giving a slight difference of 1.3% . In 1997, the NIR for Males was 93% and that for females was 90%. These statistics are shown in the table below.

Net Intake Rate (NIR) (%)













Indicator 5, Gross enrolment ratio, was 69% in 1990 and it rose to 80% in 1996. It has since risen to 124% and 122% during 1997 and 1998 respectively.

By gender there has been an improvement in gross enrolment ratios for both males and females. GER rose from 77% in 1990 to 86% in 1996 for males. It rose to 129% by 1998. For females, GER rose from 61% in 1990 to 74% in 1996 and then to 114% in 1998.

Between 1990 and 1996, the gross enrolment ratio for females increased much more than for males. GER for females increased by 40% while that for males increased by only 9%.

Indicator 6, Net enrolment ratio, increased from 53% in 1990 to 57% by 1996 and then to 87% in 1997.

Indicator 7, described as Public Expenditure on primary education as a percentage of GDP and per pupil expenditure as a percentage of GDP per capita indicate that Uganda is steadily moving towards meeting the EFA goals.

As a percentage of GDP, public expenditure on primary education has jumped from a mere 0.94% during financial year 1995/96 to 2.02% during financial year 1999/2000. There has been a steady increasing trend in public expenditure on primary education over the years 95/96 – 99/2000.

Per pupil expenditure as a percentage of GDP per capita has increased from 6.94% in 1995/96 to 7.96% in 1998/99 and then reduced to 6.94% during 1999/2000. The reason for this decrease is that although public expenditure on primary education increased by 6.12% over the period 95/96 – 99/2000, enrolments increased by 24% over the same period. Proportionately, therefore, per pupil expenditure has not significantly increased.

Indicator 8. Public expenditure on Primary Education as a percentage of total public expenditure has increased from 49% of GDP in 1995/96 to 62% in 1999/2000. This increase, highlights government’s commitment towards funding Universal Primary Education.

Indicator 9. This indicator gives the percentage of School Teachers having the required academic qualifications. The percentage of qualified teachers has steadily increased from 52% in 1990 to 75% in 1998. Out of the qualified teachers in 1998, 34% were female and the rest were males.

Indicator 10. Time series data is not available for teachers who are certified to teach. But the data available for 1998 shows that only 45% of the teachers are certified to teach. This includes teachers who have been trained to teach.

Indicator 11: The pupil teacher ratio, has averaged 31.4 pupils per teacher over the period 1990 to 1996. On average, the ratio jumped to 58 in 1997 and to 61 in 1999. This latter pupil teacher ratio is due to increased enrolments caused by UPE.

Indicator 12. This indicator is given by repetition rates by grade. Repetition rates have been provided for one year, 1997. The repetition rate for 1997 for grades 1 – 5 is 7.1%. The repetition rate for males is higher than for females.

Indicator 13: Survival rate to grade 5. The survival rate to grade 5 was 94% in 1997. During that year, the survival rate for females was higher than that for males, standing at 94.3% and 93.5% respectively.

Indicator 14: Coefficient of efficiency. This indicator gives the ideal completion time divided by the number of years in the school cycle. For primary five, the coefficient of efficiency during 1997 was 89.8%. This coefficient reduces to 73.1% for the full cycle up to primary 7.

The findings outlined in indicators 3 – 14 above provide an overall picture of where Uganda has reached in attainment of the EFA goal of universal access to, and completion of Primary Education by Year 2000 is concerned. Indicators 3 to 6 have clearly shown that Uganda has gone a long way in ensuring universal access to Primary Education. Both gross and net enrolment ratios have significantly increased over the period 1990 to 1998.

However, the other indicators reveal that Uganda still has a long way to go. Survival rates are low, pupil teacher ratios are high and the percentage of trained teachers is low, but increasing.

Indicators 7 and 8 on public expenditure have also revealed that government funding towards primary education is in line with Universal Primary Education Policy and the overall EFA goals and targets.

Indicators 16, 17, and 18 give statistics on illiteracy rates of 15 – 24 year olds, Adult Literacy rate, and the literacy – gender parity index. These indicators relate to thematic area number 4: Reduction of Adult Illiteracy Rates.

Indicator 17, Reduction of adult illiteracy rates: This indicator gives reduction of adult illiteracy rates. Adult illiteracy rate has reduced from 52% in 1989 to 38.2% in 1998. The illiteracy rate for females has reduced from 66% in 1989 to 52% in 1998.

Though most people are still illiterate, as shown by these percentages, there is a declining trend in the percentage of people who are illiterate, thus, the percentage of people who are literate is going up, towards meeting EFA goals.

Meaningful data related to the other two thematic areas (goals) of expansion of basic education in other essential skills (EFA goal number 5) and increased acquisition of skills, and values required for better living (EFA goal number 6) is not available. However, the report utilises scanty information available to give an indication of how Uganda is performing in these two thematic areas. The General picture emerging out of these findings is that the Uganda Government is committed to expanding basic education in other essentila skills.

03. Organisation of the report.

The above section has given a summary of what is covered in this report. A detailed discussion is given in the rest of the report, which proceeds as follows:

The report is divided into three parts with 11 chapters as we explain in this subsection. Apart from chapters 3, and 4 which cover decision making, and co-operation in EFA in that order, the rest of the chapters cover all the six thematic areas in line with the internationally agreed format.

Chapter 1 gives EFA goals and targets, Chapter 2 covers EFA strategies and plans for each of the six thematic areas. EFA decision making and management; and co-operation in EFA are summarised in Chapters 3 and 4. Investments in EFA since 1990, where figures are available, are in Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 looks at progress towards EFA goals and targets for the review period covering 1990 - 2000.

In addition to reviewing progress towards EFA goals, the report looks at the effectiveness of the EFA strategy, plan, and programmes and this is in Chapter 7. The main problems met and anticipated while trying to move towards the EFA goals and targets are summarised in chapter 8. Chapter 9 looks at public awareness, political will, and National Capacity to achieve EFA goals.

Finally, a general assessment of the progress made towards achieving EFA goals is done in chapter 10 and chapter 11 gives future policy directions.


ABEK - Alternative Basic Education for Karamoja.

ADRA - Adventist Development and Relief Agency.

AECS - Adult Education and Communication Studies.

AVU - African Virtual University.

BECCAD - Basic Education and Child Care and Adolescent Development.

CA - Continuous Assessment.

CE - Continuing Education.

CEEMS - Community Education and Extra Mural Studies.

COL - Commonwealth of Learning.

CRTF - Curriculum Review Task Force.

DE - Distance Education.

DEO - District Education Officer.

DIS - District Inspector of Schools.

EARS - Educational Assessment and Resource Services.

ECCD - Expansion of Early Childhood Care and Development.

ECD - Early Childhood Development.

ECE - Early Childhood Education.

EFA - Education for All.

EPRC - Education Policy Review Commission.

ESIP - Education Strategic Investment Plan.

FISA - Federation of Informal Sector Association.

GER - Gross Enrolment Ratio.

GOU - Government of Uganda.

GSR - Gross Survival Rate.

GWPE - Government White Paper on Education.

IACE - Institution of Adult and Continuing Education.

IEQ - Improved Educational Quality.

INSET - In-service Education and Training.

ITEK - Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo.

LC - Local Council.

MCH - Maternal Child Health.

MFEP - Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

MITEP - Mubende Integrated Teacher Education Project.

MLA - Monitoring Learning Achievement.

MOAVS - Ministry of Agriculture and Veterinary Services.

MOES - Ministry of Education and Sports.

MOGLSD - Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

MOH - Ministry of Health.

MOLG - Ministry of Local Government.

MU - Makerere University.

NAPE - National Assessment of Progress in Education.

NCDC - National Curriculum Development Centre.

NCHE - National Council for Higher Education.

NCNAE - National Council for Non-formal and Adult Education.

NER - Net Enrolment Ratio.

NFE - Non-Formal Education.

NIR - Net Intake Rate.

NITEP - Northern Integrated Teacher Education Project.

NTC - National Teachers College.

PCR - Pupil Class Ratio.

PETDP - Primary Education and Teacher Development Project.

PIU - Project Implementation Unit.

PLE - Primary Leaving Examinations.

PSR - Pupil School Ratio.

PTC - Primary Teachers College.

PTR - Pupil Teacher Ratio.

RITEP - Rakai Integrated Teacher Education Project.

SMT - Science, Mathematics and Technology.

SST - Social Studies.

SUPER - Support for Uganda Primary Education Reform.

TDMS - Teacher Development and Management System.

TSR - Teacher School Ratio.

TVET - Technical and Vocational Education and Training.

UACE - Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.

UCE - Uganda Certificate of Education.

UG - Uganda Government.

UNEB - Uganda National Examinations Board.

UNISE - Uganda National Institute for Special Education.

UPE - Universal Primary Education.

USSIA - Uganda Small Scale Industries Association.

UTV - Uganda Television.

WB - World Bank.



1.1 Expansion of Early Childhood and Development Activities:

Early childhood development programmes were designed to develop mental capabilities, health and physical growth of the child through play activities, to inculcate moral values and good social habits, and to help the child to appreciate his/her cultural background and customs.

Further the programmes were designed to enrich the child’s experience by developing imagination, self-reliance and thinking power, and to develop language and communication skills in the mother tongue.

1.2 Universal Access to, and Completion of, Primary Education by the Year 2000 Goals and Targets.

The Government White Paper (1992) derived from the recommendations of the Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) report (1989) endorsed the achievement of Universal Primary Education (UPE) for children of primary school age (6 – 13) by the year 2000 or soon after as its major goal for primary education.

This was to be achieved in a phased manner by removing school fees requirements gradually. Universal Primary Education for the children of age group 6-10 to be achieved by the year 2000 and for children of age 6-13 to be achieved soon after 2000 A.D, but not later than the year 2010. Government would also ensure that the children enter primary school at the right age of 6+ years by the year 2000.

1.3 Improvement in Learning Achievement

Government agreed that a system of continuous comprehensive evaluation should be introduced in primary schools and cumulative record cards of pupils showing their performance in all areas of the curriculum should be maintained; and that teachers should be trained to carry out both formative and summative evaluation of students through periodic tests, assignments, practical, oral and written examinations using both objective and essay type of questions. Written aptitude and standardised tests will be administered starting around P4 as part of internal assessment and the results will be recorded on the cumulative record cards.

1.4 Reduction of Adult Illiteracy Rates

Government endorsed that every adult should attain permanent and developmental functional literacy and numeracy; and should acquire functional skills relevant to life, and to the development of national awareness of individuals. Government further endorsed the promotion of continuing learning while at work and at home for every adult.

1.5 Expansion of Basic Education and Training in other essential skills required by Youth and Adults

Government agreed to undertake the establishment of permanent literacy and numeracy in a local language for all by year 2003; and to bring about the development of a spirit of self-reliance in individuals and society as a whole and the desire and capacity for self-development and interest in life-long learning. Government further agreed to equip all individuals with scientific knowledge, skills and values for responsible utilisation of the environment; and to engender the development of a variety of basic practical skills for enabling individuals to make a living in a multi-skilled world.

1.6 Increased Acquisition by Individuals and Families of the Knowledge, Skills and Values Required for Better Living, made Through Education Channels.

Government agreed to provide opportunities for continuous and developmental life-long education for youths and adults including dropouts; and to adequately cater for the educational needs of the masses of Uganda especially in the remote rural areas.

Government agreed with the support of the private sector to assume full responsibility for the development of continuing or further education in Uganda and to encourage and support tertiary institutions especially the Universities to expand the activities of their centres for continuing education and extension work. Government also agreed to start an open school and an open University to address the needs of continuing education at the secondary and tertiary levels; and to rehabilitate and transform community centres into cultural development centres and youth and adult education centres. Government further agreed that Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) should relax its regulations so that a candidate can stagger sitting for examinations within a maximum period of three years to qualify for Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) or Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) award.

Government agreed that Distance Education through Radio, Television and correspondence courses should be strengthened and that the Department of Information should set up separate radio and television channels for educational programmes.

Government also agreed that rural press should be set up in all the five major area languages of the country.

2.0 EFA STRATEGIES AND PLANS for the six thematic areas

2.1 Expansion of Early Childhood Care and Development Activities (ECCD).

Government agreed on strategies such that during phase one, 10 PTCs would begin training teachers for Early Childhood Education (1992/93) and that the number of PTCs offering early childhood education would be increased according to improvements in the economy and manpower needs.

Also Government agreed that all PTC students should be given basic training in early childhood methods and specialisation. Government further agreed that a comprehensive programme should be worked out for government to assume increased control of pre-primary education.

The target groups are children of 3-6 age range and the student teachers at the PTCs. The bodies to monitor the implementation of these strategies would involve the Ministry of Education and Sports (Inspectorate), the Commissioner for Pre-primary and Primary Education, every plus District and Local Council.

The learning needs that were identified for ECCD would incorporate a holistic development of the child embracing life skills, health and physical growth, good social habits, values, imaginations, self-reliance and thinking power, language and communication skills. In order to attain ECCD goals and targets, a major review of strategies was undertaken through the UNESCO sub-region program in 1995, EFA Mid-Term Review in 1995, and the Task Force in 1997.

2.2 Universal Access to, and Completion of Primary Education by the Year 2000 Goals and Targets.

For this thematic area, Government laid strategies to carry out a census of all school age 6-13 years population throughout the country and register them for Universal Primary Education (UPE). NCDC and Institute of Teacher Education, Kyambogo (ITEK) were to start re-designing curriculum for schools and PTCSs, and to initiate programmes for training and re-training of teachers from 1992/93, in collaboration with MOES. Government would expand existing primary school facilities in order to increase school enrolment. Government would encourage retention and automatic promotion of pupils from one class to another. For out-of-school disadvantaged groups, Government would initiate complementary approaches. Government agreed to promote collaboration with other partners such as NGOs, & private groups and individuals and to organize an international donors conference to solicit external assistance for the implementation of the UPE programmes. Government agreed further to liberalize textbook policy to make primary education worthwhile.

The monitoring of implementation was to be done by the Ministry of Education & Sports, Funding Agencies, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Headteachers, DEOs, DIS, Communities, and Local authorities/governments.

The learning needs identified for primary education incorporate skills of communication, oral expression, reading and writing in Kiswahili, English and the local language, and numeracy. Further, they incorporate knowledge, skills (life, social, vocational and problem-solving), attitude and values.

There have been three major reviews of the strategies: the presidential declaration on the Universal Primary Education starting January 1997, a stake holders meeting at Makerere University in October 1998, to review UPE progress, and the National Conference on Universal primary Education, 9-10th Sept, 1998, to Review policy issues in programme implementation.

2.3 Improvement in Learning Achievement

The goals and plan Government set for this thematic area are: to design, develop and produce appropriate and relevant curriculum for primary education and primary teacher education; to produce and provide instructional materials; to increase percentage of pupils having reached at least P4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies; to establish a continuous assessment (CA) system; and to increase the percentage of primary school teachers with the required academic and professional qualifications; and raise entry point requirements into primary teacher education and training.

Government agreed on strategies that will involve curriculum developers, teachers, educators, inspectors, lecturers, publishers, examination experts, industry, private sector and the community in curriculum development; that will involve training and orientation of teachers; use continuous assessment (CA) system and examination system, and regular inspection and supervision of schools. Also, Government emphasized the need to make full use of instructional time, and set and administer standardized tests and aptitude tests, and to use distance education/open and flexible learning for teacher education.

The implementation of these strategies would be monitored by Ministry of Education and Sports involving District Education Officers (DEOs) and District Inspectors of Schools (DIS), Teacher training institutions eg. ITEK, School of Education, Makerere University, National Curriculum Development Centre, and Uganda National Examinations Board. Other monitoring groups are Ministry of Local Government (MOLG), District and Local Councils, Sub-county chiefs, Head teachers and teachers, parents, employers and the community in a concerted effort.

For P1 – P5 (5 – 9 years) reading, writing oral expression, numeracy and life skills are the learning needs identified. For P1 – P7, age range 5 – 13 years, they are knowledge, skills (life, social vocational and problem solving) values and attitudes.

Major reviews of strategies embraced PTE curriculum (1995), Primary Education curriculum (1996). Pupils Books and Teachers Guides were reviewed and evaluated (1997), modularisation of PTE materials (1995) and production of PTE course books (1997). The reviews embodied training and orientations of teachers on curriculum and curricular materials (1995 to date) and on Continuous Assessment (CA, 1997); pre-testing instructional materials, development and pre-testing of standardized tests (1998) and the development of cumulative record cards (1998). The National Assessment of Progress in Education (NAPE 1996, 1997) and Monitoring Learning Achievements (MLA 1999) surveys, were conducted; Core PTCs and satellite schools were introduced in 1993 and 1998 respectively. Government is also participating in the South African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) initiative

2.4 Reduction of the Adult illiteracy rate

For this thematic area, Government set strategies for attainment of permanent and developmental functional literacy and numeracy for every adult; and the development of literacy curriculum and instructional materials; and to train literacy educators at the PTCs. To achieve this, monitoring will be done by Government and NGOs (intersectoral committee for Adult Literacy) as well as donors namely UNICEF and German Adult Education Association (D.V.V), ADRA, MGLSD and Public Libraries Board.

The learning needs identified embrace: basic adult literacy and numeracy skills; health education programmes; gender awareness, women empowerment, agriculture improvement skills, civil education, hygiene and sanitation, spring water protection skills, and income generating management skills to address poverty (entrepreneurship).

The strategy has been reviewed through annual review workshops by the Government inter-sectoral committee, donors and NGOs. Also the strategy has been reviewed by the provision of follow-up readers in six local languages and through the establishment of rural libraries in 20 districts out of 45.


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