Education in Uganda

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Students in Uganda.

The system of education in Uganda has a structure of 7 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education (divided into 4 years of lower secondary and 2 years of upper secondary school), and 3 to 5 years of post-secondary education. The present system has existed since the early 1960s.

Primary education[edit]

The headmaster of Nsaasa Primary School answers a question for a US aid worker.

In 1999 there were 6 million pupils receiving primary education, compared to only 2 million in 1986. Numbers received a boost in 1997 when free primary education was made available for four children per family. Only some of primary school graduates go on to take any form of secondary education. This is contingent upon them passing their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).

Secondary education[edit]

Uganda's secondary education system follows the education system of its former colonial masters, Britain. It is divided into the Ordinary level and Advanced level. Lower secondary consists of 4 years of schooling at the end of which students undertake Ordinary-level exams (O-level) in at least 8 subjects with a maximum of 10 subjects. Upper secondary consists of 2 years of schooling at the end of which students sit Advanced-level exams (A-level) in at least 3 subjects.

The curriculum for lower secondary is currently being reviewed by the National Curriculum Development Center, and a new curriculum is expected to be rolled out in 2014 or 2015.

Three-year technical schools provide an alternative to lower secondary school. Alternatives for graduates from lower secondary school include: 2-3 year Technical institutes; 2 year Primary Teacher Colleges (PTC); Department Training Colleges (DTCs) and Upper secondary schools; including:

The power of the Internet has threatened the no access to information that has existed before especially the youth of Uganda. Researchers in the PanAf Project found that there is great use of the internet by the youth to socialize with anybody out there for a variety of reasons. It was found out that students had the opportunity to access internet during classroom hours or outside classroom hours. What used to be constructive hours for learning has transformed into social hours.[5]

International Schools[edit]

see List Of International Schools in Uganda

There are several international schools in Uganda.

Post-secondary education[edit]

Although 60,000 to 70,000 students in Uganda leave secondary school each year qualified to go on to higher education, only some 35 per cent of them (at most 25,000) are able to find places at the limited number of institutions. The majority of students go to universities, both public and private. Makerere University in Kampala (MUK) has about 95 per cent of the total student population in Uganda's universities. The remainder are distributed among the more than 20 private universities and a smaller number of non-university institutions. Recognised universities in Uganda include:

Government universities[edit]

Religious-affiliated universities[edit]

Private secular universities[edit]

Public technical colleges[edit]

Private technical colleges[edit]

Northern Uganda[edit]

Education is important for a successful post-conflict transition in Northern Uganda (see Conflict in Northern Uganda), as it helps develop peoples' abilities to break free of circles of violence and suffering.[6] Uganda’s Universal Primary Education (UPE) has resulted in high enrolment rates in Northern Uganda, but education tends to be of a low quality and few pupils actually complete primary school. There are inadequate facilities; e.g. out of 238 primary schools in Pader, 47 are still under trees, limited teacher accommodation is causing high rates of teacher absenteeism and in some areas the average primary school teacher to student ratio is 1:200.[7]

Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest completion of secondary school is necessary to provide an individual with a proper chance to escape poverty, as employment and income levels for those who completed primary schools are similar to those who did not attend at all.[8] Their region has particular difficulties as teachers are hard to find, the conflict created a lost generation without an adequate education themselves and teachers from other areas are still highly concerned about security in the region.[9] Special attention to education in the region is required to ensure the fragile peace does not deteriorate into full scale conflict once more.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ German Secondary School in Uganda
  2. ^
  3. ^‎
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Lubega, Jude. "The Pendemic Era of ICTs to The Youth: A Case for Uganda". PanAf Edu. PanAf. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Kate Bird and Kate Higgins (2009) Conflict, education and the intergenerational transmission of poverty in Northern Uganda London: Overseas Development Institute
  7. ^ ibid
  8. ^ ibid
  9. ^ Kate Bird and Kate Higgins (2009) Conflict, education and the intergenerational transmission of poverty in Northern Uganda London: Overseas Development Institute

External links[edit]