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37% SCHOOL DROP OUT RATE IN NORTHERN UGANDA IS TOO HIGH

Uganda has the highest school dropout rate in East Africa, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).  The dropout rate of children from schools in Northern Uganda is 37% compared to the national average of 13%. A follow-up of every 100 pupils who joined Primary One in 1999 showed that only 25% reached Primary Seven in 2006 in Uganda.  Data from the Ministry of Education ministry shows that school dropouts in the country are higher at the primary level than at secondary level.  This is caused by lack of interest, pregnancy, early marriages, hidden costs at school and family responsibilities.

Besides the challenge of high school dropout rate, Ugandan families and communities struggle to access healthcare, education and other basic services and young children often suffer unreasonably. Uganda has the highest proportion of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS worldwide.  There are an estimated 2.3 million orphans in Uganda due to HIV/AIDS (Save the Children, 2011). 

Vulnerability of children in Uganda mainly come from factors such as poverty, orphan-hood, parental negligence, abuse, exposure to extreme and hazardous labour, street life, children conflicting with the law, child-headed households and disability. Uganda has been impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic over the past 30 years and many of these vulnerability factors are directly related to the impact of HIV/AIDS.

  1. Jul 11, 2012

    Eva Gumisiriza says:

    The reasons for the dropout that have been listed such as lack of interest, preg...

    The reasons for the dropout that have been listed such as lack of interest, pregnancy, early marriages, hidden costs at school and family responsibilities.... give a sad feeling.  The interventions required in that case should tackle these issues first.  Some ofcourse might be difficult since it would involve 'change of attitude'.  But can do something about the hidden school costs for instance.

    1. Jul 11, 2012

      Emmanuel Manishimwe says:

      It would definitely be too hard to address these challenges without adequate col...

      It would definitely be too hard to address these challenges without adequate collaboration and integration of creative approaches.  Creative approaches include sport.  EmberPlus believes strongly that a well planned community sports programme is very effective in reaching children and youth both in school and out of school.  

      Playing with children and integrating educational information, making follow up in schools and running career workshops in primary and secondary schools will MOTIVATE children to remain in school and influence their BEHAVIOUR CHANGE as well.

      Community sensitisation coupled with information management and collaboration with state security agencies will create an impact on early pregnancies and early marriages.  Hidden costs have to be dealt with through objective research, advocacy and follow up.  

      Family responsibilities, like many others, are dealt with through community awareness and regular follow up on children.  You can see here that we need to form synergies.  Most of problems leading to family responsbilities which hold children at home rather than go to school include domestic work like cooking, fetching water & firewood, baby sitting.  The advantage here is that we can enhance our communication with advice on shifting to efficient cooking methods for a safe environment and greater domestic saving. Research and advoacy remains an integral part of our work if we are to have an impact on reducing domestic burdens on schooling children.  Children need access to clean water both at home and school.

      Family planning is another aspect in awareness building - targeting long-term impact on spacing and planning well so as to ensure household capacity to support their own schooling children and youth.

  2. Jul 13, 2012

    Rao Community Development Initiative (RACODI) says:

    Very true, from a grassroot paspective, Rao Community Development Initiative (RA...

    Very true, from a grassroot paspective, Rao Community Development Initiative (RACODI) has been involved in the last 2 years in education in Northern Uganda with a special focus on Lango Sub Region. There are more to the above that is affecting education that include:

    Poor infrastructures like roads that lead to the schools, poor hygiene and sanitation at school and this affects a lot the girl child, negative attitude towards education especially affecting the girl child, absentism on the teachers' sides, irregular inspections and monitoring by the concerned authorities, lack of scholastic materials and misconception on Universal Primary Education by the parents and caregivers of the children.

    RACODI is focused to continue working to improving education of the children in Northern Uganda. For more information contact us on: racodi.uganda@gmail.com or visit www.racodi.webs.com. Partners are seeked

  3. Aug 01, 2012

    Josh Hamby says:

    We just finished a 4-part series of articles on this subject on our blog at www....

    We just finished a 4-part series of articles on this subject on our blog at www.xchangeinternational.org.  We took four main causes of dropouts and speculated on how to solve them.

    1. Aug 02, 2012

      Emmanuel Manishimwe says:

      Thank you Josh for your feedback. I'll read your content tomorrow and provide my...

      Thank you Josh for your feedback. I'll read your content tomorrow and provide my comment. 

      Emmanuel Manishimwe,
      Country Director,
      EmberPlus Uganda.
      +256 772 705 210  /
      +256 414 680 497

      KEST (Plot 81/84),
      Gaddafi Road,
      Makerere, Kampala.

      Box 30421, Kampala,
      Uganda, East Africa.

      www.emberplus.org

    2. Aug 29, 2012

      Emmanuel Manishimwe says:

      Hi Josh! Don't you think it's important that you share here whatever inputs...

      Hi Josh!

      Don't you think it's important that you share here whatever inputs you may have on how we can improve access and quality of education in Uganda? You provided a link to your website but I think you should have instead provided a direct link to the articles.

      Or, just summarise each article into 4 brief paragraphs and share them on this forum.

      1. Aug 29, 2012

        Josh Hamby says:

        Emmanuel, Happy to post the links to the articles.  Unfortunately I can't ...

        Emmanuel,

        Happy to post the links to the articles.  Unfortunately I can't find the time to re-write each article in summary only for this forum, but am happy to discuss the topics here.

        Our approach simply looked at four causes of dropouts and speculated on how to fix them.  They are theory posts, as we are "mzungus" and not as familiar with the problems as the locals.  On the ground in Uganda, the solving of dropouts may look much different, or they might be similar.  These posts were to engage our US audience.

        We are always looking for reputable, honest, Ugandan-run NGOs to partner with. I seem EmberPlus is established in Kampala. Anyone working East of Kampala?

        http://www.xchangeinternational.org/solving-ugandas-high-dropout-rates-pt-1/

        http://www.xchangeinternational.org/solving-ugandas-high-dropout-rates-pt-2/

        http://www.xchangeinternational.org/solving-ugandas-high-dropout-rates-pt-3/

        http://www.xchangeinternational.org/solving-ugandas-high-dropout-rates-pt-4/

        1. Aug 29, 2012

          Emmanuel Manishimwe says:

          Thank you very much Josh.  This is very helpful. Summaries are not needed, ...

          Thank you very much Josh.  This is very helpful. Summaries are not needed, the articles are not large.  I've read your four articles and they are relevant to what happens in Uganda. Ofcourse I read them with intent to learn and also provide an input where possible.

          In my own summary I'd say you intend to start a school, run an agricultural project within/for the school, resettle orphans and abandoned children (important!) and ..... (You haven't specified how to improve quality in schools in Uganda without necessarily competing with Government schools. 

          I liked your ideas on the need to sensitise parents and the plan to resettle orphan and abandoned children. Agricultural interventions is another effective strategy though increasing agricultural and co-curricular activities at school would need to be checked. 

          For us at EmberPlus we are focused on using SPORT and ACTIVITY as an outreach strategy to inform, motivate and follow-up on children in schools and community. Feel free to add us on your newslist so we can share success measurable stories on parent's sensitization and resettlement of orphans and abandoned children.

          Emmanuel Manishimwe,
          Country Director, EmberPlus Uganda/

          Coordinator, Sports Coalition.
          +256 772 705 210

          Box 30421, Kampala,
          Uganda, East Africa.

          www.emberplus.org

          www.emberplus.org/sportscoalition

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