The system of education in Uganda was set when Uganda was still a Bristish colony and was adopted when the country got its independence in 1962.

The school system in Uganda is based on 7 – 4 – 2. This means that a child spends 7 years in Primary School, 4 year in Secondary Schools and 2 years in High School before going on to join a University for a degree course or an Institution for a Diploma course.

Children start school at age 6 in Uganda

School education in Uganda starts at around age 7 though a lot of children never get to start on time due to various reasons like illness, lack of schools, or some times their parents will ask them to stay to home and help with work in the house or at the farm. Some times children have to work to earn money to pay their schools fee if their parents can not afford fee. Many times if a family have many children, very few will be able to go to school. At the moment the government provides free education for 4 children in every home but the average family will have about 8 children.

Schools in Uganda are very formal and teachers are highly respected by the pupils and other members of the community. Most children want to go to school and value their education very much.

Nursery or Pre-primary schools in Uganda.

There is pre- primaryor nursary education in Uganda but very few children attend it because many parents can not afford the cost.. There is no direct governemnt control or provision at the at pre-school level. There is also a limitted number of teachers available especially in villages and very rural areas. Nursary schooling is there fore not seen as being very important.

Formal education in Uganda

In most places Children have to walk to schools some times for up to 5 or 6 miles to school and then back. Some city schools have private means of transporting thier children but these are few as most people in Uganda live in rural areas.

The school buildings especially in the villages are mainly bungalows with concrete floors and corrugated iron roofs.

The school day starts between 7:00am and 8:00 am and the children are all expected to get there in time.

Children are expected to be clean and tidy and they also have to ensure that the classes and school compound is clean.

There are 3 school terms in Uganda

Children will on various occasions during the day be called upon to clean the compound with brooms made of grass while the rest pick up the leaves and any other litter with their hands. Some times the pupils will use hand hoes to dig around the school compound and trim the hedges. Schools close at 4:00pm and then all the pupils have to walk back to their home.

There are 3 school terms in Uganda named First term, Second term and Third term which is when students sit their exams to end the year before they go on to another class. A school term lasts for about 3 months followed by about 3 weeks break, though the third term break is the longest and that is when most families go on hoilday.

The school year in Uganda begins in February and ends in December every year.

Children have to buy their own books for school

Children have to provide their own exercise books while at school and until recently, their parents had to pay school fees for every term for them to be allowed into school. There is now free primary education for 4 children in every home but parents still have to pay fees if they have bigger families.

In Primary schools, children learn Maths, English, Social studies and Science.

There are a number of practical skill programs in music, art and agriculture which most Children are tought .

When they get to secondary school then they are introduced to more subjects normally

12 different ones.

Class sizes in Uganda Primary schools

All pupils must wear a school uniform with a badge showing the name of their school. Different schools will have different colour and diffrent styles of uniforms.

The boys will normally wear a shirt and a pair of shorts and the girls will wear a dress.

Most children in the rural schools do not wear shoes, they walk on bare feet and can even be seen playing football and other games with no shoes.

The class sizes in Uganda and between 40 to 80 and children sit on work benches with a table in the middle if the are lucky. Some schools do not have benches and tables so the pupils have to sit and write on the floor.

A typical day for a rural primary school child in Uganda

5:00 am Wake Up, clean up.

5:15am Go to collect water from the well

6:00 am Clean the compound at home, take animals to the farm to graze

6:15 am Have breakfast

6:30am Start to walk to school

7:00am Arrive at school

7:15am Clean school compound and class rooms

7: 40am School assembly and prayers

8:00am Go to class for lessons

10:00am Break Time

10:40am Lessons

1:00pm Lunch break

2:00pm Back to class for lessons

3:00pm End class, starts to work in the garden and clean compound

4:00pm School ends, start walking back home

5:30pm Take of school uniform and have some thing to eat

6:00pm go to the well of collect water, get animals back from the farm, collect firewood from the forests

8:00pm Back home, have a shower

8:45pm Start to do your home work

9:30pm Have supper

10:00pm Help to wash up dishes

10:15pm Finish your home work

11:00pm Go to Bed

Secondary school Education in Uganda

There has been growth of over 20 percent in the number of government-aided secondary schools in Uganda over the last 10 years and a 15% increase in the number of registered private secondary schools the same period. There is still a big number of primary school leavers but many times they can not join a secondary school because you have to pay school fees afterthe 7 years of free primary education.
Post Secondary Education in Uganda

Between 9,000 and 12,000 students per year qualify to join post-secondary education. However, only about 25 percent of these get into college or university. Makerere University is Uganda’s leading institution of higher learning, accounting for 95 percent of the total University enrolments. The remaining 5 percent are shared between six other Universities at Mbarara, Ndejje, Nkumba, Mbale, Martyrs and Bugema (see Appendix 1).

The enrolments into tertiary institutions over the last 10 years increased by over 90 percent while the number of tertiary institutions increased by 1.8 percent in the same period.

There is still need for more institutions and colleges to be able to take the high numbers of students who leave secondary schools in Uganda. apart from Makerere university which is funded by the government, students have to pay fees to be able to study.


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