PCE Foundation is headquartered in Kampala, the capital and largest city in Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa, with a population of 37,580,000 people (2013 Census). Uganda covers an area of 241,038 km2 (93,065 mi2), or roughly the size of the United Kingdom
Uganda’s diverse landscape encompasses the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and immense Lake Victoria. Its abundant wildlife includes chimpanzees as well as rare birds. Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary. Murchison Falls National Park in the northwest is known for its 43m-tall waterfall and diverse wildlife such as hippos, giraffes and buffalo.
Despite being gifted by nature, there’s still immense poverty in the rural areas that are home to 87% of the country’s population. The illiteracy rate is 73%, infant mortality rate is 37 per 1000 births, and the average life expectancy is 53.2 years. Roughly 25% of the population live under the poverty line, and nearly 50% are food energy deficient (2013 WFP). 1.5 million people live with HIV (2015 UNAID HIV and AIDS estimates).
The Tororo district is where most of our work takes place. Located 230 km (140 mi) east of Kampala, on the eastern border of Uganda, it has high rates of child marriage, domestic violence and poverty.
We also work with the communities of Butaleja district, just northwest of Tororo district.
The educational system in Uganda is structured around 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 3-5 years of post-secondary education. The system has been in place since the 1960s. The school system is based around a predominance of public schools (government-run) and private schools. As in most such educational systems, there are obvious discrepancies in quality between the public and private schools, especially with regards to the urban/rural divide.
In 2007, Uganda became the first Sub-Saharan African country to introduce universal secondary education, which came 10 years after it introduced universal primary education. This has resulted in more pupils from primary school attending secondary school via government subsidies and it is widely recognised that Uganda has made very significant progress in providing access to schooling for primary and lower secondary aged children. Some private schools have also contributed to this pioneering system. Furthermore, this has resulted in the government building more schools and employing an increasing number of teaching staff. Furthermore, girls from poorer backgrounds have also seen their attendance in public schools increase considerably as a result.
The only flaw with the government’s investment in education seems to be that quantitative increases have not been met by qualitative increases. A number of obstacles are hampering the government’s attempts in terms of educational outputs: inadequate teaching space and material; a shortage of teachers; and inadequate disbursement of government funds.
Source: NUHA Foundation