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What should Museveni deliver for education sector in the next five years?

Reported anonymously at 16:29, Tue 25 October 2016

Ugandans have over years raised concerns about the education sector, some of which Government is set out to resolve in the next five years. UGANDAN EDUCATION It is a Monday morning and all streets in Kampala city are streaming with children on foot, bikes and in vehicles. It is school time. In villages, the story is equally replayed, probably a bit less, with some barefooted and at times non-uniformed pupils also dashing to school. Some of the adults who are also dashing to their offices, gardens and businesses this morning, were one time like these innocent pupils. This is a just a complete story of the National Resistance Movement’s 30 years of education in the country. But most importantly since President Yoweri Museveni is in the final stages of constituting his Government, what are expectations from him in the next five years. The NRM Government has made tremendous achievements, without obviously forgetting hitches, some of which remain unsolved, in the education sector. Its major change came with the liberalisation of education and introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE). More so, the introduction of private students in public universities, free higher and technical education and now Student Loan Scheme; broadly define this Government’s size of the education basket to the nation. But, it has not been all rosy. Ugandans have over years raised concerns about the education sector, some of which Government is set out to resolve in the next five years. What Ugandans want A countrywide opinion poll of voting-age Ugandans conducted by New Vision in June last year showed that about 3.7 million voters consider education as the main challenge in their lives. In particular, the voters also raised concern about low salaries for teachers, poor school facilities, inadequate primary and secondary schools and long distances from home to the available schools. The other concerns raised were the high school drop-outs, high levels of illiteracy, poor accommodation for teachers, lack of feeding for pupils and the poor attitude of students towards studying. Almost 80% of the pupils, who start Primary One, never make it to Primary Seven; and girls are most affected than boys. Corruption and low funding, like in so many other sectors, was also one of the concerns for voters. The other concerns were lack of career guidance and insecurity in schools. Results of the 2015 New Vision poll are consistent with a 2011 poll by the New Vision, as well as the 2012 Afrobarometer survey. All the polls rank education among the top priority issues the voters want political leaders to pay attention to. The rankings of key concerns in education in this year’s poll, varied between the regions. In the central and northern regions for instance, the most pressing issue was high tuition fees. In eastern, western and north eastern Uganda, the voters were more concerned about the few, redundant or no teachers and continuous strikes. Poor curriculum, cheating of exams and high unemployment rate were the main issues for voters in the West Nile region.

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