Uganda hardest challenge: Racing to save an endangered Generation
Uganda has for years taken on the burden of conflict in neighboring countries allowing into the country, 1.2 million refugees, 800,000 South Sudanese and many arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and this number have been on the increase due to ongoing fight. With this large increasing population, an enormous strain is being placed on limited resources provided for humanitarian services with particular reference to the provision of food assistance to the most vulnerable. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, children make up 62 percent of the number while according to a report by the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, 29 percent of children under five years in Uganda are stunted due to chronic under nutrition, which has a high impact on health and learning in the country.
Uganda pioneered in the set up of the goal to achieve Universal access to basic education. After the introduction of Universal Primary Education in 1997, primary school enrollment increased growing from 2.5 million pupils in 1996 to 8.3 million pupils in 2015. The educational system in the country could not sustain and maintain quality of education with such number and so, access to primary education was not backed up with adequate progress in learning outcomes partly due to large class sizes.
The Executive Director of Educate A Child (EAC), a global program of Education Above All Foundation (EAA) by name Dr. Mary Joy Pigozzi explained that primary education serves as the mainstream for successive levels of education with many kinds of training and employment. It is a crucial and critical foundation for the well-being of individuals and the society. A non-governmental organization, Building Tomorrow Uganda in Partnership with EAA has succeeded in enrolling 53,373 schoolchildren back to quality primary education. They achieved this through the construction of 60 new primary schools and facilitating enrollment at 450 existing schools and also placing graduates into the community as role models to encourage school enrollment into the primary level.
Furthermore, the communications manager of the organization lead more emphasis when he said that when the community is empowered to take notice of those who are not learning, suddenly these hard to reach children becomes with arms reach instead. The government is fighting the obstacles that prevents them from providing quality education for her citizens and refugee children living in both rural and urban areas. They are doing everything possible to ensure that children have brighter future and that they are reminded always that the prosperity of the country lies in the hands.
The ultimate challenge faced in the world today of providing quality and better education for children still remains with 59 million children of primary age are without schooling (An estimated 400,000 in the country alone). Investment in teachers training and building infrastructures are not enough. Therefore in order to deliver quality education in the country, sustainable partnerships are required with both government and the private sector coming together to pursue this course. Therefore, the decision for a better and quality education should not be the duty of the government alone. It is a collective duty and the result is one that benefits all.
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