Although Uganda has received funding from several European governments for its education sector, the country continues to experience setbacks in improving the state of education in the northeastern region of Karamoja.
Among these is the high dropout rate in schools.
Moses Ghinno, head teacher at Lopuyo Primary School in Kotido district, said food rations and domestic chores were the main reasons for this problem. He said parents would rather have their children do agropastoral work or get married at puberty to gain wealth and form new family alliances than attend school. He explained most parents “see education as something that has no fruits in the future, something that is only for disabled children who have no other capacity.”
Another drawback is the lack of decent classroom amenities and teachers competent in the local language. In Karamoja, there is a huge shortage in locally trained teachers. While it is government policy for teachers to use the local language in teaching primary schoolchildren, most teachers can only speak “broken” versions of the local language.
If these setbacks are not addressed, Karamoja’s young might miss out on economic opportunities that are starting to form in the region.
“People are seeing now that the cows have gone and there’s nothing to do at home. So the only way is to educate the child”, Ghinno said.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.