UPE is credited for increasing enrollment. If indeed threefold drop out before P.7, this important programme will come to naught.
In East Africa, Uganda has the lowest proportion of children staying in school up to P7, according to a 2010 report by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). In Kenya, the completion rate is 84%, Tanzania 81% and Rwanda 74%.
Moses Kyambadde, the head teacher of Natyole Primary School in Luweero district said: “After 15 years of UPE, Uganda should have achieved a significant increase in literacy levels.
But this seems not the case because most children drop out before they even learn how to read and write.”
Critics also attribute the high school drop-out in Uganda to the hidden cost of universal education on the parents. Under UPE, parents still have to contribute towards school meals, scholastic materials and uniforms.
Many children from poor families may find it hard to complete the seven-year cycle.
thank you Paul