Funding and the quality of primary education in Uganda
Balojja, Tom Darlington
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Goal four of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals aims to achieve quality and inclusive primary and secondary education by 2030. In Uganda, Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan II underscore human resource development too. Accordingly, Government is reviewing the 1992 White Paper on Education and other policy documents in Uganda. The Education and Sports Sector Annual Report of 2015 indicates that over 70 per cent of the candidates produced after primary seven are from public primary schools but they perform poorly. Government allocates 53 per cent of the funds extended to the education sector budget to primary education. This study set out to analyze the effects of prioritization of funding of primary education on the sub-sector’s performance against the established quality indicators. The prioritization of funding considers: wages and salaries, capitation and inspection. This study followed observation that Government progressively funded primary education from 49.4 percent in 2012/13 to 53 percent in 2015/16, translating in enhancement of teachers’ salaries and the capitation funds, but quality of services and the academic performance remained poor. Between 2012 and 2016, the period under study, the number of teachers paid reduced by 812 and the number of learners funded also reduced from 7,100,000 to 6,470,000, showing that the funding did not address the number of teachers as a salient factor in pursuit of quality indicators. The development funds were also decreased. This adversely affected performance of Government-aided primary schools in terms of required infrastructure like classrooms. In this article, the author argues that Government should increase on the share to primary education sub-sector from 53 to 59 percent. Inspection should be carried out twice a term, hence the need to increase the budget to UGX 7.5 billion per annum. Such recommendations are in view of ensuring that the quality of primary education is enhanced.