access to education in ugandaIn the country of Uganda, education is of high concern. Given that there are over 100 students in some classes, the quality of education is severely lacking. In an attempt to focus on quality and learning retention, Uganda has done away with primary entry level examinations. As opposed to the examinations, the focus will now be aimed at ensuring that the quality of teaching is up to par. Any school found violating the ban will face strict repercussions.

The country’s Ministry of Education found that the quality of education on a primary level was lacking. With the country’s overall literacy rate at 70.2 percent, the ban is the result of a desire to shift focus away from exam results and improve teachers’ instruction skills. This step provides a ray of hope for access to education in Uganda.

Because teachers are so crucial in the quality of education, the first focus for access to education in Uganda is teaching capabilities. The Ministry of Education has embarked on massive training program of teachers at all levels, called the Teacher Training Education Project. The project aims not only to train the teachers, but also to make sure that they have the necessary equipment for teaching, and that they are able to be supportive to their colleagues, according to a report on the project by the Ministry of Education.

The ban on entry exams is good news, but there are still other factors that Ugandans must overcome in order to attend school, such as finances. Tuition at the primary level is free; however, families tend to struggle with paying for school-related expenses such as books. Tuition to secondary-level schooling is free only if a student does well on his or her Primary Leaving Exams.

The dissolution of the entry exams is a step in the right direction regarding access to education in Uganda, but there are still many more steps to take in the future. If the country wants to ensure that quality of education endures, further measures, such as continuous teacher training and free schooling and supplies, must be taken.

– Dezanii Lewis

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