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People and Society, Education

Makerere University, adult literacy rate, missionaries, Kampala, private colleges

Uganda’s educational system, modeled on Britain’s, was originally developed by missionaries, but is now run by the state and, increasingly, by the private sector. Ten percent of primary students in 1997 attended private schools. All levels of education suffer from shortages of teachers and facilities. Education is not compulsory, and schools charge fees for enrollment. There is a sharp decline in enrollment at each higher level—while 154 percent of primary school aged children are enrolled in school, only 16 percent of children attend secondary school. Just 2 percent of the students move on to higher education. However, in 1997 the government began paying the enrollment fees of four primary school students per family, which doubled the number of primary pupils. Boys are more likely to be sent to school and much more likely to be kept in school than girls, but the gap at all levels is narrowing. In 1998-1999, 53 percent of students at primary school were male. The adult literacy rate in 2001 was 80 percent, with male literacy of 86 percent and the female rate 73 percent. Makerere University (founded in 1922) in Kampala is the most important center of higher learning, and there are several smaller universities and private colleges.

Article key phrases:

Makerere University, adult literacy rate, missionaries, Kampala, private colleges, secondary school, private schools, gap, higher education, Boys, levels of education, private sector, sharp decline, higher level, government, state, girls, family, percent of students, facilities, percent of children, primary school students


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