Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
“He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”
― Victor Hugo
Main Prayer Focus of the Week:
- Increased enrollment and participation in early childhood learning
- Reduction in school drop out rates
- Improved primary school completion
- Improved quality of school education
OVERVIEW OF THE WEEK’S THEME
It has been shown that children attending Early Childhood Development (ECD) have better chances to learn socializing with peers, learn different languages, and have improved stimulation and cognitive functioning at an early stage. They tend to perform better once they enroll in primary school. The National Assessment of Progress in Education (MoES-NAPE), 2013 study by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), showed that children who have attended pre-primary education on average score 30% higher on literacy tests compared to those who missed pre-primary education. This evidence implies that the large number of children not enrolling in ECD programs, mostly from poorer households and in rural areas, will most likely not achieve their full productive potential.
Estimates from Education Management Information Systems show that net enrollment at the pre-primary level in Uganda stands at 10.1%. This implies that close to nine out of ten children under 5 years of age in Uganda are not enrolled in pre-primary schools. Data from the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, indicate that a total of 433,258 children were enrolled in pre-primary schools in 2014. The majority (91.5%) of these were enrolled in nursery schools. Other enrolling school categories included community-based schools (7.8%), day care (0.5%) and home-based schools (0.2%). By 2013, over 80% of ECD centers are privately owned, making them out of the financial reach of most Ugandans. Overall, there has been a surge in pre-primary enrollment between 2006 and 2011, partly as result of licensing new facilities. This can be expected to rise further with the launching of the first ever, national policy and action plan on Early Childhood Development (ECD) in September 2016
Basic education’s most important goal is assuring that the next generation is not only able to read and write, but also has learned the basics to continue living. The foundation for a country’s secondary and tertiary education sectors is a well functioning primary sector. With few exceptions, literacy is a necessary condition for a country to escape extreme poverty. However governments in low-income countries on whole are not focusing on creating effective primary school systems.
Studies have shown that a good primary education system brings more benefits in low-income countries compared to that from secondary and tertiary education. Failure to complete the primary cycle usually leads to adult illiteracy. It has also been shown that completion of at least five to six years of schooling is a critical threshold for sustainable mastery of basic competencies, such as literacy and basic numeracy. Literacy surveys conducted in African countries and elsewhere indicate that a high share of the adults who have completed less than five or six years of primary schooling remain functionally illiterate and innumerate for the rest of their lives.
Primary education enrollment rates
High levels of net primary enrollment are the first step along the path to improving educational outcomes and basic human development. Uganda has increased student primary education enrollment by making it both free (1997 Universal Primary Education policy) and compulsory (2008 Education Act). Primary net enrollment rates grew from 84 percent in 2004 to 94 percent by 2011. Additionally, primary school education attainment has more than doubled for people 15-and-over over the past 35 years – from 21 percent in 1980 to 54 percent today.
Since the introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1997, there has been a drastic increase in primary school enrollment, increasing from 7.3 million pupils in 2002 to 8.8 million pupils in 2014. The Net Enrollment Ratio (NER) increased from 84.8% in 2002 to 97% by 2014. By 2014 only 3 out of 100 children aged 6-12 years in Uganda were not attending primary education.
Survival and drop-out rates at primary level
While enrollment levels have improved over the years, survival rates in primary remain poor. Only four in ten pupils who joined primary one made it to primary seven in 2014.
In enacting UPE, Uganda took the so-called ‘big bang’ approach to primary school access resulting in rapid expansion of intake but there have been shortfalls in delivering basic educational services. The UPE initiative was not accompanied by sufficient resource planning, and despite significant donor agency support, the basic conditions for effective learning are not present in many Ugandan villages. The typical Ugandan aged 15 or older has less than 6 years of education.
Reasons For School Dropout
The Uganda National Household Survey 2013/2014 shows that the major reasons for boys dropping out of school were a lack of interest, followed by transfer of school and search for a job. Lack of interest may indicate both the school-based factors such as uninteresting school routine or very strict school rules, but it could also indicate better attractions outside of school. For girls, the two main factors accounting for high dropout and failure to transition to secondary education are child marriage and pregnancy. Even though primary school is free, costs of supplies are a barrier for many children. Transport difficulties, health issues, poor feeding are also a factor.
Higher literacy rates implies better chances of being employed and in turn, better standards of living. Spreading awareness, increasing capacity and promoting research-based education are necessary to improve literacy in Uganda. The adult literacy rate has improved from 69 percent in 2005/06 to 73.6 percent in 2009. Uganda’s literacy rate is still well below par compared to the developed countries.
INSTITUTIONS PRAYER FOCUS FOR WEEK FOUR
Pray for these institutions using the prayer guidelines in Chapter 1:
- Directorate of Basic & Secondary Education (BSE)
- Department of Special Needs Education (SNE)
- UNESCO National Commission (UNATCOM
- National Council of Sports
MARKET PLACE FOCUS FOR WEEK FOUR
4. Nehemiah prepared for attack in every way: Nehemiah 4 vs 13
- Pray for the leaders that God is raising in your sector of the market place and for yourself that you will be prepared for enemy attacks in every way.
- Pray for wisdom in handling the complex matters that sometimes arise when dealing with opponents. Sometimes legal and other advice is needed. Sometimes restraint is needed in responding to accusations.
- Pray for wisdom in handling security matters