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Late funds affects UPE programme

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd March 2011 03:00 AM

THE Government introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) without a gradual plan. Hence UPE was not well planned before it was launched and this could be hindering its work.

THE Government introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) without a gradual plan. Hence UPE was not well planned before it was launched and this could be hindering its work.

Zaidi Magumba

THE Government introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) without a gradual plan. Hence UPE was not well planned before it was launched and this could be hindering its work.

The UPE programme is poorly funded by the Government and sometimes this money is released late which affects the way the programme is run.

Most of the schools undertaking UPE programmes have a record of poor performance since teachers are reluctant to teach due to poor salary and big classes. There is also a high school dropout rate especially for the girls. They dropout at an early age due to pregnancy and lack of counselling from their teachers and parents.

There is also a political policy of automatic promotion which has only produced academically unsound students. Absenteeism is the order of the day, after all even if one came for only exams, they would go on to the next class.

Some of the academic staff running the UPE programmes in the villages never had enough training to enable them perform effectively.

If the UPE programme is to be run efficiently, then the Government should allocate more funds to run the programmes. The funds should get to the schools in time so that school activities run smoothly. In addition, teachers’ salaries should be increased because they are poorly motivated and lack morale.

Scholastic materials should also be put in place to equip the schools undertaking the UPE programmes, for example, improved libraries should be constructed so that both the teachers and pupils can easily access information.

There should be a deliberate policy to increase desks in classrooms, improve infrastructure and diet among others, if pupils in such schools are to excel.

The Millennium Development Goal of UPE will never come to reality when some schools in the villages are teaching under trees, others have poor diets and students are malnourished.

The Government should urgently address, the UPE challenges if we are to attain free education as a Millennium Development Goal by the year 2015.

The writer is a development worker in Kamuli district


Late funds affects UPE programme

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