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World Bank wades into Uganda education crisis, approves construction of 116 secondary schools

By News Desk

After examining the standard of education in Uganda, the World Bank has approved a $150 million learning intervention project to assist 2.5 million students to learn effectively and boost secondary education in rural parts of the country.
With the fund, at least 116 new lower secondary schools would be constructed while 61 already existing schools will have additional classrooms to reduce overcrowding.

Through a statement, the international lender stated that the project would create 70,300 new spaces for learners, including 30,000 in areas hosting refugees

Aside from structures, the project will provide textbooks and teacher guides, support continuous teacher professional development and implement an accelerated education programme for children who are not currently attending school.

The World Bank Country Manager for Uganda, Tony Thompson, said: “Uganda needs to expand access to secondary education to enhance its human capital. This is essential if Uganda is to improve the future wellbeing of its citizens while also enable the economy to grow through their increased productivity.

“This project aims to provide new school spaces while at the same time creating a conducive learning environment, which is safe, promotes students’ personal growth and self-esteem. It will also increase retention for both boys and girls,’’ Thompson added.

The bank said while Uganda is a pioneer in sub-Saharan Africa in implementing policies to achieve universal access to primary and secondary education, funding to the sector is among the lowest in the region.

During the last five years, education expenditure as a share of the national budget declined to 10 per cent in 2019/20 while the average for sub-Saharan Africa is 16 per cent and has been steadily increasing over the same period.

While Uganda’s enrolment at the Universal Secondary Education level has increased at an average of six percent annually, the rate of growth remains low compared to 25 per cent in Kenya and 16 per cent in Rwanda.

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