Friday, August 5, 2011


The second United Nations MDG is to achieve Universal Primary Education, more specifically, to “ensure that by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling." Currently, there are more than 100 million children around the world of primary school age who are not in school. The majority of these children are in regions of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and within these countries, girls are at the greatest disadvantage in receiving access to education at the primary school age. Since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, there have been many successes. For example, Uganda is one of the examples of developing countries that have successfully completed a campaign towards universal primary education when the government introduced UPE in 1997.

ACFODE has over the years vested efforts in supporting this initiative through service delivery, capacity building and advocacy.

From the 29th – 30th of July 2011, ACFODE conducted a training workshop in Bumakwe, Kanungu district whose objectives were: to enable participants reflect on the UPE policy, to enable them gain skills to undertake improved monitoring of the UPE policy, and to develop an action plan for the participants’ interventions in monitoring UPE in the community.

Participants included Local Council (LC) leaders, School Management Committee Members, Head Teachers, and School Teachers and parents.

Topical issues like; understanding UPE concept from inception to present, implementation guidelines of the UPE policy, policy positions on UPE and the roles of different stakeholders, gender equality in education, and how to monitor implementation of UPE were discussed.

Participants highlighted challenges faced during the implementation of UPE and some of them include;

· Delayed salary payments for teachers and school administrators which has caused some of them to abandon the schools for greener pastures else where

· Many students lack basic necessities from the parents/ guardians e.g lunch. This has some of them to shun away from education.

· Many parents are still hesitant in taking their children to school. Girls are looked at as source of wealth.

· Too many household responsibilities given to the children especially the girls do not allow them to attend school regularly and often times they drop out.

· Slow learners are often neglected

· Parents’ failure to talk to, and provide requirements for the children

For each of the challenges discussed during the workshop, responsible key players were indentified and it was agreed that bye-laws be passed, and community members be sensitized about the UPE policy and which roles they must play to ensure success and sustainability.

Hand books on UPE as well as implementation guidelines were given to each of the participants. These were in simple and clear language and were greatly appreciated by the participants.

At the end of the two days training, a framework for monitoring the implementation of the UPE policy was developed.

The training was successful because provided participants with the knowledge and skills on UPE to enable them monitor the implementation of the policy from an informed point of view. Participants also depicted marked levels of change after the training, regarding increased awareness of their role in the implementation and monitoring of the policy.

Sandra Nassali

Public Relations & Communications Officer

Action For Development

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