Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world growing at average of 3.3%. This growing population means that there is high demand for education services. Despite the introduction of universal primary and secondary education, the number of school dropouts is still high. This poses a threat towards achieving SDG 4: Quality Education: Ensure Inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.
A report by Uganda National Examinations Board shows that 43% of the pupils who enrolled in primary one have dropped out of school before reaching primary seven. For every 100 pupils who started school, 43 dropped out before completing primary seven.
For the period 2009-2015, 38% of the pupils who started school dropped out before reaching primary seven. The school dropout rates are significantly higher when one analyses the number of pupils who never sit the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education. Of the 1,837,227 pupils who joined primary one in 2004, only 102,858 sat for UACE in 2016. This represents a 94.4% dropout rate! The dropout rates are much higher for females compared to males, with Uganda having the highest school dropout rates for females in East Africa.
The statistics above present a grim picture of the state of the education sector in Uganda. The high school dropout rates have been attributed to the hidden costs like costs of scholastic materials like exercise books, pens, uniforms, sanitary pads, lack of school meals, insufficient sanitary facilities among others. Given the high poverty levels especially in the rural areas of northern and eastern Uganda, meeting the necessary school requirements is a tall order for many a parent who live on less than a dollar a day. As a result, many of their children end up dropping out of school and end up being trapped in a vicious of poverty.
Go 2 School Uganda intends to address some of the above challenges by providing scholastic materials, sanitary pads, extending safe water to communities and constructing proper sanitary facilities.