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Current State of Education Sector

Uganda’s formal education is based on a 7‐4‐2 system of primary and secondary schooling followed by a 3‐5 years of University level education. This structure has been in existence since the country achieved political independence in 1962. Formal education starts with seven years of primary education followed by four years of lower secondary and two years of upper secondary education.

As regards UN millennium development goals (MDGs), Uganda is on the path to attainment of the MDGs as targeted by year 2015. Uganda produces a number of graduates but the numbers are reducing as one goes up the formal system due to varied reasons. The positive government policies are encouraging more participation of the private sector in the provision of education services which has resulted in increased number of student enrolment.

At least for the last 5 years, education contribution to the GDP has been above 5%, making education the 6th largest sector of Ugandan economy by economic activity after Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail, Real Estates, and Transport/Communications.

There has been a remarkable change in this sector over the past years, especially since the inception of the Universal Education Programmes. More schools, institutions, colleges and universities have been established; and enrolments in all these institutions have exponentially increased. The private sector participation in the education sector has also been remarkable to the extent that education is increasingly being seen as an export sector.

Currently, the private sector owns about 69% of the total university establishments in Uganda and with 31% being owned by the public sector. This trend where private investment is dominant is expected to grow with the liberalisation of the sector.

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