Overview of the Ugandan Economy


Students in Laboratory

Credit: Photo/Newvision

 

 Size and Structure

Education is one of the top priority sectors of the Government of Uganda. It is regarded as an engine for the development of skills required in order to promote sustainable development. A number of policy developments have been achieved in the sector, notable among which is the liberalization of education provision to allow private sector participation. This has transformed education services into a regional export.

Uganda has institutionalized universal primary and secondary education to narrow and eventual eliminate the gender gap. The strategy has increased, the Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) to 91%.

                             The structure of Uganda’s Education System
Uganda follows the 7-4-2-3 year education system. The structure also offers a number of options for those who find it difficult to go straight at each of these transition points.

 

 

The Size of the Sector

 

Education Institutions in Uganda, Enrolment and Staffing

 

2,005

2,006

2,007

2,008

2,009

2,010

Name of Institution

 

Primary Schools

13,576

14,385

14,728

15,962

17,127

17,865

Secondary Schools

1,961

2,286

2,644

2,908

3,149

3,234

PTCs (former TTCs)

45

45

45

 

 

 

Technical Schools & Institutions

62

62

62

 

 

5

NTCs

10

10

10

10

8

7

UTCs

5

5

5

5

6

 

UCCs (Private) & Government

5

5

5

46

48

 

Universities (Government)

5

5

5

5

5

7

Universities (Private)

13

14

14

17

19

25

Number of Teachers, Tutors, Lecturers

 

Primary Schools ('000)

145

150

152

159

168

172

Secondary Schools

37,607

42,673

50,767

57,007

65,045

62,921

PTCs (former TTCs)

 n.a

1,310

995

 

 

 

Technical Schools & Institutions

 n.a

 n.a

915

 

 

 

NTCs

369

372

328

 

289

 

UTCs

38

134

127

 

127

 

UCCs

167

167

173

 

1,076

 

Universities (Government)

1,778

1,729

1,388

 

2,092

 

Universities (Private)

819

872

807

 

1,835

 

Student Enrollment

 

Primary Schools ('000)

7,224

7,362

7,537

7,964

8,297

8,374

Secondary Schools

728,393

814,087

954,328

1,088,744

1,194,454

1,226,000

PTCs (former TTCs)

 n.a

19,447

18,343

 

 

 

Technical Schools & Institutions

 n.a

13,417

11,219

 

 

3,250

NTCs

15,494

15,807

12,192

 

10,997

7,842

UTCs

985

1,069

1,110

 

1,980

3,250

UCCs

3,462

3,574

3,557

 

18,181

5,556

Universities (Government)

44,928

47,178

36,323

42,976

53,845

74,729

Universities (Private)

12,216

18,034

38,210

40,111

53,883

65,340

Source: UBOS Statistical Abstract 2012

Key Features of the Sector

Competitiveness of the Uganda’s Education Sector
Uganda’s education sector is the most competitive within the Great Lakes region. It is reknown for its:

  • Quality of education: this is high at all levels and has progressively improved overtime.
  • Excellent curricula and demand driven unique courses.
  • Competitive and affordable maintenance and tuition fees.
  • Use of English as a medium of instruction/teachings at all levels
  • Welcoming culture.      
  • Ugandan teachers/instructors are knowledgeable of the training needs of the region.

Workforce Skills and Availability of Special Skills

The education sector is resourced with immense skills at various levels. As of 2009, at the primary education level, there were 168,000 teachers with various qualifications: Doctorate degrees (20); Masters’ degrees (125); Postgraduate Diplomas (123); Graduates 2496, etc. These numbers have increased steadily from the 2006 levels to match the quality parameters For instance, in 2006, there were 1,627 graduates teaching in primary schools and only 9 PhD and 73 masters’ degree teachers respectively at this level. At the secondary level as of 2006, there were 42,673 teachers with various qualifications but by end of 2009, the number had shot up to 65,045 teachers, an increase of almost 35% in a spate of 3 years.


At the tertiary level as at end of 2009, there were over 7,000 academic staff comprising of both full-time and part-time lecturers with various skills, qualifications and disciplines. The categories of academic attainment were as follows: PhD (815); Maters degrees (2,901); Bachelors (1,240); Postgraduate Diplomas (224); Diplomas (703), among others. Most of the training institutions have own staff development programmes to cope with the ever increasing number of students so as to maintain the quality standards of student/lecturer ratios. Government also has a number of training programmes with development partners in critical areas of the economy where the various tertiary institutions can benefit from in order to upgrade their staff skills and numbers.

 

 

 

 

Key Players in the Sector

Government, Private And Community


Type of
Ownership

Number of
Universities and other Tertiary institutions

Number of
Secondary schools

Number of other Post-Primary
Schools

Number of Primary schools

Number of
Pre-primary
school

 

No

%

No

%

No

%

No

%

No

%

Public

53

34.2%

807

34.7%

101

87.1%

11,643

81.0%

15

2.1%

Private

102

65.8%

1,064

45.7%

5

4.3%

1,877

13.1%

490

68.3%

Community

0

0.0%

455

19.6%

10

8.6%

854

5.9%

212

29.6%

Total

155

100.0%

2,326

100.0%

116

100.0%

14,374

100.0%

717

100.0%


Source: The State of Higher Education A survey of Uganda’s higher institution of learning, Uganda education statistics abstract

Status of the Sector At Various Educational Levels 

The Universal Primary Education (UPE) Policy

Universal Primary Education (UPE) was implemented with effect from 1997, to broaden access to primary education, largely through reducing the costs involved. The primary school enrolment which was about 3.1 million in 1996 rose to 5.2 million in 1997, an increase by about 68%. Since then, the number of schools, as well as the number of teachers has progressively increased over the years. Between 2005 and 2009, there was an increase of 3,551 schools representing about 21% increase or an average increase of 710 schools per year.

 

                Primary Schools by Funding Source

 

Of the 17,127 primary schools registered by the Ministry of Education as of December 2009, about 72% were owned by government, which is a drop by almost 10% of the 2006 figures. In 2006, government owned schools accounted for 81%.  This is an indication that the private sector involvement since 2006 has intensified. Correspondingly, school ownership by the community has also decreased from 11% in 2006 to 5% as of 2009. Overall, government still has greater control at this level of education owing to its policy of enabling all school going age at this level to be in school. In terms of funding at this level, government is also shouldering a bigger percentage of schools whereby in 2009, it was providing funding to 69% of the schools (11,800 schools) as well as partial support to another 3% of schools (i.e. 491 schools), a reduction by 74 schools from 2006 level.  Figure 2, gives a diagrammatic presentation of the level of government support to schools as at year end 2009.

Secondary Education

This level has witnessed unprecedented growth rates by over 19% over the last 5 years in the enrolment of students, but yet to attain the necessary capacity to cope with the large numbers of primary school leavers. The Table 3 shows the key indicators at secondary education level where the enrolment increased from 728,393 in 2005 to 1,194,454 at end of 2009. The tremendous increase is attributable to the introduction of the universal secondary education in 2007. As of 2010, a total of 264,635 candidates sat the Uganda Certificate of Education Examinations, with 104,000 of them registering under the Universal Secondary Education scheme. However, it is still seen that during the academic year 2010, there were 519,246 pupils who sat primary seven leaving examinations vying for about 300,000 places available at senior one.  This indicates that if all candidates sitting their primary leaving examinations manage to qualify for the next level of education, then only 57% of them can be absorbed for secondary education which calls for additional investments at this level by both government and the private sector.

Of the 3,149 secondary schools registered by the Ministry of Education as of December 2009, 69% were owned by others (i.e. by the private sector and the community). Government is owned only about 31% but in terms of funding, 24% of the schools were wholly supported by government.  There has been a progressive increase in the share of private ownership in the sub-sector.  The introduction of Universal Secondary Education (USE) has increased the numbers of pupils leaving the primary level presenting a need for establishment of more secondary schools.

Tertiary Education

There are a number of education pathways at this level, with various categories of institutions that absorb students after senior six. These include; universities and their affiliates (currently 32 in number); teacher colleges (numbering 9); technical colleges; health colleges; management and social development institutions; business colleges; theological colleges; hotel and tourism training institutes; media and communicationstraining centers; agricultural, forestry and fisheries colleges; meteorology; and aeronautical school, among others.

In total, enrolment at tertiary level was 196,570 students as at 2011 with universities accounting for 71% of this total. Of the total university enrolment of 107,729, Makerere University alone accounted for 24%.  It is also interesting to note that a lot of foreign students from neighbouring countries are attending tertiary education in Uganda and these accounted for 9% of total enrolment at various universities during the same period. 
Figure 4 shows the share of universities by ownership type where presently the private sector owns about 69% of the total university establishments in Uganda and the public sector accounts for only 31%. This trend of private investment dominance in tertiary education is expected to grow overtime.

Share of Tertiary Education by Ownership

.

 

 

Vocational Education Training Policy

The current government policy on technical education and Vocational Education Training (VET) aims at:

  • Introducing changes necessary to create a favourable environment for industrial training, improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency in public training
  • Provision of training by employers and the private sector
  • Changing negative attitudes towards technical and vocational education Integrating technical and business/or entrepreneurial skills to enable students to enter self-employment
  • Provision of at least one vocational secondary school in every district; and
    Introduction of vocational curriculum in primary and secondary schools.

 

The Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Strategy with the theme “Skilling Uganda” has been developed and funded to support vocational education and training over a 10-year period. It has a big component of non-formal education and work-based training among others. It has a national dimension with few public institutions in place to implement it. Private sector participation will be crucial in achieving the objectives of the strategy.

Investment Opportunities

  • Investment opportunities occur at any level of the 7-4-2-3 education system
  • Special needs schools
  • International schools
  • Technical and Vocational institutions
  • In-Service Specialized Training Programmes
  • Universities and tertiary institutions
  • Community schools
  • Talent schools e.g. dance and drama.
  • Supplying goods and services to the education sector
  • Hostels
  • Management and ICT Skills Development institutions
  • Investment in Centres of Excellence and specialized Academies

Investment in sports facilities

 

 

 

Sector Specific Licensing Requirements

Licensing is needed for all subsectors below:

  • Primary, Secondary Education and BTVET– Ministry of Education and Sports
  • University and Tertiary Education – The National Council for Higher Education (Refer to Appendix 3)


Sector Specific Incentives for Investors
Education services are not subject to VAT

Useful Contacts for Institutions

1.For Investment Licensing:
Uganda Investment Authority,
P.O. Box 7418, Kampala, Uganda
Tel. +256-41-4301000
Fax +256-41-4342903
Email: info@ugandainvest.com
www.ugandinvest.com

2. For Regulatory Licensing
Ministry of Education and Sports
Plot 9-10, Parliament Avenue,
Embassy House and Development House,
P.O. Box 7063, Kampala, Uganda
Tel. +256-41-4234451/4
Fax +256-41-4230437
www.education.go.ug

 

3. Taxes and Incentives Administration:
Uganda Revenue Authority
Headquarters: Nakawa Industrial Area,
P.O. Box 7279 Kampala, Uganda
Gen.lines: +256-41-4334000/1-10
Email: prte@ura.go.ug
mgimbo@ugandainvest.com
www.ura.go.ug

  •  
  • 4. Business Registration:

Uganda Registration Services Bureau
Plot # 5, George Street, Amamu House
Gen. lines: +256-41-4235915/2332
Fax +256-41-4250712
Official Receiver: +256-41-4345727
P.O. Box 6848 Kampala
Email: ursb.go.ug

5. Regulatory Licensing of University/Tertiary
National Council for Higher Education
Plot 34, Cavers Crescent,
P.O. Box 76 Kyambogo, Uganda
Tel. +256-41-4285193
Email: NCHE@infocom.co.ug
www.nche@go.ug

6. Curriculum Development
National Curriculum Development Centre, Kyambogo
P.O. Box 7002, Kampala, Uganda
Tel. +256-41-4342715
Fax +256-41-4286145
www.ncdc@go.ug

  • 7. Examination of Non-Higher Education Students

Uganda National Examination Board, Ntinda
P.O. Box 7066 Kampala, Uganda
Tel. +256-41-4285193
Email: uneb@uneb.ac.ug
www.uneb@uneb.ac.ug

  • 8. Uganda National Council for Science and Technology

Plot 10, Kampala Road – Uganda House
Tel. +256-41-4705500
Fax: +256-41-4250499
Email: uncst@starcom.co.ug
www.uncst@go.ug