|P.4 Pupils of Mulongithi Primary School, Kasese Municipality, July 2013 after receiving the child to child gifts from RWECO staff|
|Hon. Win Kiiza Nyabahasa (4th left), Woman MP, Kasese district, commissioning the distribution of the child to child gifts at RWECO office, July, 2013.|
|Classrooms at Mulongithi P. S, Kasese Municipality: P.4 Class had an enrollment of 56 pupils as of July 2013. Such were the classrooms that accommodate large numbers of pupils at the inception of UPE in 1997|
|Teachers taking the records of pupil during the distribution of the child to child gifts|
|RWECO "walk the talk"|
Many more organisations and development partners support the UPE program in different ways but what are the results when we read reports about the increasing numbers of drop outs especially girls as they advance to upper primary- ARE OUR CHILDREN LEARNING -UWEZO REPORT 2012 (http://www.uwezo.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/RO_2012_UwezoEastAfricaReport.pdf ), The National Assessment Progress in Education Report, 2011(NAPE-Uganda). The parents have been blamed for relegating their critical duty to the schools when they fail to provide mid day meals to their own children!! While Government has also shot herself in the foot when teachers were promised a 20% salary increment in the 2013/14 budget but only 4% was allocated by the Minister of Finance. Indeed, are our children learning given the biting financial crunch, prolonged famine hitting the country and the looming strike by the teachers will be a last kick to the dying horse!!! Reports of inadequate funding to UPE are the blue prints in our local media reducing from Ugx 7200/ per pupil per annum to Ugx 2,700/. During the field monitoring by RWECO CPF at Kasanga P. S, Kasese district, it was observed that during the last quarter Apri-June, 2013, the School received Ugx. 1,400,000/ translating into Ugx. 200/ per month per child, implying that government remits Ugx.600/ per year per child to Kasanga P. School. The good lesson to learn was, the head teacher displays the funds received on the notice board in the office. The question was, will the Ugx 200 meet the basic needs of the child given that the children are at school for 5 days in a week giving us 20 working days per month. The expenditure per child per day will be 200/20= 10/=
In real terms will the Ugx.10/ make our children learn, has anybody bothered to share this analysis with government to put a case for increased expenditure on the cost of education in Uganda?. What about other members of the East African Community what is the cost of Education in the primary sector? The Uganda vision 2040 will only be achieved if the middle class in Uganda can realise that we need moral uprightness and good will in order to talk of a middle class world. Uganda is one country that was believed to be on the right path in achieving the MDG targets on halving poverty and hunger, access to basic education and reducing child mortality by 2015.
Its our duty to act now and hold those accountable to deliver!!!