general information Uganda:
- “Pearl of Africa”, as this country was called by Winston Churchill in 1908; at the time he was a correspondent in Africa for some British periodicals.
- It is seven times as big as the Netherlands.
- It has a population of about 33 million people.
- Kampala is its capital, situated at Lake Victoria. When coming by plane you will land in Entebbe.
- Uganda is in the middle of Africa, a bit to the east. Its neighbouring countries are Sudan,Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Congo.
- The country is situated on the equator and has a tropical climate.
- In the centre of the flag you can see the national symbol: the grey crested crane. The three colours represent: The Africans (black), the African sunshine (yellow) and the African fraternity (red, colour of the blood that connects the Africans).
- A little bit of history:
as of 1894: part of the British Empire
as of 1962: independent various governments most violent time in the 1970s (Jinja was most severely affected)
as of 1986: NRA (National Resistance Army) under the leadership of Museveni.
- illiteracy among adults is still extensive (above 32% of the over 15 year olds)
- more than 7 million children receive primary education (= about 90%),
- there are about 8500 primary schools
- there are about 1300 secondary schools, about 25% of the students attend secondary school or technical training. About 3% of the secondary school students move into university education.
Half of the population is younger than 15, over 8 million children are of school age. Most of them do attend school.
After primary school this number decreases much.
As from 1997 a new system of education has been introduced. Elementary education is free. Classrooms are getting full, often there are not enough classrooms and too few desks and chairs and books and notebooks. And… too few teachers. Many people have had abridged teacher training and this has not had a beneficial effect on the quality of education. The ministry, the inspection and curricula commissions are working hard on improvements. In the region of Gulu, among other places there is a buzzing of activities to give a boost to education at primary schools. Thus for secondary education and for teacher training colleges they are looking for effective ways to start from practice more often and to carry out more experiments, e.g. for science.
The objectives of Experi-box correspond to this very well. Also in the field of computer education very good initiatives are to be seen in some places.
The schools that have been visited up to now are situated in and around Jinja, Lodonga, Gulu, Masaka, Kalisizo, Ssange, Kakuuto, Entebbe, Karenga.