Education is a fundamental human right that should be accessible to all children and teens. However, even grade school education in Africa often comes with significant financial barriers that prevent many children from getting a basic education. This is a particularly serious problem in sub-Saharan countries like Uganda. Here are some of the financial obstacles to education that Ugandan children face.
Insufficient Funding for Public Schools
Arguably the greatest educational barrier in Uganda is insufficient funding for public schools.
In 2019, the government allocated just 10% of its national budget to education, far below the recommended 20%. This meager funding has resulted in a shortage of textbooks, inadequate facilities, and insufficient teachers, making it difficult for children to receive a quality education. In 2015, less than half of students were literate by the end of primary school. Since then, pandemic lockdowns added to budget cuts have led to even worse learning outcomes.
The High Cost of Education
Another difficulty is the high cost of education for families. First, even public education in Uganda is not entirely free: parents are required to pay for school fees, textbooks, uniforms, and other school supplies. Many parents in Uganda are unable to afford these costs, especially those living in poverty-stricken areas. Private schools come with the same costs plus tuition, which is prohibitively expensive for many. As a result, many children are forced to drop out of school.
The Hidden Costs of Education
In addition to the high cost of education, there are hidden costs that many Ugandan parents are not aware of. These include transportation costs, examination fees, and other miscellaneous fees. For instance, parents may be required to pay for their children to take national exams, which can be costly for families with multiple children in school. These incidental costs make education unattainable for many families.
Lack of Scholarships and Financial Aid
Another financial barrier to education in Uganda is the lack of widely available scholarships and financial aid. While there are some of these opportunities available in Uganda, they are often limited and highly competitive. This means that only a small percentage of students are able to get financial support for their education.
Additionally, many scholarships and forms of financial aid are only available to students who perform exceptionally well academically. This further limits access for students who have the potential to succeed professionally, but are struggling academically, and for students who would perform well academically if they enjoyed a higher quality of education.
Remove Financial Barriers to Education With Simone’s Kids
Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides high-quality primary and secondary education and meets basic needs—including access to clean water, safety measures, and an on-site medical clinic—for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty. Your donations help pay for monthly tuition and purchase school supplies, textbooks, food, and other necessities for Ugandan students. You can donate money, stocks, and cryptocurrency, and you can see if your employer participates in a matching donation program that will double your gift.
You can maximize your impact with recurring donations to Simone’s Kids by joining The Village. The Village is a passionate group of donors committed to bettering the lives of children in Uganda by making monthly donations that help to provide better meals, more teachers, more activities, and even post-graduation services. You can even choose which level of education you’d most like to support (or support them all)! Give today!