In the US, Europe, and other high-income parts of the world, students are returning to school as a predictable matter of course. Yet in many low-income countries, and particularly in sub-Saharan African countries like Uganda, going back to school is far from a given for millions of primary and secondary school students. Here’s a look at how Ugandan school attendance rates compare to global ones. 

Uganda’s School Attendance Rates

Even before the pandemic, Uganda had some of the lowest school attendance rates in the world. When its schools opened after the world’s longest pandemic lockdown—1 year and 7 months—attendance worsened significantly due to events that had befallen students in the meantime. Here are some helpful things to know about school attendance in Uganda:

  • Although pre-pandemic primary school attendance was fairly high (95% as 2013), secondary school attendance was lower, at only 34% in the same year. 
  • During school closures, up to a third of students got jobs or became pregnant and are now unlikely to complete their secondary school education
  • As of June 2022, secondary school attendance rates were only at 25%

Global School Attendance Rates

Here are some facts about global school attendance to compare with Uganda’s:

  • Before the pandemic (as of 2018), the average global primary school attendance rate was 89%, and the secondary school attendance rate was 66.27%
  • As of 2019, more than half of primary school-aged children who dropped out of school lived in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In 2021, only about 67% of lower secondary school students (aged 12-16) in the world were attending school, and only 50% of upper secondary school students (aged 16-19) attended school or college.
  • At the height of pandemic-related global school closures, 1.6 billion students were out of school. Of those, half (810 million) lived in low-income countries.
  • As of 2022, over 888 million children worldwide are still facing disruptions in their education due to full and partial school lockdowns. 

Support Ugandan Students With Simone’s Kids

You can help improve school attendance rates for Ugandans by supporting schools and education programs, which provide children with the tools they need to build a more promising future. Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides education and meets basic needs for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty.

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 also make a difference by shopping at the Simone’s Kids Store or donating to Simone’s Kids. Your gifts help purchase school supplies, textbooks, food, and other necessities for Ugandan students. Consider doubling your contribution by asking if your employer participates in a donation match. Give today!

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