Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education
Sustainable Development Goal 4 is especially important in Uganda, where access to and reliability of quality education leaves much to be desired. Guest blogger Brownie Ebal has seen this first-hand.
In Uganda, quality education is just a dream to many. The Universal Primary Education System and Universal Secondary Education system has increased the number of children enrolled in school, but he quality of education received is wanting.
In rural areas, most children travel long distances – sometimes barefoot – to get to school. Lessons are taught under trees, and when darkness falls, the lessons end.
We cannot say that children have equal access to education when some are sitting comfortably in chairs while others number 120 in a class, sit on the floor and go to school with out any scholastic materials.
At Aliwang Primary School in Northern Uganda, I was shocked to find that half the children did not have pencils or shoes – many had walked barefoot for miles to get there. The book to student ratio in the school in 2014 was 1:40, so 40 students had to share one book. This ratio makes leaning very difficult for the students and is frankly appalling, considering students in other schools can afford to buy books and have a ratio of 1:1.
War in Uganda has also caused many children to be unable to attend school. In 2003, due to the Lord’s Resistance Army, an insurgency in Northern Uganda, the Adwari Senior Secondary School was out of commission, so many of the children had to relocate, which disrupted their learning.
In 2014, students of Bulemebia Primary School in Kasese were shocked to find their school swept away by floods. Most of the buildings and scholastic materials were lost, but the calls of students and teachers for the school to be relocated have fallen on deaf ears. We cannot wait for another disaster to cause more destruction for the concerned to take action.
Quality education is sustainable development goal 4 and should be at the root of all government efforts. A child can only reach their full potential if the conditions for attaining education are greatly enhanced.
The youth in Uganda are already making a difference in their country. Through a local NGO called Kitbu-Buk project, children get access to textbooks and scholastic materials across the country.
Article contributed by Brownie Ebal, 23, who is a Ugandan lawyer. She is also the founder and executive director of the Kitabu-Buk project and a legal trainee for the National Water and Sewerage Corporation. She is a dedicated philanthropist and loves to engage with children.
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