Education is highly valued by tradition in
Uganda, but the education system was razed during the
political and economic chaos of the 1970s and 1980s.
Nevertheless, literacy has been kept at a relatively
high level. The school system consists of a seven-year
elementary school and two supplementary stages of four
years and two years respectively. There are both state
and private schools. Many of the oldest schools were
started by Christian missionaries from Europe.
In 2003, the school fees for the compulsory school
were abolished, and four years later also for high
school and upper secondary education.
Country facts of Uganda, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Today, almost all children start school. However,
according to the UN education body Unesco, almost seven
children out of ten school quit prematurely. An
important reason is that parents find it difficult to
get enough money for school books, pens, school food and
other things. It is also common for children to work
alongside the school, especially if they live in the
countryside. Many teachers have major shortcomings in
their education and wages are low.
In the fall of 2016, the Supreme Court ordered that
some 60 schools run by the American foundation Bridge
International Academies be closed due to shortcomings,
among other things, with curricula and sanitary
conditions. However, some evaluators felt that the
situation was not better in the state schools (see also
At the university level, the number of students had
increased to just over 200,000 in 2013.
There are six state universities. The most important
is the Makerere University in Kampala which was founded
in 1922 and is the oldest in East Africa, and the
Technical University of Mbarara. Since 1988, there is
also a small Muslim university in Mbale.
In addition, a number of new, private universities of
varying quality have been started. The low university
fees have meant that the Ugandan higher education
institutions have attracted students from other parts of
According to American Freedom House, in recent years
there have been some restrictions on academic freedom,
among other things, professors need to request
permission for all public meetings in the university
field. There is also information that the security
service monitors public lectures.
- Educationvv: Provides school and education information in Uganda, covering middle school, high school and college education.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
90.9 percent (2013)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
70.2 percent (2012)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
12.1 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
12.1 percent (2017)
Opposition politicians go underground for police fears
Opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, best known as pop star Bobi Wine,
goes underground after police conducted a raid on the hotel he was staying in
for a concert. According to Kyagulanyi's lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, several of
the opposition politicians' supporters and colleagues have been arrested and /
or beaten in connection with the strike. Kyagulanyi was prosecuted in August
along with some 30 other opposition treason politicians, accused of lying behind
a stone's throw against a presidential column (see August 2018).
Bobi Wine back on stage
Opposition politicians and singer Bobi Wine (actually called Robert
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu) are appearing for the first time since he was charged with
treason. He is allowed to do so because the concert is not considered political.
However, the concert is conducted under heavy police supervision.
"Bobi Wine" returns to Uganda
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, aka pop star Bobi Wine, returns to his home
country from the United States where he was cared for the injuries he claims he
suffered when he was beaten by Ugandan security forces (see August 2018).
He is welcomed by about 100 followers, even though the authorities have banned
all manifestations in connection with his return. According to the CPJ press
release, at least eight journalists who guarded the return of opposition
politicians are arrested. The journalists are detained for four hours and their
Museveni blames protests for "foreign forces"
President Museveni, in a four-hour long speech, accuses foreign forces of
causing concern in the country by donating money to his political opponents.
Their actions also contribute to undermining the image of Uganda abroad, which
in the long term is a threat to economic growth in the country, he further
claims. He also criticizes media, both domestic and international, and voluntary
organizations. A few days earlier, the government has announced an investigation
into organizations that it believes have supported the protests in Kampala.
Museveni says the groups have received money from outside and the purpose is to
strengthen foreign players.
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is arrested again and released
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, who was released on bail, is arrested again at
the airport when he was on his way to the United States to seek medical
attention. Another opposition politician, Francis Zaake, is arrested on the same
occasion. A day later, both can leave the country for treatment abroad. A few
days later, Kyagulanyi testifies about the torture he was subjected to by the
Opposition politicians are accused of high treason
The military court is laying charges of illegal possession of weapons against
independent MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (singer Bobi Wine). But when he is
released, he is arrested again and charged with treason in a civil court.
Alongside Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, about 30 others are charged with the same crime.
Now world stars such as Angelique Kidjo, Chris Martinoch and Wole Soyinka are
also joining the Ugandans demanding the release of Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. At the
same time, reports that the police blocked off areas around opposition
politicians' homes and reportedly arrest opposition leader Kizza Besigye in
Kampala. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, and the other accused, are released towards the
bail at the end of the month.
At least 100 arrested following protests in Kampala
21th of August
About 100 people in Kampala in connection with protests against the arrest of
opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine). A man is killed in
connection with the protests. A film is shown showing how two soldiers beat a
press photographer. Later, the military apologizes for the soldiers' behavior,
which is unusual in Uganda.
Opposition politicians in court in military court
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (also known as singer Bobi Wine) who was arrested
early this week along with three other opposition politicians is facing a
military court. He is charged with unlawful possession of two weapons. The
arrest takes place after a stone's throw against a presidential column in
connection with a parliamentary election in the city of Arua in the northwestern
part of the country. In the riot that ensued, Kyagulanyi's driver was shot to
death. However, President Museveni was not in any of the cars. Later, Kyagulanyi
is reportedly badly beaten by security forces, something the president later
denies. The opposition candidate was in Arua to campaign for the independent
candidate Kassiano Wadri, who also wins the election. In addition to the four
politicians, another 30 people have been arrested. The general election was held
since the previous constituency of Ibrahim Abiriga, who belonged to the ruling
party, was assassinated in June.
The government promises to review tax on social media
A protest against a new tax on social media attracts large crowds in Kampala.
Police are trying to stop the protesters, led by Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu,
also known as musician Bobi Wine, who is sitting as an independent member of
parliament. Later in the day, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda announces that the
government will review the tax introduced in early July. The decision meant that
all users of Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and others must pay 200 shillings a day
to use the sites, if they did not pay, they could not reach their accounts.
Court approves to abolish age limit for president
The Constitutional Court rejects an attempt by the opposition to repeal the
constitutional amendment from 2017, which meant that the age limit for the
president was abolished. Most judges consider it appropriate to remove the
75-year-old age limit for presidential candidates. However, the Court rejects
the parts that would reintroduce a restriction on how many terms a President can
sit, nor does he agree to extend the mandate of Members of Parliament from five
years to seven years.
Former ADF leader faces trial for mass murder
Jamil Mukulu, former leader of the Muslim ADF guerrilla, is facing, along
with 34 other ADF members, facing charges of mass murder and crimes against
humanity. He was arrested in Tanzania in 2015 and extradited to Uganda the
following year. The ADF was formed in 1989 with the aim of forcing President
Museveni out of power, as he was considered hostile to Muslims. Several rebel
groups eventually joined the group that from 1995 and the 00s attacked villages
in western Uganda. Among other things, the ADF is accused of massacre of
students in Kichwamba. It is unclear which ideology governs the ADF, but
governments in the area have linked the group to foreign jihadist groups. Mukulu
claims his innocence and says that the abuse was perpetrated by the Ugandan
government, which then blamed ADF for the death.
The court is reviewing whether constitutional amendment is valid
The Constitutional Court begins the consideration of the opposition's attempt
to overturn the constitutional change that was made in 2017, which means that
the age limit for the president is abolished. MPs from the opposition, Uganda
Law Society and several other organizations argue that the decision should be
annulled because Parliament did not follow the procedures it would when the
amendment was adopted (see December 2017). The court meets in the town of Mbale,
this is the first time such a legal process is being conducted outside Kampala.
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
Uganda is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African
Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level
before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a
historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.
Opposition activists are arrested in Jinja
14th of March
Around 40 opposition activists from the FDC are arrested for a filling
election in Jinja in the eastern part of the country. In 2016, Nathan Igeme
Nabeta was elected from the NRM as the representative of the District Court in
Parliament, but the Court of Appeal annulled the electoral victory due to
Museveni dismisses the national police chief
4th of March
President Museveni dismisses the country's National Police Chief Kale
Kayihura and Minister of Security Henry Tumukunde. Kayihura, a former general
who has been in the post since 2005, has recently ended up on a collision course
with Museveni. Under his leadership, it is considered that the police force has
been politicized, which is also organized more like military units. However,
criticism has been directed at him for increasing security shortcomings. The
unsolved murder of Felix Kaweesi, which many had assumed would take over the
leadership of the police after Kayihura, and a number of other serious crimes
contributed to this. The police force is accused of incompetence and corruption,
and Museveni has claimed that the police force has been infiltrated by
criminals. Several high ranking police officers have been arrested by the
Internal Security Organization (ISO) following allegations of both torture and
Five are shut down after suspicions of embezzlement of aid
Uganda suspends five people accused of embezzling aid money intended for
refugees. One of those suspended is a commissioner who has worked in the
president's office in charge of refugee issues. The government promises that the
allegations will be investigated, but the EU has also announced that it will
conduct its own investigation. There are approximately 1.4 million refugees in
Uganda, most of them from South Sudan and Congo-Kinshasa.
Academic schools are reopened
Some 60 schools run by Bridge International Academies, supported by Bill
Gates and Mark Zuckerberg foundations, will open again. They were closed after a
court ruling in 2016. The schools were then criticized by the authorities for
not hiring teachers, lacking curricula and more.
Red Peppers editors are pardoned by the president
President Museveni pardons eight editors and managers within the Red Pepper
group who in 2017 were first indicted for "high treason" (see November 2017) and
then for trying to damage the president's reputation. To be pardoned, the
defendants should have apologized to the nation for being more "professional" in
the future. According to a press release from Red Pepper, the magazine will soon