EPRC recommends that Uganda should explore and where possible adopt some of the interventions that have worked well in other related countries to increase school enrollments for girls such as provision of transportation and boarding facilities and recruitment of more secondary school female teachers to act as role models for the girls.

 eprc Chart on secondary school enrolments 

After implementing the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme for 10 years, the Government of Uganda initiated the Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme to address the low transition rate from primary to secondary schools. In addition, the USE was to address gender inequalities in secondary school enrollment. For instance, the 2010-2015 National Development Plan noted that only one third of girls that graduate from primary school were still in school by the age of 18 years—compared to 50% for boys. As a result of the USE programme, the GoU has devoted large amounts of resources to secondary education in the recent past. For instance, the share of secondary education in the overall education budget increased from 14% in 2001/2 to 21% by 2010/11.

Despite the successful introduction of Universal Secondary Education (USE) programme in 2007, overall secondary school enrollments have remained very low—especially those of girls. Trends in secondary school enrollments for children aged 13-18 years for the period 1992 to 2010 indicate that the enrollment rate for girls remained unchanged after the introduction USE while that of boys increased by only 3 percentage points as shown in Figure 1.

The Figure shows the trends in both the net and gross secondary school enrollment rates for children aged 13-18 years based on the cross-sectional Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics during 1992/1993 and 2009/2010. The net school enrollment show the percentage of children aged 13-18 years who are enrolled in secondary school while the gross enrollment ration shows the ratio of all secondary school enrollments to the population of children aged 13-18 years. The figure also shows widening gender gaps in secondary school attendance; a larger proportion of more boys than girls are attending secondary education even after the introduction of the USE programme.

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