The school system in Uganda is set up differently than in the United States. Instead of elementary, middle, and high school, Uganda has primary and secondary schools. Children begin school as early as age three in the nursery classes of primary school, and if all goes well, they will attend primary school for nine or ten years. Primary school begins with two or three years of nursery school, where the children are taught basic colors, shapes, numbers, and letters, and nursery school is often where children are first exposed to English. After a child progresses through the nursery classes (baby class, middle class, and top class), they move to through the primary classes. Starting with primary 1 (P1) all the way up to primary 7 (P7). Primary school is about the American equivalent of elementary school and part of middle school. It is where children will learn math, social studies, science, and where they learn to read, write, and speak in English.
Secondary school is made up for six classes: secondary 1 (S1) to secondary 6 (S6). In secondary school students are allowed more freedom to choose what they want to study as they prepare to go to University.
School in Uganda is colorful! Every school (private or not) has a different color uniform, in Kaihura, there are two schools who wear different blues, one school who wears pink, and one school that wears purple. So as you walk around any town of village in Uganda, you will see a speckling of colorfully dressed children.
While children ideally begin primary school around age three of four and move up a new class every year all the way through secondary school, there is always a wide range of ages in each class.
This wide age range is the result of how the poverty in Uganda can take away to opportunity for education. Children are given much more responsibility in Uganda: to take care of younger siblings, to keep up with housework, and sometimes even to provide an income for their families. Parents are also often unable to pay school expenses for their children, even if a child is going to a government provided school, families are still expected to pay for their children’s school uniforms and school materials. When families are too poor to pay for the necessities for schooling, then their children miss out on getting an education.
We can do something about this. Through Know Think Act we can help provide each student with a chance to get an education. 100% of every dollar given goes directly to each student, students like Molly above. Help us provide these amazing students with a chance to break out of the cycle of extreme poverty through education. Click here to give.