The impact of students missing class

First Posted: 10-Mar-2019

Globally, it is undeniable that the progress of a nation is dependent on educating its citizens. In Uganda, education is a fundamental human right and the state has a duty to provide both compulsory and free education for citizens. The Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education systems have been in place since 1997 and 2007 respectively, to help give that free education. A 2014 study published by the Department of Business Studies in Kumi, Uganda found that the top ten causes of students’ absenteeism were – in no particular order – a lack of student interest, illness or disease, household responsibilities, hunger, lack of mid-day meals, long travel distance, lack of scholastic requirements (fees, uniforms, books, etc.), sexual harassment at school, peer pressure, harsh school punishments, teacher absenteeism or qualification/teaching skills and the loss of a parent or close relative.

Having a well-rounded and better education system in both primary and secondary levels opens doorways for students to continue learning the skills needed they need. However, a major factor that affects students is the availability of teachers across rural and difficult-to-reach areas nationwide; this does result in primary schools failing to provide literacy, numeracy and even basic life skills for all children. For similar reasons they are also often unable to give adequate preparation in secondary schools for tertiary or workforce education, in fact students for disadvantaged and/or impoverished backgrounds regularly don’t have access to tertiary education at all. While the objective to help to provide a better financially-supported system is ongoing, things are far from perfect. Winds of Hope are regularly working with community outreach programs across many districts of Uganda to help improve the lives of children and families, whether it’s school, tertiary or just as important, health education and support.