UNDERSTANDING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN UGANDA
The 1st academic stage is Kindergarten (nursery) for three years which is optional. These are solely private schools.
PRIMARY SCHOOL: P.1 –P.7 (Elementary school)
The next stage is Primary level where a child studies for seven (7) years from Primary one (P.1) to Primary seven (P.7). Here we have UPE (Universal Primary Education) schools and privately owned schools.
At the end of Primary pupils sit for national examinations; Primary Leaving Examinations -P.L.E; to qualify for secondary school.
SECONDARY SCHOOL: (Ordinary “O”-Level 1-4 – US Middle school)
Also known as Ordinary Level (O’Level) which lasts four years.
As student attends four classes(Senior 1 – Senior 4) which prepares them for national exams(Uganda Advanced Certificate –UCE) leading to the Advanced Level(A’ Level).The Ugandan system has Universal Secondary Education-USE; offering “free” education which is seemingly cheaper, however, there are also privately owned schools which are a bit costly but offer more quality education.
Good grades at this level will qualify one to join the Advanced Level contrary to that they join institutions for certificate/diploma courses for simple skills’(Hands –on) training.
On the other hand, one may score good grades for A’ Level but because they can’t afford it, they go for certificate/diploma courses.
SECONDARY SCHOOL: (Advanced “A”-Level 5-6 US-High school)
This lasts only two years where they sit for national examinations that qualifies them to join College/University. It’s at this stage that one determines their carrier (professional) path.
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY (TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS)
College/University is the final stage of academic study which prepares one for a specialized field of work/employment.
There are government and private colleges/universities. The government owned universities/colleges provide a bigger percentage of the funding for those that excel at A’ Level.
We also have Polytechnic Institutions that offer vocational/technical courses for those that may not make it to the University.
Most of our Education fund children are in government owned schools. This is because they are not expensive, though they have challenges i.e. so many children and congestion in classrooms whereby teacher-student ratio is overwhelming which results into insufficient service delivery and poor grades.