An investigation into the relationship between the 1997 Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy and regional poverty and educational inequalities in Uganda (1997-2007).

Ekaju, John (2011) An investigation into the relationship between the 1997 Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy and regional poverty and educational inequalities in Uganda (1997-2007). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Past research has addressed the disparities in educational achievement for primary seven school leavers in Uganda but it did not take into account the multidimensional perspectives: those on poverty (as reported by the poor) and on educational inequalities between and within regions, particularly with regard to the impacts of the 1997 Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy. The central question for this enquiry was: whether the UPE policy reforms have eradicated the regional poverty and educational inequalities in Uganda given the evidence of a decade of UPE implementation (1997-2007). Five research questions arose: (1) What is the state of the regional poverty and educational inequalities in Uganda a decade after the launching of the 1997 UPE policy? (2) What are the perceptions of Primary leavers and adults on UPE and NFE and the effects of these interventions in reducing poverty and educational inequalities? (3) Is there evidence that UPE is helping poor people to escape from poverty? (4) How are poor people in Uganda socially constructed? What is the impact of the social construction of UPE on the learning outcomes of learners across the three different locations? and (5) How can UPE be meaningfully designed to help reduce regional poverty and educational inequalities in Uganda? The field data was collected during a year-long (June 2007 - May 2008) qualitative, field-based study of 16 Primary school graduates and pioneer beneficiaries of the 1997 UPE policy and of 34 adults – the latter identified by the nature of their role and position in relation to these UPE graduates. Broadly, the typology provides the central framework for a comparative study, through the diverse perspectives of Primary leavers, head teachers, education officials, community leaders and Education Executive Committee members and others chosen through a purposive sampling strategy, in three distinct education settings (the City, the peri-urban Municipality and the Village) using face-to-face interviews, focus groups and participatory techniques. The research adopted an integrated approach using critical ethnography, social constructionist and the emancipatory paradigms for triangulation. The Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ II 2005 - Byamugisha and Ssenabulya) Survey on Numeracy and Literacy levels for Grade 6 in Uganda provided data to validate the findings from the integrated account and to support the thesis that UPE has not reduced regional inequality in Uganda.

The study identified the following gaps for further research: (a) gathering robust disaggregated data to address exclusion – gender, disability, socio-economic status, ethnic origin and place of residence; (b) an investigation of the most practical and cost-effective approach to meet the education aspirations of the disadvantaged school-age out-of-school children and youths; c) a study of the impact of the language policy implemented through the thematic curriculum in the multi-lingual and multi-ethnic classrooms, (d) an investigation of the high attrition rates and the attribution of poor quality of UPE to teachers, and (e) a clarification of the meaning of UPE in Uganda from an inclusive and an equity perspective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: The social construction of poor people; regional poverty and education inequality; formal, non-formal, adult and lifelong learning; delivering basic education to the poorest; post-crisis capacity development and challenges for education in reconstruction; and education in multi-Language environments. The approaches are integrated: critical ethnography, social construction and emancipatory paradigms.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Menter, Professor Ian and Preece, Professor Julia
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Mr J Ekaju
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-2587
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 May 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:57

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