Education Access and Retention of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Ovc) in Uganda Case Study: Public Primary Schools in Kampala District
Author: BASEKA IMMACULATE
Supervisor: Estellina Namutebi
The OVC education support initiative is an attempt to provide quality education services to orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda and the world at large. It involves international organisations, the government, citizens, CBOs, NGOs and all other stakeholders whose combined effort can bring about a positive change in the lives of OVC as far as education access and retention is concerned. However, OVC access and retention has met a number of challenges including OVC identification and registration, high poverty levels, availability of OVC education support providers, well equipped schools to cater for OVC education needs, organized follow-up mechanisms, and others. This study was therefore carried out to identify the different OVC education support providers and the type of support given, as well as the OVC education access and rate of retention and hence establish strategies for OVC education optimization in Uganda. The study population included OVC in primary schools in Kampala district aged 6-12 years, totaling to 107,227. The study was based on a case study design, so preferred, to ensure an indepth study of OVC education access and retention. This was achieved through a cross sectional design where a school-based stratified cluster sample survey was undertaken in the 19 sampled schools, taking 2 OVC and 2 teachers respondents from each school. Document analysis, interviews and questionnaires were used for primary data collection while literature review was used for secondary data collection. Descriptive statistics used include graphical and pie chart representation of proportions/percentages. The study findings reveal that on top of UPE government programme, there are CSOs and other stakeholders providing education support to OVC in form of school fees, uniform and other scholastic materials. However, high poverty levels, inadequate donor funds, untrained teachers to handle OVC matters, weak implementation of government OVC policies and weak reportage in the OVC MIS are some of the challenges facing the OVC education program. The study therefore recommends streamling of OVC MIS in order to capture all OVC as well as all OVC support providers for better service delivery and monitoring. This can be possible with the use of uniform data collection tools in all service provision centres to feed into the OVC MIS. The different education support categories need to be boosted with an improvement in service delivery in other CPAs. Government OVC policies need to be implemented and closely monitored. OVC education access and retention is a multifaceted phenomenon which calls for combined effort of the government, CSO and the citizenery for better outcome.