Low Financing of Ugandas Local Governments and Universal Primary Education Performance. Case Study: Kapeke Sub County, Kiboga District
Author: BUYEGO ISMAIL KALANDA
Universal primary education is one of the key achievements of the current Ugandan government. The program was introduced to provide free access to education to all children of school going age and increase the literacy levels in the country. However the financing of universal primary education is under question. Nearly all the biggest percentage of the local government budget targeting universal primary education sources suffers several inconsistencies including budget cuts. The district and lower local governments operate within very meager local revenues which are also very unsustainable and too little to cause impact, thus a need to mobilize, expand the revenue sources of these local governments.
The study intended to assess the impact of the low funding faced by local governments on the performance of universal primary education in Kiboga District. The research was conducted in Kapeke Sub County, Kiboga District, sampling ten out of the twelve schools in the Sub County. The study considered schools in a semi- urban, pastoral and areas occupied by cultivators. These different clusters enabled the researcher to analyze issues from people in different settings and different problems, perceptions and experiences. It analyzed various variables like the revenue sources, dropout rates, performance rate in primary leaving examinations, infrastructural levels, school attendance for pupils, teachersí accommodation and salaries in addition to other parameters between 2008 and 2016.
The study targeted several classes of respondents namely finance department staff at district and Sub county, head teachers and members of School Management Committees of the sampled schools. Data was collected using interviews, review and analysis of documents. The analysis was done using tables, percentages and explanations. The study discovered that Kiboga District receives low and inadequate funding from the central government. This is made worse by very low local revenue base that does not enable supplementation of the school funding. This affects teachersí accommodation, availability of scholastic materials, adequate teaching space, day meals, participation in extracurricular activities and other necessities. The study recommended increase in funding of universal primary education sector, which can be done through widening the financial base of the District in terms of local revenue, community contributions, donors and Central government transfers.