By Gloria Nakiyimba
Photo Credit: Irish Aid
150,000 children in schools in Karamoja will benefit from the 7.2 million Euros; about Ush 27.5 billion provided by the Irish Government.
According to Irish Ambassador, Dónal Cronin the funds channeled through UNICEF will support the Ministry of Education and Sports, to improve quality education for the most vulnerable children and adolescent girls across the Karamoja region.
Children at risk of dropping out of school and children with disabilities and special learning needs are targeted under the Irish supported program.
“This contribution from Ireland is critical in improving the skills and future of young people in Karamoja, Education is key to the region’s development and this support, to be implemented by our partner UNICEF, is part of our ongoing efforts to empower some of the most vulnerable communities in Uganda” said Ambassador Cronin.
The support will also address cultural and social practices that continue to undermine inclusive and quality learning.
The five year program aims to reduce gender gaps in enrolment and completion; improve learning outcomes in basic education; increase the transition of students from primary school to secondary school; and increase awareness within families and communities on the importance of investing in education for both girls and boys.
It will focus on enhancing teacher effectiveness, strengthening school management, assessing and monitoring learning outcomes, addressing issues of violence in schools, strengthening girls’ education, and promoting peace building and conflict-sensitive education.
“This support from the people of Ireland will help thousands of children to stay in school and have a higher quality education, especially adolescent girls who have a critical role in transforming the living conditions of their families and communities in the future,” said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Uganda.
82 per cent of all 6 to 17 year old children in the region are living in poverty while 14 per cent complete primary school level and 25 per cent transition to secondary school in Karamoja compared to the national average of 67 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.