To ensure universal access to education, the NRM government in 1997 introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE), Universal Secondary Education (USE) for O-level in 2007, Universal Post-O-level Education and Training (UPOLET) and Universal A-level in 2012. The literacy rate has improved from 43% to 75% while enrollment in primary and secondary schools is now are 10.7 million pupils and 2 million students, respectively.
The NRM policy on education is to have one primary school per parish, a secondary school per sub-county and a technical school per district. Currently, 90% of all parishes have a primary school, 80% of which are government-aided. About 90% of all sub-counties have a secondary school, 67% of which are government-aided. All the major regions of the country have a public university.
During the past five years, the NRM government has expanded classroom infrastructure in 138 primary schools and grants channeled to 23 primary schools in parishes that did not have a primary school. In addition, 21 boarding primary schools have been constructed in Karamoja. In the same period, we have completed 12 secondary schools whose construction was ongoing by 2016 and built 117 seed secondary schools. Furthermore, we took over 182 community secondary schools in sub-counties without government secondary schools. In total, 299 sub-counties that did not have secondary schools now have.
The NRM has progressively increased teachers’ pay throughout the different levels of education (primary to university). A starting salary for a primary school teacher is sh499,684, a secondary school arts teacher at the level of an education officer gets sh960,228 and science sh1,102,361. At university, professors earn Shs15m, while senior lecturers earn between Shs8-9 million.
Going forward, the government will construct 258 secondary schools in sub-counties without a public secondary school. These new ones will have 400-seater multipurpose halls, staff houses for six teachers, including the head teacher, an ICT laboratory, a library, six classrooms and science labs.
For higher education, the government will set up a constituent college of Gulu University in Karamoja and revamp two new regional universities; Busoga University and Mountains of the Moon University which the Government took over.