Insights

Invest more resources in children-save the children tells Government

BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

KAMPALA, Uganda-Save the Children has called upon the government of Uganda and international development partners to invest more in children.

The children advocacy agency wants more resources to be allocated in education, health and child protection.

Save the children said the government of Uganda should increase public expenditure on primary education to reflect at least 20% of state spending in the coming financial year 2019/2020. This Save the Children says, will lead the country towards achieving the sustainable development goals especially those focusing on children.

Save the children in their 2018 Global End of Child Index report, found out that although the government introduced Universal Primary  Education, the enrollment is still poor especially in rural areas   and in the districts that are hosting refuges  due to limited resources the government is allocating to the Programme.

According to findings from the report, shortage of funding has led to children with special needs and those in refugee camps to miss on education thus the need for development partners to come up with a special funding targeting education for refugee children.

The report highlights that one  in five  children  are still  out  of primary  school  and enrollment for other  stages  of education is even lower . Only 28% of children get to attend secondary education and only 13% are enrolled in vital pre-primary education, children with disability are particularly at risk of missing out in learning with only 9% able to attend primary school.

Addressing Journalist at the Save the Children Country Head Office in Muyenga a Kampala suburb, the Country Director Saves the Children in Uganda, Brechtje Van Lith says   the most affected children are those from poor families across the country.

“These children are increasingly concentrated among the poorest communities and in parts of the country where poverty is highest; this makes access to services very minimal. Children are denied a fair   start in life just because of where they are born. A prosperous future for Uganda will only be possible by investing in every child’s development and ensuring no child is left behind,“She explained.

She added that although there are a great number of pupils getting free education under the Universal Primary Education (UPE), the school going children are still faced with the challenge of the quality of education they get under the programme.

“ Even  for  those children  who are  in school , the  quality  of education  remains  low , particularly  in rural areas  especially in the  north  and east  of the country . Only 20% of children in primary level 3 can achieve  primary level 2  proficiency in English  reading  and  comprehension  and just 30% in numeracy  and basic  addition  and subtraction “ She added.