What you need to know:
- Of the 96, 557 candidates who sat for UACE in 2022, only 40, 219 were females compared to 56, 023 boys while of the 97, 084 candidates who sat for the same exams in 2020, the number of boys was higher by over 13, 000 compared to that of girls.
The Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Ms Sarah Mateke has said there is need to improve the enrolment of the girl child into higher institutions of learning.
While addressing the media in Kampala on October 11, Ms Mateke revealed that whereas there is an increased enrollment of children at both primary and secondary levels of education, the rate of achievement and completion for girls is still low compared to that of their male counterparts.
Her concern related to the International day for the girl child held every October 11. This year, the day was marked under the theme; 'Invest in Girls Rights: Our Leadership and Wellbeing'.
Ms Mateke noted that the country has fully achieved gender parity in primary education enrollment, urging stakeholders to redirect the same efforts to reduce the rate of girl child dropout at all levels of education.
“Gender disparities endure in secondary school enrollment and completion, we recognise the need to address low rates of achievement and completion for girls in education,” she said.
According to the statistics from Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB), the government body in charge of examinations in the country, boys registering for Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) have always outnumbered the females in the recent academic years.
For instance, of the 96, 557 candidates who sat for UACE in 2022, only 40, 219 were females compared to 56, 023 boys while of the 97, 084 candidates who sat for the same exams in 2020, the number of boys was higher by over 13, 000 compared to that of girls.
Ms Mateke noted that disparities in the rate of education completion between boys and girls can only be addressed through tackling the high levels of violence and crimes against girls.
“Violence against girls and other harmful social norms that hinder girls’ opportunities to quality education demand our utmost attention,” she said.
Ms Mateke commended President Yoweri Museveni for the Presidential Youth Skilling Programme that is opening up opportunities for girls across the country.
Last week, a cohort of over 16,000 youths were graduated under the Presidential Youth Skilling Programme.
"Government should support families in championing girls' leadership aspirations and fostering a robust support network. The government should encourage female role models and mentors to engage with girls and facilitate essential intergenerational exchange," she said.
She also urged the various stake holders and government to accelerate HIV prevention programs through comprehensive social behavior change communication by targeting both in-school and out-of-school girls and boys.