Implementing universal primary education in Uganda: Examining the challenges for head teachers in 10 selected schools

Expedit Sserunjogi, Fordham University


This study examines the implementation of universal primary education in Uganda. The focus of the research centered on the challenges of this policy as experienced by head teachers in 10 Catholic government-aided primary schools in Kampala Archdiocese. The participants were chosen by purposeful selection so that a broad range of schools would be represented. Out of the 7 male head teachers, 4 were working in rural schools while 3 were in urban schools. For the 3 female head teachers involved in the study, 2 were in rural schools, while 1 was in an urban school. Participants were also selected based on the nature of schools to include day and boarding schools. Of the 4 urban schools, 3 of them were both day and boarding schools and 1 was a day school only. Among the 6 rural schools, 4 were day only while 2 were both day and boarding schools. The research was qualitative in nature. Extensive interviews were designed in ways that the participants' personal and professional history and experiences were shared. In addition, observations and analysis of relevant documents were conducted in order to further amplify the responses of the participants. The study found that although some progress has been made, especially in areas of access and equity, there are still several challenges including improving the quality of education, financing the program, school facilities, and parental involvement. The study confirmed that the government's commitment is crucial to the head teacher's work in the implementation of the universal primary education. This commitment is mostly reflected in the allocation of a substantial percentage of the education budget to basic education and making sure that the money benefits the intended beneficiaries. The study also confirmed that the head teacher's role is central in implementing universal primary education since he or she is the only link between the other key plays including the government, the teachers, as well as the parents. A conclusion was reached that the head teacher's competence in management, instructional leadership, public relations, and school change is essential to the successful implementation of the UPE program.

Subject Area

School administration|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Sserunjogi, Expedit, "Implementing universal primary education in Uganda: Examining the challenges for head teachers in 10 selected schools" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3056160.