According to World Bank 2008, Uganda has a primary completion rate of 54%. With
14 million children in Uganda approximately 6.5 million children remain uneducated.
In most developing countries the classroom is the only environment where children
will come into contact with words in written form, while just 1% of Ugandan schools
are connected to the internet.
Many African countries have excessively restrictive or outdated copyright laws.
This makes accessing information and cross–border exchange of knowledge extremely difficult.
Even with improvements among the African government itself to improve literacy rates and gain
instructional materials, the Pupil Textbook Ratio is currently 3:1; three Students sharing one textbook.
Children at a new well
There is a great need to educate millions of children in a cost efficient way.
The Learning Paper can be printed in the countries it needs to be distributed in,
saving costs on shipping heavy textbooks and avoiding disproportionate copyright expenses.
The cost of printing a Learning Paper versus a text book is enormous. The average
textbook costs approximately $50.00US not including shipping while the Paper costs
$0.66US per copy.
Another main problem Africa faces besides the lack of learning materials is a
shortage of trained teachers which makes giving children an educational
opportunity an equally great challenge. According to the UNESCO Global
“Across the world more than 18 million new teachers will need to be employed
by 2015. Sub Saharan Africa faces the greatest challenge: to reach UPE, the
stock of teachers will have to increase from 2.4 million in 2004 to 4 million
in 2015, in addition to the 2.1 million new teachers required to replace those
leaving the teaching workforce.”
A majority of third world countries have a six-year primary school cycle.
To achieve The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals for Universal
Primary Education by 2015, all children of the age to complete primary school
that year will have to be enrolled by 2009. With UN support there has been an
increase in primary school attendance in many developing countries however,
neither Sub-Saharan Africa nor South Asia are on track to achieve this goal.
Trend of key primary education indicators in Uganda 2002 – 2006
|Number of Primary Teachers (’000s)||139||146||147||145||150
|Number of Primary Schools||13,332||13,353||13,371||13,576||14,093
|% Annual change in Enrolment||6.6||3.8||-3||-2||0.1
|Pupil Teacher Ratio||53||52||50||50||48
|Pupil Classroom Ratio||87||87||79||74||71
Source: Planning Unit, Ministry of Education and Sports.
The UN Global Report 2008 has made the following projection for countries with
relevant data that suggest without further acceleration:
- 58 of the 86 countries that have not yet reached UPE will not achieve it by 2015.
- 72 out of 101 countries will not succeed in halving their adult illiteracy rates by 2015.
- Only 18 of the 113 countries that missed the gender parity goal at primary and
secondary level in 2005 will achieve it by 2015.
The United Nations, UNESCO, and World Bank are all seeing to Universal Primary
Education by 2015. The Learning Paper can make a positive influence on this
need for education with use of the Learning Paper.