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UPE and Social Inequality in Uganda: A Step Backward or a Step in the Right Direction?

  • Tia L. Zuze
  • Murray Leibbrandt


    (SALDRU, University of Cape Town)

It is widely agreed that studying the relationship between school quality and academic achievement will benefit public investment in education. This is particularly true in Africa where, the 1990 World Conference on ‘Education for All’ led to renewed commitments to quality basic education. At this time, Uganda implemented a set of public reforms that were designed to increase educational opportunities in poor communities. This paper uses data from the second wave of a cross-national survey of schools in Southern and Eastern Africa to assess some dimensions of these Ugandan reforms. Hierarchical linear models are estimated to investigate which schools most effectively ensure a meaningful educational experience for children who face economic and social hardships. Contrary to earlier studies in developing countries, the positive relationship between socioeconomic status and student performance is striking and significant. In line with the school effectiveness theory, resource availability proves to be consistently related to educational quality and its equitable distribution in Uganda.

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Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU Working Papers with number 37.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:37
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  1. Lockheed, Marlaine E. & Longford, Nicholas T., 1989. "A multi level model of school effectiveness in a developing country," Policy Research Working Paper Series 242, The World Bank.
  2. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120.
  3. Ritva Reinikka & Paul Collier, 2001. "Uganda's Recovery : The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13850.
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