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The impact of the 1997 universal primary education (UPE) policy on lifelong learning in Uganda: a decade of UPE reforms (1997-2007)

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This study examined the relationship between the 1997 UPE policy and regional educational and poverty inequality and its impact on lifelong learning through a one-year field based critical ethnography in Uganda, between June 2007 and May 2008. It drew on the Government's assumption that through UPE the twin goals of the universalisation of primary education and lifelong learning would be attained. This led to the concentration of resources away from higher education, secondary education, and lifelong learning to primary education. This 'UPE centric' approach ignored the precarious situation of the large number of illiterate children, youths and adults who have never accessed UPE or dropped out without attaining literacy and numeracy skills. This paper will clarify the relationship between informal, formal, non-formal, adult education and lifelong learning. It will suggest policy recommendations to prioritise lifelong learning as the route towards achieving well-balanced national Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) goals of halving poverty and achieving UPE by 2015.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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