Oyam District Faces Educational Crisis: Majority of Learners Fail to Meet Basic Standards

The latest findings from the UWEZO 2021 learning assessment have raised significant concerns among Oyam District leaders.

The assessment, which tested 440 pupils in Oyam. across 29 districts, revealed that less than 50% of learners in P3-P7 could read a Primary 2 (P2) story in English or perform basic division. This places Oyam District at a worrying 24th out of 29 districts evaluated.


The UWEZO assessment, conducted in August 2021, focused on literacy and numeracy based on the P2 curriculum. District Inspector of Schools, Jennet Acol, attributed the poor performance to a lack of concentration on foundational learning in the lower classes, which adversely affects outcomes in higher grades.

During a policy dialogue organized by the Foundation For Inclusive Community Help (FICH), Acol emphasized the need for better training and capacity-building initiatives for teachers in lower primary classes. She also stressed the importance of regular refresher courses to ensure teachers remain effective and focused on foundational education.


Nomi Otyeno, the Oyam District Council Speaker, revealed that the district has initiated regular school monitoring to address these issues. He urged the government to create a more conducive learning environment and to revise Universal Primary Education (UPE) policies. He advocated for concurrent teaching in local languages and English to enhance understanding and learning outcomes.

Chris Ongom, Oyam District Vice Chairperson, highlighted the disparity between the performance of private and government schools, questioning why teachers in private schools, often paid less, achieve better results. Ongom called for constant dialogues with lower primary teachers, recognizing their critical role in the educational journey of pupils.

Rev. Teddy Akello Omara, Chairperson of the School Management Committee at Ayanyi Primary School, pointed out the lack of parental support as a significant factor in poor student performance. She noted that many pupils attend school without necessary requirements and parents are often unwilling to pay school fees. She expressed optimism that collaborative efforts among all stakeholders could lead to improved educational outcomes in Oyam.


Victoria Harriet Anyango, Programs Manager on Education at FICH, urged stakeholders to work together to address the root causes of poor performance rather than engaging in a blame game.

Anyango called for a unified approach involving parents, district leaders, teachers, and the government to tackle the various factors contributing to the district’s educational challenges.

The UWEZO 2021 assessment, conducted by UWEZO Uganda in partnership with FICH, underscores the need for a comprehensive strategy to enhance literacy and numeracy skills among young learners in Oyam District. Stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate and implement effective measures to ensure that foundational education is prioritized and improved.



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