JICA Research Institute

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Working Papers

No.153 Impact of Universal Primary Education Policy on Out of School Children in Uganda

Despite the recognition of the importance of providing quality education to all children in several international declarations, still majority of children with disabilities are likely to face barriers to quality education particularly in developing countries. Numerous existing studies examine the education of female as out of school children, yet only few studies exists on children with disabilities.

To bridge the knowledge gap in the existing studies, using the nationally representative demographic and health survey dataset, we estimate the effect of Universal Primary Education (UPE) policy on educational attainments of out of school children in Uganda. Following the identification strategies in previous literatures, we compare two cohorts (pre- and post- UPE) for those with and without disabilities. While UPE was found effective to bridge the gender gap, we observe no significant improvements between children with and without disabilities in poor households.

This finding suggests the difficulty of parents with financial constraints to invest in education regardless of whether their children are disabled or not. Additionally, for the samples with disabilities only, we observe positive effect of UPE on years of schooling for full and female samples but not for poor households. These findings suggest that simply waiving of tuition fee as UPE policy does is not sufficient to increase the school enrollment and years of schooling of persons with disabilities, especially in poor households.

Keywords: Universal primary education policy; persons with disabilities; Gender; out of school children; Uganda

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