JICA Research Institute

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Working Papers

No.188 Second Chance Education in Northern Uganda: Pathways and Motivation

The provision of education during and post- conflict has been identified as a significant challenge, with resulting impacts for children and young people which are lifelong. The quest to regain education when it has been lost is important for those victims of conflict. This paper takes as its focus the education of individuals whose schooling was interrupted during and after the conflict in Northern Uganda (1996-2006) and examines the challenges to, and motivations for, pursuing second chance education. 30 life story interviews were conducted in Uganda in 2016, and reveal limited opportunities for education during the period specified, with significant challenges in access and provision. Motivations for pursuing education despite the many barriers to be overcome include education for transformation – material, individual, as empowerment, as catharsis, and as a dynamic for peace. It is clear that while a number of agencies supported educational initiatives during and post conflict in certain parts of the region this was not widespread, uniform, nor sustainable. The type of education offered is also discussed particularly in regard to employment outcomes. Nonetheless, the burning desire to continue on their educational pathway is a primary focus in the lives of young people and the government is urged to put in place initiatives to allow a return to school or a comparable education programme, to strengthen the human capital of the country as well as that of individuals.

Keywords: Second chance education, conflict, programmes, motivation, Uganda

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