An evaluation of the influence of universal primary education on Church activities in Kyarusozi Parish Fort Portal Diocese-Uganda
Tumwekwase, Biito Aloysius
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Universal Primary Education (UPE) is a national programme which aims at providing basic education to children of primary school going age (6+) in Uganda. It is implemented by the local government and has 5 main components: infrastructure expansion, payment of school fees, supply of qualified teachers, review of primary school curriculum and increased supply of instructional materials. This research aimed at evaluating the influence of Universal Primary education on participation in Church activities in Kyarusozi parish Fort Portal diocese, one of the dioceses in Uganda. In this evaluation, the researcher wanted to determine the merit, the worth or value of UPE most especially how it has influenced participation in Church activities such as prayer, Christian associations and catechetical instruction in the Catholic Church of Kyarusozi parish in Fort Portal diocese. A number of evaluation studies have been conducted by government and international organizations either nationally or globally but not much has been done on a local level if at all there is any. In addition, no explicit evaluation has been carried out on UPE in Kyarusozi since its inception in 1997 by Uganda government. Therefore, this evaluation serves as an important yardstick in determining the invaluable contribution of UPE to Kyarusozi parish since its inception in 1997. The findings from this research will lead to a closer involvement of the Church and other partners in the education field so as to make it more beneficial. Review of related literature showed that there are evaluation and audit reports existent in the Ministry of Education and Sports. There is in fact a monitoring system that links the planning, budgetary and implementation systems. There are periodic reports which provide information on the achieved targets against the planned funds. Performance is monitored by use of indicators developed at the planning stage. The responsibility of each stakeholder has been clearly defined. This useful information has been used extensively by the valuator to provide a basis for evaluating the programme of UPE. The object of evaluation was UPE which was started by the government of Uganda in 1997. The evaluator used probability sampling - a method of drawing a portion of the population so that each member of the target population has a known and non-zero chance of being selected into the sample- in order to draw the sample population for intensive study. The target population was the people associated with UPE, namely recipients (pupils in Upper primary and students in Ordinary level in Kyarusozi parish), persons who have knowledge of the program (parents, teachers, and head teachers), program administrators and policy makers (inspectors, priests). The sample size of 100 respondents was scientifically determined according to Fisher, Laing and Stoeckol’s formula. The target population from which the sample was drawn consisted of all the 16 UPE primary schools and 2 Ordinary Level Secondary Schools of Kyarusozi parish. These schools were stratified according to faith affiliation and six were sampled out for intensive study using quota sampling method, judgment sampling method and systemic random sampling. From these six schools, and from a section of priests and catechists, one hundred respondents were chosen ranging from the age of below fifteen (<15 to above forty-five (>45) years. All these were involved in the study. Three priests only were involved in the sample because it is they only that there was in the parish. The number of catechists was five representing the participating churches that had founded the Catholic schools. The conceptual framework designed by the researcher (below) helped to ascertain how the programme was carried out to success. The important variables to the study were the independent variables which included professional experience, Church involvement, school administrative staff, and support from government and donors. These inputs were expected to result into increase in literacy and numeracy and eventually lead to increased participation in Church activities. The dependent variable which was the central focus of our evaluation is reduction in illiteracy rate and increase in participation in Church activities. The two were measured by increase in net enrolment, number and frequency of participation in Church activities such as liturgy, prayer, youth associations, and change of attitude towards the Church and education.
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