The effect of poverty on realization of the right to education:

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Kampala International University, School of Law
Poverty is a major constraint to the right to education in Uganda. In 1997, Uganda introduced Universal Primary Education but still a limited number of children enroll in post primary education due to monetary constraints. It is astonishing that in 2007 there are still young children who don't have access to even basic education. This study explores the effect of poverty on the right education, gendered perceptions and power relations in relation to the right to education. The focus is on Mbale District which is 21 Okm from the Capital city. Mbale represents Districts that are remote and poor. The study further analyses how children are coping with limited access to education and shows the role of the Government, Non Governmental Organizations and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in promoting gender parity in education in Uganda. The theories used in the analysis are structural, children are competent autonomous social actors and childhood as culturally and socially constructed. Data collection methods included direct observations, eight key informant interviews, and five individual interviews with girl dropouts, nine focus group discussions of which four were for parents and five with children. My respondents were children of age 10-18, in school and out of school, caretakers (not necessarily the parents of the children I interviewed) in rural and urban parts of Bubulo County. Results show that poveiiy is a major factor affecting the right to education but operates together with other factors like parameters related to patriarchy such as boy-child preference, beliefs and practices, early marriage, excessive child work, pregnancy, poor menstruation management, parent's level of education, age and orphan hood. Children cope by indulging in agriculture, marriage, tailoring, hair dressing and becoming house maids. Policy and action recommendations call for equal important attention to principles of gender equity along with poverty issues in improving access and equity in education opportunities in Uganda. There is a need to strengthen the Ministry of Education and Sports commitment and capacity to systematically integrate gender concepts in education planning, implementation and monitoring.
A research paper submitted to the faculty of law in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Diploma in law of Kampala International University
Poverty, Right to education, Mbale municipality, Uganda