Education as Development Investment
The return from education in human capital theory is estimated at 5-40% per annum with sustained growth in total factor productivity (TFP). To the contrary, illiteracy is linked with poor life outcomes such as poverty, unemployment, social exclusion, and crime. However, the 27 years (1979-2006) of political turmoil left West Nile region with only about 5 in every 10 people literate. Families returned from exiles in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan with uneducated children and youths. In many villages education infrastructures were also destroyed. This situation is compounded by the very high hidden education cost. Besides, there is also limited motivation to educate children especially in rural areas because schools are far away and many conduct irregular classes under tree. More so, the low priority accorded to early childhood education has seen many children enroll in school when they are old and they drop out before completing primary education level.
To improve on the education status of the region, AFARD focuses on:
- Promoting early childhood education and development by constructing and equipping community nursery schools. This support is accompanied by training and mentoring of teachers and management committees;
- Providing role models’ guidance and counseling for girls at primary school level;
- Supporting Community Education Policing (CEP) to compel defiant parents/care givers to enroll and support their children in schools;
- Building Community Education Fund (CEF), a community scholarship approach, for bright but needy children, to access (post)secondary education; and
- Promoting Functional Adult Literacy (FAL) for adult members of society.