Uganda Education System

Uganda Education System

Uganda is one of the most diverse and dynamic countries in Africa. Rivers flow through the country’s south, spilling into and out of countless small and large lakes, and combining with the region’s abundant rainfall to water its fertile soil. In the north, where rain and waterways are rarer, the land supports herds of domesticated animals—goats, cattle, and sheep—and pastoralism has historically formed the basis of the region’s economy. In between, snowcapped mountains rise in the east, separating the landlocked country from neighboring Kenya, while the continent’s largest oil reserves lie beneath the surface in Uganda’s west.

Uganda’s people—the most ethnically diverse population in the world, with more than 24 ethnic groups—speak more than 40 languages. The country has one of the world’s fastest growing populations as well: More than 1.5 million Ugandan babies are born each year.

This diversity and dynamism have inspired ambitious goals. In its 2015/16 to 2019/20 National Development Plan, the Ugandan government, hoping to reap the harvest of the country’s vast demographic dividend, outlined its aim of achieving lower-middle-income status by 2020, and upper-middle-income status by 2040.

Education System in Uganda

MiddleLower Secondary – Ordinary Level14–174Uganda Certificate of Education
SecondaryUpper Secondary – Advanced Level2Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education

Primary Education

Despite its best intentions, there a few really free state schools in Uganda, and the quality of paid private schools varies tremendously too. The education program that runs from February through to December, begins with 7 years of primary school education. For pupils in a class size of up to one hundred who fail to pass their leaving examinations, this ends their hopes.

Middle Education

The first phase of secondary academic education takes 4 years, at the end of which time students must pass their O-Levels before proceeding further. Alternatively they may attend a technical college for 3 years instead, and then go on to study at a technical institute, or primary teacher training college for example.

Secondary Education

Like so much of Ugandan education, secondary schooling still follows the British academic model where traditional subjects continue to be taught. A successful A-Level pass opens up the possibility of tertiary education for the lucky few who made it this far.

Vocational Education

Uganda is riddled with unemployment and young people without much hope. An urgent need exists to kick-start the economy. Many foreign aid agencies and governments are working hand in hand with local authorities, in an attempt to turn this into a reality.

Tertiary Education

There are 5 state universities, 11 religiously-affiliated universities, and 10 private secular universities in Uganda. There are also 4 technical colleges, of which 1 is private. Of the Ugandan students who qualify for tertiary education less than 50% find places though.
The second oldest, and by far the largest institution is the University of Makarere founded in 1922 and sited on a hill overlooking Kampala. It has a number of campuses, and 8 halls of residence, of which 2 are for women. Click here

Grading System in Uganda

Grading Scales:


GradeScaleGrade DescriptionUS Grade
A1.00 – 2.99Pass with DistinctionA
B3.00 – 4.99Pass with CreditB
C5.00 – 6.99Pass with CreditB
D7.00 – 7.99PassC
E8.00 – 8.99PassC


GradeScaleGrade DescriptionUS Grade
A+90.00 – 100.00ExceptionalA+
A80.00 – 89.99ExcellentA
B+75.00 – 79.99Very goodB+
B70.00 – 74.99GoodB
B-65.00 – 69.99B-
C+65.00 – 69.99Fairly goodC+
C60.00 – 64.99FairC
D+55.00 – 59.99PassC-
D50.00 – 54.99Marginal PassD
E45.00 – 49.99Marginal FailD-
E-40.00 – 44.99Clear FailF
F0.00 – 39.99Bad FailF

Most Common

Grade DescriptionDivisionUS Grade
First Class HonoursA
Second Class HonoursUpper DivisionAB
Second Class HonoursLower DivisionB

Makarere University

From 1997/98 Academic Year

GradeScaleUS Grade
A80.00 – 100.00A
B+75.00 – 79.90B+
B70.00 – 74.90B
B-65.00 – 69.90B-
C+60.00 – 64.90C+
C55.00 – 59.90C
C-50.00 – 54.90C-
D+45.00 – 49.90D+
D40.00 – 44.90D
D-35.00 – 39.90D-
E0.00 – 34.90F