Latest Issue

Out of Africa

Too many African schools worship the idea of education but then teach nothing useful. A school in rural Uganda points the way to a brighter future

By Richard Dowden   February 2007

Uganda’s education pyramid

If you ask Africans what they want for their children, they reply: education. Most of their wealth and savings go to paying school fees. Britain is committed to giving millions of pounds to African governments so they can provide free primary education. You can’t argue with that. Education—especially of girls—is an unqualified good. But as with so many things in Africa, scratch the surface and the reality is different.

I recently visited schools in Uganda, where Aids deaths and family breakdown have created huge numbers of orphans, and drop-out rates are high because of school fees,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect