Examining the impact of child labour on learning achievements in Uganda: a case study of two primary schools in Yumbe district

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Prof. Dr. Joe L.P. Lugalla

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fredrick Japhet Mtenzi


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


This study found out child labour in Uganda as a multi-dimensional challenge that deprives children of their childhood opportunities including right to quality education. It is a manifestation of extreme household poverty and socio-cultural practices making it to some extend invisible to detect and report. Government of Uganda accordingly, developed Legal Frameworks to combat the vice through Employment Act (2006), the National Action Plan (2012), and child labour policy (2006). These frameworks among other things allow children to do light work under the supervision of an adult and making education as a principle occupation of every child in Uganda. However, incidences’ of child labour still continue to manifest in Yumbe mainly in the areas of household chores and agriculture. The key study findings indicate that Child Labour is contributing to lowering of the learning achievements of working children in schools more than those of non-working children. It also creates gender disparities between boys and girls a potential ground for power imbalance in the socio-economic transformation of Yumbe District. Despite these challenges, there is limited advocacy and awareness on child labour and limited interventions by government, civil society organizations and social partners for children. This calls for a paradigm shift to providing holistic services to children at risk of child labour and their households. Child labour has limited space on local policy agenda in Sub-county and District Councils and Education Sector Reviews to inform planning and decision making processes of Local Governments. Deliberate capacity building is required to increase awareness on child rights in schools and communities. Finally, designing age appropriate livelihood opportunities for children engaged in child labour and their families’ would go a long way towards improving learning outcomes in Yumbe District.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library