Why we are optimistic about education at St. Jude Primary School

Good news from St. Jude Children’s Home

St. Jude Children’s Home is extraordinarily successful in providing education to the children in their care. Read on to learn the evidence in support of the good news from St. Jude Primary School.

(Do you need a quick a review of the system for education in Uganda?  Consider breezing through the images in my last blog for a quick summary).

You know that the thing that really matters is the effect of the provision of education. So in this post, I’ll share some more details about specific learning outcomes.  While the overall picture for Uganda is a bit upsetting, the news from St. Jude Children’s Home is excellent!

(Skip to the end for a way to teach children about how they are helping children in Uganda.)


Educational Challenges in Uganda

Despite Uganda’s commitment to education for all children, learning outcomes for students are extremely poor with 2 out of 10 children still unable to read and understand a story in English (the official language of Uganda) by the time they graduate from seven years of primary school.

A group called Uwezo is conducting a multi-year study of primary school learning outcomes across East Africa.  Their recently released report* on education in Uganda documents a crisis summarized in the fact that “A significant proportion of children in Grade 3 cannot read a single word or correctly identify numbers.”  The next image is one of Uwezo’s excellent infographics.  It highlights the fact that the problem is the worst in the northern part of Uganda which includes Gulu District.  Gulu is where St. Jude Children’s Home – our partner that you have been supporting over the years – is located.

The bottom 20 districts for learning in Uganda are in northern and eastern Uganda.

Primary school starts with P1. Students graduate after the P7 grade.

*(Uwezo (2016): Are Our Children Learning? Uwezo Uganda 6th Learning Assessment Report. Kampala: Twaweza East Africa)


The Good News from St. Jude

Students at St. Jude Primary School are doing exceptionally well as measured by nationally administered exams.

At the end of primary school in Uganda, children take a national exam called the Primary Leaving Exam, or PLE.  The results of the 2016 PLE for the St. Jude Children’s Home Primary School place it among the top 10 schools in the District of Gulu.  Of the 61 children graduating from the primary school, 12 of them scored at the highest possible level.  Another 44 children scored at the second level, and none of the children failed the exam.

This success is a truly remarkable outcome for any school in Uganda and particularly for one seated in a region marked in recent history by horrendous rebel terrorism that forced well over 1 million people to live in government camps for internally displaced people adding to some of the most extreme poverty in the world.

St. Jude Primary School was created to serve the children of St. Jude Children’s Home with funding from you, our donor.

Thank you for improving the future for these children.


The Good News from St. Jude – to share with children

There are some excellent schools in Uganda… and you know one of them!  Even before Social Promise started as a formal nonprofit, we gathered a group of people just like you and your friends.  We told them about Gulu, Uganda and about St. Jude Children’s Home in Gulu, Uganda.  This group wanted to help make life better in Gulu so they started to give money to St. Jude Children’s Home every single year.  They were generous enough that St. Jude started a school so that the children in the orphanage would be able to get a good education.  That school is called St. Jude Primary School.  And the children who attend St. Jude Primary School are learning a lot!  They are doing well at school and will be able to go on to help improve the lives of people around them in Uganda.


How to explain the good news from St. Jude to children, including their impact.


You can learn more about Social Promise on our website.




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