In Uganda factors that cause children to miss education are many and interconnected. These include the following:

  • Poverty
  • Food
  • Child labor
  • Access to school
  • Disability
  • School environment
  • Early Marriage
  • Orphan – hood
  • Menstruation
  • Parental perception
  • Domestic violence


Poverty is the number one cause for many children missing school. Many households in most regions of Uganda live in absolute poverty. Such families are too poor to provide school materials as well as pay school dues which are necessary for a child to attain even the basic education.


In addition to the above, some children miss school because they have no food to eat at school and even back at home when they come back. In some cases the children will only survive on tea or a single meal, usually taken in the morning from left- over food from the previous meal. Such children end up staying at home hungry or leaving school to look for what to eat than being at school starving.

In some cases, girls in such conditions are more vulnerable to older men who offer gifts to them, mostly edibles. This only exposes girls to pregnancies and contraction of STD’s at a tender age.

Child labor

Is also a significant factor that leads to school dropouts. It is noted that most children in rural areas are taken to gardens to scare birds from eating crops and those above the age 10 years work in stone mines and fishing. Children exposed to child labor often get tired to concentrate at school. Also, exposure to earning small incomes affects their focus on education.

Domestic violence as a cause of school dropout

Domestic violence is also a rampant factor which mainly leads to the separation of parents and children are left vulnerable without the help of one or both parents hence no one to monitor their education. Most of children in families with domestic violence end up as school drop outs. Children who are victims of domestic violence have got so many problems that are beyond their control since violence affects stability of the home.

Orphan hood

Is also a major cause of school dropouts. Children who are orphans in most cases do not have anybody to take care of them mostly on issues concerning with education and even if they have them, these people normally care less about them and some even exploit them in the long run. .

Access to school

The sparsely populated areas tend to have schools that are 10 kilometers or more away from the clusters that people live in. This is a very long distance for children who walk on foot to school. This discourages children from going to school because by the time they get to school they are extremely tired and have missed out because of reaching late


Menstruation periods are big issue in the villages. When girls start their menstruation without available sanitary pads / towels, they tend to feel so uncomfortable. This is a serious challenge since these children may desist from school for fear of being embarrassed. Most parents fail to provide these needs due to lack of income for the girls making them drop out. Imagine a child missing class every month for a given number of days every month.

Parental perception as a cause of school dropout

Some parents have got a very bad perception or attitude towards education which eventually culminates into school drop outs. Most parents in the villages are not aware of the importance of education and therefore see no use of taking their children to school, for they believe that it is just a waste of resources and time. Some parents do not care whether the child has gone to school or not and most children lack the self-motivation to go to school. Some parents marry off their teenage girls because of the dowry that will be paid by suitors.