Effect of covid-19 pandemic on pupil enrollment in public primary schools in Uganda.
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This study investigated the profound effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on pupil enrollment in in public primary schools in Uganda, with a particular emphasis on the period before and after lockdown measures were imposed. The study was guided by three specific objectives: firstly, to assess the impact of COVID-19 on school enrollment by comparing enrollment rates before and after the lockdown; secondly, to scrutinize how the pandemic affected enrollment based on the classes to which pupils belong; and thirdly, to explore the influence of COVID-19 on enrollment with a specific focus on gender disparities among pupils. The study used a cross-sectional research design to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on school enrollment in Uganda, utilizing data from the UWEZO learning assessment survey from 2019-2021. Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa, is a focus of a 2021 UWEZO assessment survey. The survey, conducted during school closures and restricted movement, aims to contribute to the recovery of the education system from the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on primary level schools. The study uses indicators to determine the impact of COVID-19 on school enrollment. The study analyzed primary school children aged 4-16 in Uganda, using the UWEZO 2021 assessment survey. The targeted population was 6002 pupils from 29 districts, selected using stratified random sampling from 146 sub-regions. The population was categorized by age and social inequality. Employing data from the 2021 UWEZO online learning survey, the study employs a combination of ANOVA analysis to compare mean differences in enrollment and simple linear regression to predict the impact of the pandemic on primary school enrollment. The results from the ANOVA table revealed significant variations in enrollment before and after the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The simple linear regression model indicated that after COVID-19 effect was significantly associated with a decline in enrolment. The study suggests that targeted interventions for example, special efforts are needed to encourage girls to re-enroll, especially in non-candidate classes. Implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems to track changes in school enrollment overtime in order to assess the effectiveness of interventions and policies put in place to address he crisis. Policy makers should engage with the community to understand their concerns and challenges regarding education during and after the pandemic so as to know the needs of the community.