Contribution of social assistance grant for empowerment towards the continuation of universal primary education pupils in school. A case study of Kidera Parish, Rubongi Sub_County, Tororo District
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Social protection is a major arena of government activity aimed at ensuring that vulnerable population groups receive appropriate and effective public support to ensure their financial security and to safeguard their health. Social protection enables children to attend school, acquire skills and break the inter-generational transmission of poverty. This is because the parents may be in a position to obtain social support through money transfer to pay school fees for the children. The study thought to find out the contribution of SAGE program towards the continuation of Universal Primary Education pupils in School with the specific objectives of finding out how the funds are used to help pupils to stay in school longer and the challenges pupils in UPE face that have been addressed by the SAGE funds. The study employed a descriptive cross-sectional design to ascertain and describe the contribution of SAGE towards the continuation of UPE pupils in school and it was purely qualitative. A total of 16 participants were selected; 12 SAGE beneficiaries, 2 local council one and 2 primary head teachers were interviewed. The results obtained from the study showed that SAGE program has contributed significantly to continuation of UPE pupils in school much as they are not the direct beneficiaries. It has reduced the risk of early child marriages through creating diverse economic sources instead to replace bride price, reducing child labour, reduced financial barriers to education services and materials, increased access and consumption of food, contributed to health services and helped in obtaining school requirements. In addition, many challenges have been addressed by SAGE program. Among the challenges included Stigma, limited parental participation in their children education/Parental support, Lack of reading and scholastic materials, Time management, Lack of school fees and Malnutrition and lack of school meals. The study recommends not shifting the eligibility criteria from 65 years to 80 years, amount of given to the beneficiaries should be increased because the money may seem to be insufficient to support beneficiaries children in school as well as supporting the household needs of the beneficiaries. More research should be conducted on the same topic employing both qualitative and quantitative approaches to ensure that limitations of one approach are strengthened by the other and triangulate the study results to give a comprehensive understanding.