Teachers in Uganda risk losing their jobs unless they rise to certification level in the next eight years.
A 2020 survey conducted by the Ministry of Education showed that 180,000 teachers qualified as having a diploma or less.
Of these, 126,000 are third graders, while 65,000 are degree holders, some of whom are spread across both public and private schools. The number of teachers in the country is 360,000.
The Commissioner for Teacher Training and Development in the Ministry of Education, Mr Jonathan Kamwana, explained that not all teachers are active practice.
“We did a baseline survey from training institutions, so others worked in other professions, while others died. So the numbers are for those who have been trained, and others can be certified now, but we took the numbers for training purposes,” he explained in a phone interview. with observer yesterday.
Mr. Kamuana further explained that those who are approaching retirement age will also not be required to promote, but all those who will be admitted by next year must be degree holders. The issue has returned to the fore as the country celebrates National Teachers’ Day today.
In a statement to officially announce the celebrations, the Minister of State for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingu, reiterated that the government would not rescind the provision in the National Teacher Policy approved by Cabinet in 2019, despite challenges and uncertainties. over the past two years.
Fitting with this year’s theme, Mr Muyingo said, “Transformation in education begins with the teacher.
“Education is crucial to the development of our country, and to get a good result, we must first equip our teachers. You cannot give what you do not have. If we want to develop, we must have a good education, and the teacher is the focus of this. That is why there are changes in How to train our teachers, teaching methods and teacher well-being.”In 10 years, every teacher should get a certificate,” said Mr. Muyingo while addressing reporters at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala.
Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) Secretary General, Mr Filbert Baguma said that while the shift is welcome as a way to improve the quality of education, the government needs to step in to facilitate teachers financially by either subsidizing the promotion process or offering a loan scheme.
For this, Mr Muyingo said the Ministry of Education has allocated an unspecified amount of resources, which were previously used to train primary school teachers at certificate level and secondary school teachers at diploma level, to support the promotion of Year 3 and Early Childhood holders. Certificate of teacher development to diploma level.
This year’s festivities have been postponed from the Official Gazette on October 5.
President Museveni as chief guest, along with hundreds of invited guests, is expected to grace the event at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.
World Teachers’ Day was declared by UNESCO, among others, to provide a platform to assess achievements and raise awareness about the challenges facing teachers and their role in achieving education goals.
Mr. Baguma said the day is crucial in highlighting the challenges teachers face. He said that they would again give priority to the issue of increasing the salaries of art teachers, and the contradictions that arose after the increase in the salaries of science teachers.
At last year’s Teachers’ Day event, President Museveni did not shy away from words about the government’s commitment to prioritizing rewards for science teachers, which were implemented this fiscal year, and asked humanities workers to wait.
Does a grade make a better teacher?
Education expert Vagel on Monday expressed limited enthusiasm for the impact of the new policy on the quality of education in the country.
Mr. Mandy also wonders why the new policy
“The degree we offer now may not make a better teacher. I have been a teacher trainer, so it will depend on what the degree contains,” said Mr Mandy.
He added, “I don’t think we were told what a teacher lacked that a certificate would fix. What would you put in a degree training program to guide you? Certificate holders weren’t necessarily better workers.”
Mr. Vincent Elong, President of the Uganda Vocational Science Teachers Association, said that only motivation in the form of good wages and better working conditions will improve the quality of education. He also wondered how the teacher, who earns a meager salary, would be able to afford a college education while meeting his personal obligations.
“It’s good for the teacher but I don’t think it will affect the quality of education. The government needs to reconsider this. We have tertiary teachers who are teaching better, especially at the lower level,” said Mr Elong.
He added, “Teachers just need to be motivated, to be paid better. What is the motivation that will make them want to promote? There are also some of those who are already trained but are not employed, and teachers with master’s degrees are paid as diploma holders. What will motivate them?” ?
However, Professor Barnabas Nawangoye, Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University, differs from the two, saying:
“Each additional qualification makes a person more versatile and more knowledgeable. The more a person knows, the better they will be at handling their business and supporting others. A teacher with a degree is certainly more knowledgeable than a teacher without a degree. A teacher with a degree has a better ability to explain concepts From the teacher who does not hold a degree. Therefore, the decision is positive.”
* Additional reporting by Priscilla Maluba