Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Education and Sports has cautioned against the selling of the self-study materials developed by the National Curriculum Development Centre-NCDC.
In a circular to all local governments, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education Alex Kakooza notes that they have learnt that some unscrupulous people have resorted to reprinting and photocopying the study materials to sell them to parents and learners at exorbitant rates.
As part of the initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 lockdown and ensure continuity of learning, the the ministry developed a harmonized learning framework and self-study materials for all primary and secondary school learners in all the core subjects to keep learners busy and engage their ability, skills and knowledge while at home.
Due to the high demand for the self-study materials and considering that the free copies are insufficient, several publishing companies, non-government organizations and individuals have come in to bridge the gap. However, in so doing, they extend the expense to the end-user.
However, Kakooza notes that if local governments or NGOs wish to print and distribute to more learners, it should be done at their own expense and not of the learner or parent. He further appeals to the general public not to buy the self-study materials from any person or company.
“This is unacceptable since these materials were produced and distributed to be accessed by learners free of charge. There should be no sale of these study materials,” the circular reads in part.
Prior to the permanent secretary’s caution, the public had questioned why New Vision which was contracted to print and distribute the material resorted to selling them as inserts in their newspaper publications. Vision Group was granted a tender worth 5.98 billion Shillings to print and distribute the Ministry of Education materials.
Dr Bernadette Nambi Karuhanga, NCDC deputy director notes that they have written to all district education officers to find out the number of learners that might have missed out so that the distributor delivers more.
“Those who got less must inform us what they lack so that we send more. We want to ensure that all learners have got a copy,” she said.
In an earlier interview, Dr Nambi told this reporter that although NCDC planned to produce 12 million copies to cater for all learners at the primary and secondary level who are currently in their respective homes following the closure of schools, however, they have since printed only 6 million copies.