Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Education and Sports has admitted that many school inspectors are incompetent. This is according to the 2019/2020 financial year sector review report.
The report presented by the Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza indicates that inspectors mainly those in districts have inadequate skills and knowledge.
Kakooza attributed the incompetency to lack of training and capacity building.
“This is a serious challenge that we cannot overlook,” the permanent secretary noted.
Dr Kedrace Turyagyenda, the Director of Education Standards at the ministry notes that with the decentralization of the recruitment, the directorate at the ministry lost quality control on the human resource hired by the different local governments.
Turyagyenda also says that many districts lack substantive school inspectors forcing headteachers to take over the inspection role and yet they lack technical knowledge in the inspection field.
In the past, the government used to hold regional-based training for school inspectors. However, this activity was halted due to lack of funds.
According to her publication in the International Journal of Education and Research, Dr Susan M. Macharia notes that school inspection is widely considered as an essential instrument for quality education and a mechanism that governments use to ensure accountability to the public in terms of the value for money invested in the education systems and to improve the education quality and in schools.
The revelation on the competency of inspectors comes at the time when the ministry has rolled out a nationwide school inspection program to assess compliance level towards education standards and Covid-19 standard operating procedures.
However, Turyagyenda says that they hope that this challenge might not affect the on-going activity since it is based on a checklist which the inspectors will be required to observe in the presence of a particular item and report as seen.
According to the education monitoring and support policy, inspectors are mandated to carry out full inspection once every year in each school.
The policy also requires district inspectors to develop a plan of action to ensure that every school receives one short inspection per term and that inspectors conduct follow-up visits within 18 months to assist schools in implementing the recommendations and monitor their progress. However, this is sometimes neglected.
Several education experts have said that if the inspection department was working well with or without Covid-19, the government wouldn’t have got challenges they faced during the reopening of schools for finalists as most of the items on the checklist were already part of the minimum requirements for any licensed school.