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MPs criticise new teacher policy

FILE PHOTO: Parliament Education Committee

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | A section of Members of Parliament on the Education Committee have criticized a new policy by the Ministry of Education and Sports that requires all teachers without degrees to upgrade.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza said that the teachers without degrees have up to 10 years to upgrade and that enrollment of students in Primary Teachers Colleges (PTC) and National Teachers Colleges (NTC) for certificates and Diplomas is to stop next year.

Government also plans under the new National Teacher Policy to review the curriculum of PTCs and NTCs in order to upgrade them in degree-awarding institutions. Government currently employs 184,275 primary school teachers and 67,168 secondary school teachers.

The Education Committee chairperson Jacob Opolot has punched holes in the new policy raising questions on the implementation process.

Opolot says that many teachers have previously upgraded to different levels and government never gave them equivalent pay. He said that until these and other concerns are ironed out, the policy can only be good on paper.

Kalungu West MP, Joseph Ssewungu described the development as unwise and not researched.

Ssewungu wondered why Government is more interested in teachers obtaining degrees than providing them better salaries commensurate with their level of education.

He said that although he isn’t against teachers obtaining higher levels of education, government needs to first fulfil its pledge of increasing salaries of teachers who obtained degrees.

Ssewungu said that it is not the qualification of teachers that determines teaching but rather the type of system, management and remuneration of teachers. He cited a need for the Ministry to take its time on the matter.

Busia Municipality MP, Geoffrey Macho says that the new policy requires more planning.

He appealed to the Ministry of Education to halt the new policy and carry out more research about the sector.

Serere Woman MP Hellen Adoa supported the proposal but appealed to the Education Ministry not to pressurise teachers.

She said that although the ten years grace period can enable teachers upgrade, there is need for government to avail them soft loans.

According to the policy, all teachers, irrespective of the level they are teaching are to receive the same salary after they have all upgraded.

The Assistant Commissioner Secondary Education in the Education Ministry, Web Ndyabahika, reportedly said that teachers who will not upgrade will not be dropped from the system but remain on the same salary scale with no promotion until retirement.

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2 comments

  1. Bakengana Zephion

    They need to go slow because teachers have no money for upgrading from grade 5 and then to degree and yet they a paid little salary.

  2. Even us who went for direct degrees have never got government payrol. The the policy is useless

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