information pills http://conversionxl.com/wp-includes/feed-rdf.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The report launched Thursday pinned the NRM Government on a number of areas it has failed to deliver on promises made to the teachers in its manifesto.
It showed that government had failed to meet nearly all its promises to the teachers.
“Government has only managed to improve enrollment and revision of the secondary school curriculum. It’s lagging behind in achieving 11 of its recommendations in the manifesto, and completely failed to achieve on 6 of its commitment,” announced Mr Patrick Kaboyo Executive Director Coalition of Uganda Private School Teachers Association. (COUPSTA)
Compiled by Uganda National Teachers Union and COUPTA the report titled “Is the NRM on Track to fulfilling its manifesto commitment to teachers?” gathered evidence from teachers, parents, school governors and ministry of education records.
Among the issues that the NRM set out to address in the education sector in their previous election campaign manifesto were enhancing teachers’ training, decongesting classrooms, providing scholastic materials, and reducing barriers education.
It also vowed to improve the teacher- student ratio to 1:45, school inspection and to enhance teachers’ salaries and payroll management.
The report indicates that while government has managed raise student enrollment at primary and secondary level, analysis of the figures shows a disparity between enrollment and actual completion.
Primary school completion for instance is still stagnated below 70 percent across the nationwide and the situation is dire in the northern part of the country.
In Karamoja and West Nile for instance, only 40 pupils complete primary school. More shocking figures were recorded in the districts of Kaabong (24 percent) Kotido (12 percent) Yumbe (16 percent) and Adjumani (15 percent).
According to Finance Minister, Maria Kiwanuka, Government has continued to increase the availability of school facilities infrastructure to enhance access, improve the quality of learning through provision of teaching materials, recruitment of additional teachers and enhanced monitoring and supervision.
Reading the 2014/15 budget early this month, Kiwanuka said 8.4 million primary school age going children now have access to an education, against a target of 8.5 million. At secondary school level, enrolment has reached 1.26 million compared with a target of 1.33 million students.
“Enrolment in Business and Vocation Education and Training (BTVET) has also increased to about 24,000 while enrolment in higher education institutions is now close to 200,000 students.2.4 million copies of core textbooks and teachers’ guides have been procured and distributed, to improve the quality and relevance of primary education,” said Kiwanuka.
However, the activists’ report further indicates that Net intake ratio (number of pupils who join school) stands at 60 percent implying that about 40 percent of children in Uganda are not able to attend primary school for such reasons as accessibility, affordability, cultural attitudes among others.
Gender differences have also persisted according to the audit report, with about 46 percent of the total enrollment being girls, while the female high school dropout remains alarmingly high.
“We are also concerned that despite government’s chorused commitment to enhance the quality of education, funding to this sector has been on a downward trend in last 5 national budgets, and far below the recommended 26 percent by UNESCO,” added Kaboyo.
Need to do more
Statistics indicate that 486 secondary schools have so far been rehabilitated and constructed, with the support of the World Bank.
Kiwanuka said construction works are on-going at an additional 639 schools.
She allocated Shs 1,699.4 billion to the education sector in the next financial year to enhance the quality of education.
Priorities to be implemented include the enhancement of Teachers’ salaries, with emphasis on Primary School Teachers. Shs 215bn has been allocated for this purpose.
The Minister also provided Shs. 5 billion towards supporting Teachers’ SACCOs, in addition to the Shs. 2.5 billion provided during this year and shs68.7 billion for the implementation of the Skilling Uganda programme.
Commenting on the report findings, senior educationist and activist, Prof J B Kwesiga noted that government’s commitment to transform the nation through educating its citizens was simply not enough.
“The world is changing very first, socially politically and economically. Education must remain ahead of these changes and not to run after them,” he said.