Six Present Policy Proposals in October 2022
In the Month of
October 2022, the Education Policy Review Commission interfaced with key
stakeholders in the education sector. These are Early Childhood Development
Consortium Uganda, Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Home Scholars Association,
the National NGO Forum, Uganda Women’s Network, and UWEZO Uganda- researchers
of learning outcomes.
One of the core
objectives of the Education Policy Review Commission is to investigate and
inquire into the implementation of the decisions contained in the Government
White Paper on Education of 1992. The
Chairperson of the Commission, Hon. Rtd Col. Amanya Mushega said, “We
welcome varying views and proposals backed by evidence. We do appreciate candid
submissions to help improve the education and sports sector.”
emerged out of these policy consultations highlighted below, as well as
Childhood Development Consortium Uganda – ECDC noted that the 2008 Education Act places the
provision of early childhood education entirely in the hands of the private sector,
and this has affected early childhood development. A very small percentage
(5%) of the education sector budget is
allocated to pre-primary education. It further highlighted bottlenecks to early
childhood development which include: shortage of qualified teachers; high costs
and low quality services; rural-urban disparities in the attainment of early
childhood education; high repetition rates in primary one; low completion rate
for primary school learners; and limited regulation of learning centers, among
others. ECDC is a group of stakeholders interested in early childhood care and
education. This comprises of education experts from Makerere University,
Kyambogo University, the Ministry of Education and Sports, BRAC, UNICEF, PLAN,
PlayMatters, Livelyminds, World Vision, AfriChild, religious bodies, Save the
Children, AVSI, ELMA, among others.
Foundation Uganda (PSFU)
revealed that the education sector is not well positioned to support the
industrialization agenda of government. It outlined high unemployment rates
among university graduates; Government interference in setting of school fees
by private schools; high taxation of private schools; negative mindset towards
vocational and science education; lack of a National Service Scheme; inadequate
career guidance services, and lack of psycho - social support for learners;
among others. PSFU is Uganda’s apex body
for the private sector made up of 230 Business Associations, Corporate bodies
and the major Public Sector Agencies that support private sector growth.
Association is a local
initiative by Ugandans with over 400 member families. They are the pioneers of
homeschooling in Uganda. They shared experiences in implementing this emerging
education model. The Home Scholars cited three major issues affecting the
sector as well as proposed remedies: absence
of a legal provision on home schooling in Uganda; a rigid curriculum which
includes several compulsory subjects; and limited involvement of parents in the
education of their children.
presentation of the National NGO Forum focused on disproportionate
levels in access to primary education, inadequate infrastructure, inadequate
number of secondary schools, and inclusion of all learners; the need for child protection in schools; wastage
of government funds on children over age or under age at primary level; low
marketability of skills learned and low pre-vocational exposure; system
strengthening of education in Uganda; and low financing of the education sector and the
capturing of education data for planning. The NGO Forum creates space for civil
society organizations both national and international to reflect, strategize
and take action on policy issues. It
boasts of a 650 membership which includes faith-based organizations.
Network – UWONET highlighted
limited access and low quality of early childhood education; significant disparities
between male and female literacy rate; and low enrolment of females in
technical and vocational training. UWONET is an advocacy organization that
exists to coordinate collective action among women’s rights and gender equality
stakeholders for the attainment of gender equality and equity in Uganda.
UWEZO Uganda presented three areas of concern: Low
learning levels across the country; Unequal distribution of learning levels
across the country; and delayed acquisition of grade-appropriate competencies.
UWEZO is an NGO that uses research to demonstrate how to improve learning
outcomes and keeping communities and leaders focused on learning.
In conclusion, the
Commission continues to hold public hearings, consultations and dialogue with
key stakeholders in the education and sports sector to gather their views and
proposals. The findings will be used to inform the formulation of a macro
policy framework for human capital development in the country.