Public Consultations Continue in 2023
The Commission resumed public consultations early January 2023 with stakeholders, after the end-of-year-break. The stakeholders consulted were Makerere University Vice Chancellor and the Senate; The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (COVAB); The National Planning Authority; Uganda Institute of ICT, Nakawa; Nakawa Vocational Training Institute; and Mr. Magino Mulokyo Mathias a retired educationist.
Some of the policy proposals and recommendations highlighted by stakeholders are outlined here:
The Makerere University Vice Chancellor and the Senate made several recommendations ranging from the establishment of a clear education philosophy comprising Ugandan norms and values to shape the education system; placing emphasis on skills development right from primary school; reviewing the selection process for government scholarships to prioritise learners from poor families; the role of humanities and social sciences in transforming society; increasing resources for higher education; transforming Makerere University into a fully-fledged research university; streamlining the creation of universities without losing technical institutions; complementing academic programmes with technical programmes such as plumbing and carpentry, among others, to address the unemployment problem; redesigning the education system to match the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (COVAB) proposed the following policy interventions: - a shift from welfare-based animal education to industrial veterinary, education, science, technology, innovation and medical services. This shift is anticipated to spur competitive and sustainable animal industries and resource development in Uganda.
The National Planning Authority proposes three education policy scenarios and their cost implications to government;- Scenario One: the education system is allowed to continue without significant policy interventions; Scenario Two: Government introduces significant policy changes and interventions such as inclusion of a year of pre-primary, removal of primary leaving exams and adoption of National Assessment of Progress in Education, and the introduction of feeding programs in schools; Scenario Three: Government provides completely free education for increased access to education and retention in the system education and retention in the system. This implies that government will provide free primary, secondary and technical and vocational training, including instruction materials, infrastructure and feeding.
Uganda Institute of Information, Communications and Technology, Nakawa highlighted the need for policies to compel industries to give access to a given number of trainees to get hands-on training; a policy to allow training institutions to commercialize prototypes; a program to sensitize parents and potential students about the benefits of vocational training; increase government sponsored vocational students; a need for cutting-edge infrastructure, software and equipment; and continuous retooling and training of staff, among others.
Nakawa Vocational Training Institute proposed recommendations in key areas, namely policy, human resource, infrastructure, curriculum, and funding. The Institute proposed the expedition of the implementation of the Teacher Vocational Education Training policy of 2019, and the formulation of the TVET Act; a policy on selection of students to join ordinary and advanced level of education should include a list of technical and vocational institutions; the Higher Education Financing Board should support TVET students on diploma and degree courses to acquire equipment and training materials; the recruitment of trainers should be based on one’s competence, past industrial experience, Uganda Vocational Qualification Framework qualifications, and practical interviews held at industrial workshop floors; expedite the classification and standardization of institutions; provide equipment for both rural and urban institutions; tailor courses based on the local needs of a community; provide upgraded training machinery, equipment and tools to match industrial demands; ensure that the curriculum is relevant to needs of labor market by involving practitioners from the world of work in curriculum development cycle; and make training in all TVET Institutions to be competency based; a policy should be put in place that commits the private sector to fund TVET activities; and institute a policy which allows government training Institutions to operate private companies; among others.
Mr. Magino Mulokyo Mathias a retired educationist proposed compulsory basic education for everyone under 18 years; a policy to guide the standards of instructional materials; a mindset change to focus on the acquisition of competence among learners other than aiming at passing exams; among others.
In conclusion, the Education Policy Review Commission will continue holding 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.