Schools Around Kampala Speak to Desired Education Policies
In the month of March 2023, the Commission consulted schools around Kampala to receive their policy proposals about Uganda’s education and sports. The stakeholders included learners, teachers, administrators and parents. The schools consulted are Kololo SS, Makerere College School, East Kololo Primary School, Sir Apollo Kagwa Primary School in Mengo, St. Athanasius Primary School in Kisenyi, and Nakivubo Blue Primary School in Kisenyi.
Some of the policy proposals and recommendations highlighted by stakeholders are outlined here:
· government should increase the capitation grant for each learner, similarly government should provide some financing to private owned schools and learning institutions because they offer a service to Ugandans;
· revise teachers’ welfare including accommodation based on the average cost of living;
· reduce the time children spend in school to enable children play, go home early and be engaged in community productivity and learning by doing;
· equip learners from primary school level with skills to create jobs;
· legislate learners to specialize in specific course streams – sciences or arts, right from primary school;
· establish an ‘open university concept’ to absorb all universal secondary school leavers, this concept is open to those without formal academic qualifications to join university for certification through virtual classes or short learning camps;
· advance a policy to eliminate social strata in education to allow all to access quality education;
· abolish school dues in order to make education accessible to all – education is a right for every citizen;
· train end-users of the new curriculum and provide learning materials for implementing the curriculum;
· institute public private partnerships between parents and schools for sustainability and quality assurance;
· invest more in sports tutors, facilities and allocate time for learners to play, provide sports equipment in order to make teaching of Sports practical;
· lack of playing facilities in schools, and the impending give away of the Kololo SSS playground;
· develop a mode of assessment for sports activities and subjects such as football plus fine art and crafts subjects to make them examinable;
· include mental health education in the curriculum to address children from dysfunctional families;
· enroll all teachers including pre-primary teachers in government and private schools on the government payroll;
· harmonize teacher salaries of science and arts teachers to motivate and recognize the importance of each teacher;
· provide government funding for teachers who are upgrading, rather than individual teachers financing education from meagre salaries;
· legislate automatic promotion for teachers who upgrade to degree or masters’ levels without requiring clearance of the Education Service Commission;
· design a policy to stop the practice of publishing best performing schools, ranking of schools and examination results of learners in newspapers/media so as to eliminate learning malpractices and the hype of select schools; among others.
In conclusion, the Education Policy Review Commission will continue holding public hearings, consultations and dialogue with key stakeholders across the country. The Commission gathers views and proposals about Uganda’s education and sports sector. The findings will be used to inform the formulation of a macro policy framework for human capital development in the country.