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Teso’s Turbulent Past Still Impacts Education Outcomes | EPRC

Teso’s Turbulent Past Still Impacts Education Outcomes




Jan 8th, 2024
By Communication Specialist

Teso’s Turbulent Past Still Impacts Education Outcomes

The academic performance in Teso region has persistently declined. The main factors responsible for this decline are the incursions and natural hazards that befell the region in the 90s and 2000s, states a report by the Academia.edu. 

In this regard, the Government of Uganda and other education actors have tried to make recovery interventions in terms of enacting favorable education policies; introducing universal primary and secondary education, setting up education infrastructure and developing human resources among others.

 In October 2023, the Chairperson of the Education Policy Review Commission, Honorable Colonel (Retired) Amanya Mushega, led a team of Commissioners and Technical Staff to Teso region to consult key education stakeholders to gather  views on  appropriate policies for education in Teso and Uganda.  The districts consulted include Amuria, Bukedea, Kaberamaido, Kapelebyong, Katakwi, Kumi, Ngora, Serere, and Soroti.

Some of the policy recommendations raised by the people of Teso towards improving education include:

1.     Decentralize recruitment and deployment of teachers: The recruitment and deployment of teachers from the center has management challenges. Teachers often abscond from duty. Any corrective action has to go through the central government and the process is tedious, hence affecting service delivery and academic performance.

2.     Enhance salaries and remove disparities: Teachers in the regions cited low pay, delayed payment, rising inflation and high costs of living. As a result, teachers are unable to fend for their families. Teachers decried discriminatory pay of science teachers yet all teachers teach equal hours per week. This is a source of demotivation for the teachers.

3.     Introduce skilling of learners right from primary education level: The region recommends the introduction of competence based and practical learning in primary school similar to the new lower secondary curriculum.

4.     Consider continuous assessment in primary education:  The stakeholders from Teso propose that continuous assessment should be carried out in class over the seven years. The results should contribute to the final primary leaving grade issued by Uganda National Examination Board.

5.     Consult parents/communities before constructing ‘seed schools:’ In Katakwi district a newly constructed seed school in 2021 is shunned by the community because it is in the path of Karamoja raiders and the school lacks fencing to secure learners. The school only has 87 learners out of an expected enrollment of 200 learners.

6.     Remove the automatic promotion policy: The stakeholders in Teso propose the scraping of automatic promotion, saying, it compromises the quality of learning, and creates complacency.  For instance, parents enroll children and later keep them out of school, engaged in household chores, knowing that the children will be promoted regardless.

7.     Train teachers to ably teach the new secondary school curriculum: The new curriculum is well appreciated in the region. Training is needed for teachers to deliver the new curriculum and carry out assessments and more.  

8.     Language of instruction: The region proposed the use of both English and Ateso because the mother tongue is best for instructing children, however, parents prefer their children to learn speaking English as well.  


Other issues raised were generic to nationwide concerns; ranging from encouraging inclusive education for all children including those with special learning needs such as the blind, deaf and lame; increase teacher-pupil ratios for effective teaching; recruit laboratory technicians in all secondary schools, increase instructional materials; address the requirement by Faith-Based organizations to all schools mandating that all cheques issued by the school should be signed by the faith organization; formulate a clear policy direction on the issue of school land ownership; recruit teachers from the given locality to avoid abscondment; to, inclusion of feeding programs in schools for improved learning.

In conclusion, the Education Policy Review Commission will continue holding public hearings, consultations and dialogue with key stakeholders across the country.  So far, the Commission has consulted people of Busoga, West Nile, Karamoja, Acholi and Teso region to 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.