Teso’s Turbulent Past Still Impacts
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.
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
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.