“We know that the changes are policy issues but there is a lot that needs to be asked. The ministry has left us in the dark, we don’t know what is happening next,” Herbert Ssemuwemba, the Principal Canon Apolo Core PTC in Fort portal, who also doubles as the vice-chairperson of PTC Principals told Uganda Radio Network.
Both teaching and non-teaching staff in non-core Primary and National Teachers’ Colleges are part of those that
will be affected by the implementation of the 2019 national teacher policy. This week the Ministry of Education and Sports
announced the implementation of the national teacher’s policy.
Among the first issues to be handled was effecting the phasing out Grade III and V teaching qualification in favour
of a bachelor’s degree in education across the board. Whereas changes have
implications for practising teachers
with the affected qualifications, the impact will be felt by tutors and non-teaching staff in 23 PTC earmarked for indefinite closure, which has
triggered many questions among the affected people.
“We know that the changes are policy issues but
there is a lot that needs to be asked. The ministry has left us in the dark, we
don’t know what is happening next,” Herbert Ssemuwemba, the Principal Canon
Apolo Core PTC in Fort
portal, who also doubles as the vice-chairperson of PTC Principals told Uganda Radio Network.
For starters, each college has an average staff ceiling of 60 academic staff. This means that 1,380 tutors in 23
non-core PTCs earmarked for closure have no idea where they are headed as it stands. Another tutor at one of
the NTCs who preferred anonymity to speak
freely on the matter notes
that apart from the teaching staff on the government payroll, several others have been serving on contracts.
All these will have to look for alternative employment.
The changes are likely also to affect staff in core
PTCs and NTCs despite the fact that
these will remain operational given the fact that not all of them have
qualifications of teaching in a degree-awarding institution.
Jonathan Kamwana, the commissioner in charge of Teacher Education and Development, notes that after some time the Ministry will conduct an assessment of the current
staff in the colleges to ascertain whether they are fit to teach degree
//Cue in; “We shall validate…
Cue out…in the ministry.”//
Currently, all the eligible candidates for the
post of tutor in Primary Teachers College and lecturers in NTCs are required to have a minimum of an Honours
Bachelor’s Degree in Teacher Education or an equivalent
Honours Bachelors’ degree with a Post Graduate Diploma in
Information obtained by URN indicates that as the
Uganda National Institute for Teacher Education-UNITE moves to attain
accreditation for its degree programmes to be rolled out in the five NTCs, some
have been training teachers at the five National Teacher Colleges who don’t
meet the requirements will be dropped.
Francis Kateregga, the Principal of Mubende National
Teachers’ College, notes that given the benefits that will come along with the
new tasks at UNITE, tutors without the requisite academic qualifications should take an initiative and upgrade.
“I hear people crying out that they don’t have
money to upgrade. Others
are giving funny reasons. Imagine people who are going to be posted as
lecturers at UNITE are more likely to have M6 salary scale, which is almost 4 million Shillings. Crying will not help. Those who want to position themselves for the
juicy jobs will have to move out of their comfort zones,” said Kateregga.
Hajji Abdul-Majid Nkuutu Kibedi, the Principal Education Officer in charge of
Secondary Teachers’ Education in the Department of Teacher/Tutor advises those
who want to keep training teachers to upgrade and attain the required
“Currently, with the help of partners, we are
supporting 20 lecturers from different NTCs to upgrade and more might be added
to the list to ensure that no one is left behind,” he said.