“None core PTCs that will be phased out are going to be repurposed by turning them into secondary schools, Skilling centers, or technical institutions depending on the needs of the areas where they are located,” Dr Mugimba noted.
Teachers Colleges-PTCs are set to close
indefinitely as the government officially phases out Grade III and Grade V
teaching qualifications in favour of a bachelor’s degree in Education. There are 46 PTCs in Uganda, 23 of
which are core institutions that run both pre-and in-service
programmes. The remaining 23 are
non-core institutions that only offer pre-service programmes.
Dr. Denis Mugimba, the Education and Sports Ministry Spokesperson has confirmed the move to phase out non-core PTC institutions, saying that only ‘core PTCs’ will remain moving
core PTCs that will be phased out are going to be repurposed by turning them
into secondary schools, Skilling centers, or technical institutions depending
on the needs of the areas where they are located,” Dr Mugimba noted.
The new changes are part of the government's move to streamline,
professionalize, and improve the quality of teacher education hatched in the
2019 National Teacher Policy. The policy requires
that all teachers from pre-primary should have a minimum
qualification of a Bachelor’s
To implement the objective, the policy recommended
the creation of the Uganda
National Institute of Teacher Education-UNITE to take on the role of handling
teacher education, which is currently
under Kyambogo University
that it inherited from the Institute of Teacher Education
Jonathan Kamwana, the Commissioner in charge of Teacher Education and
Development, notes that as
part of the changes, admission for students after UCE to PTCs have been
suspended as required by the national teacher policy. He says core PTCs that will be maintained alongside
the five National Teacher Colleges-NTCs shall be attached to Uganda National
Institute of Teacher Education as a degree-awarding institution.
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Kamwana adds that the closure of some colleges and
other new changes that are scheduled to happen will be implemented in a phased manner with
continuing students being allowed to complete their
studies as the new changes are effected.
From this point of view, PTCs and NTCs will reopen
for physical learning and teaching for continuing students on November 1, this
year together with other tertiary institutions as scheduled by the ministry.
Kamwana says that even after the continuing
students complete their
studies, the National teacher policy provides 10 years to ensure that
the students admitted in colleges have adequate time to adjust to the
requirements of the National Teacher Policy standards to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by the
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Kyambogo University through affiliated PTCs has been awarding
Grade III certificates as the minimum qualification for primary school teachers
after completing a
two-year course, which
requires a minimum of O’level certificate at enrollment.
Conversely, the National Teachers' Colleges-NTCs
have also been training students with Grade V certificates, which are equivalent to a diploma as the minimum
qualification for Secondary School teachers.
With some of the PTCs closing, Carol Kavuma, UNITE
establishment taskforce coordinator, says all the five-diploma awarding
National Teachers Colleges-NTCs found in Mubende, Kaliro, Arua, Gulu, and Kabale districts in addition to National Instructors’ College
Abilonino – NICA will be maintained.
"We have moved around these colleges and they
already have the required infrastructure and some human resources, which can be used to start us off," she
Kavuma adds that UNITE, which
is found at Shimon PTC has
completed developing five programmes that they ought to roll out as
soon as they open. The programmes include bachelors of science with education,
bachelors of arts in education, bachelors of primary education and bachelors of
early childhood education.
Kavuma stresses that although they wish to roll
out the programmes effective this year, this is subject to approval by the National
Council for Higher Education (NCHE).
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Whereas UNITE has already established its working
relationship with NTCs pending approval from NCHE, Kavuma says discussions of transition from PTCs are still subject to discussion.
According to her, the ministry is still undecided on whether these colleges
will become affiliates to UNITE
or satellite campuses.
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The new policy requires all universities that train
teachers to collaborate with UNITE, which
is mandated to supervise teacher education programmes in other higher education
institutions in the country.
move to raise the minimum qualification of teachers in Uganda has been
criticized by several educationists, teachers, and policymakers noting that
having a degree might not be the
magic solution to the current teacher education challenges in the
However, other players welcomed the move saying it is aimed at enhancing competence to effectively
deliver quality learning outcomes and leadership at all levels of the education