Effective this year, the Ministry of Education and Sports, through the 2019 National Teacher Policy, phased out lower qualifications for teachers in favour of degree programmes. According to the policy direction, the ministry also stipulated that the teacher degree programme will be running for four instead of the normal three years.
universities and other tertiary institutions which offer different programmes
in teacher education are waiting for formal guidelines on how they will be
implementing the new changes in the sector.
Effective this year, the Ministry of Education and Sports, through the 2019 National Teacher Policy, phased out lower qualifications for
teachers in favour of degree programmes. According to the policy direction,
the ministry also stipulated that the teacher degree programme will be running
for four instead of the normal three years.
As a way of implementing the policy, the government
halted the enrollment of students to be trained as teachers from O’level. Subsequently, all primary teacher colleges and national teacher colleges have
not enrolled learners when the institutions of higher learning opened on
November 1, 2021.
However, both private and public, universities and other tertiary institutions are still enrolling learners under old arrangements and
are calling in more for the next intake in January and May. In the same
development, universities have not yet revised their respective bachelor
programmes to meet the new standards.
Prof Fred Masagazi-Masaazi,
the Principal of the College of Education and External Studies at Makerere Univesity says that they have
started handling internal processes but at the moment the new students will
study under the old arrangement. He says
that Makerere has also established collaboration with Uganda National
Teacher Institute-UNITE which is currently being prepared to handle
issues of teacher
education to see how the transition period can be handled.
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Prof Masaazi also
highlighted that the college has made a simple survey among the continuing
student teachers and found out that they were not aware of what is happening.
Musaazi says their college is currently writing a proposal on how this policy
can be popularized and better understood by different stakeholders for better
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Dr Enock Barigye, the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Arts and
Media Studies at Bishop Stuart University, says that although they are aware of the
national teacher policy, they have not received any formal guideline on how the
situation can be handled. He notes that without guidelines to this effect,
the university and its management could not review their programmes and are, as such, enrolling students based on the old arrangement and programmes as they
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Prof Muhammad Mpezamihigo, the Vice-Chancellor of Kampala International University-KIU, says that universities need more time to review their respective
education programmes and curriculum.
“We have heard that the policy has been rolled out. We
have obtained copies and started preparing for the new changes. but this is not
an event but a process it will take time for our institution to review the
programmes currently being offered,” Prof Mpezamihigo said.
comprehensive institute in Wandegeya, students are still enrolled for certificate
courses in early childhood education and development even though the National Teacher Policy halted the enrollment of O’Level
leavers in different teacher education programmes effective this year. A new
cohort of learners has already been received to start their first semester with
the institution advertising for the course in the coming intakes in 2022.
Dr Herbert Mukasa, the principal of YMCA Comprehensive
Institute, says that whereas the government offered a clear transition
arrangement for PTCs and NTCs, there was nothing for other institutions yet they
all participate in the teaching of teachers.
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and learners are equally green about the development in the sector. for instance,
our reporters talked to three students who have just enrolled for the
certificate in nursery teaching at YMCA and none seemed to know that under the
new policy all teachers are supposed to be degree holders.
“They advertised for the course and we enrolled,”
Jackeline Nakamatte, one of the students said adding that; “I thought the suggested degree
programmes are for primary and secondary school teachers.”
Dr Mukasa acknowledged that some of the learners are not yet
aware of the changes. He however added that the institution is trying as much
as possible to brief the student on the new developments.
asked whether the changes won’t affect the students who
have just enrolled and those they are calling for future intakes in 2022, the
principal argued that the policy gives a period of ten years for all teachers
“As the ministry prepares proper guidelines on
the transitions, we hope that we can still have more than three intakes under
the current arrangement. when you calculate, they will have time to upgrade
before the degree proposal is effected,” said Dr Mukasa.
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Although several officials from the Ministry of Education
declined to comment on the matter, URN has learnt that there are a number of
statutory and legal issues that are needed to be streamlined by the ministry
before the policy is fully enforced. For instance, the National Teacher Act that will
enact the National Teacher Council which is expected to be the supreme body on
matters of teacher education is not yet in place.
In recent interviews, the Ministry of
Education spokesperson, Dr Denis Mugimba, noted that the ministry presented the preparing principals and memorandum of the bill to the cabinet.
According to guidelines, once the cabinet approves them, the ministry can go on
to prepare a bill.