KAMPALA – The government is in a process of phasing out Grade III and Grade V teaching qualifications in favour of a bachelor’s degree in Education.
The director of education standards at the Ministry of education, Ms. Kedress Turyagyenda said the proposal is contained in a National Teachers Policy, which was approved in April this year by Cabinet.
She said the policy aims at, among others, upskilling teachers to bachelor’s degrees, and phasing out grade three and grade five teachers.
“As we are now, we have a variety of teachers as grade three, grade five and graduates that look at themselves as if they are different and yet they are all teachers. So the new policy says that lets first have a teacher and this shall be a process. As the process moves on, what happens to National teachers colleges and primary teachers colleges shall be worked out. The policy is to be finally implemented, it will be a phased thing and we will be able to take care of the different levels and still get the teachers that we want,” Ms. Turyagyenda said.
She was speaking as chief guest during Teachers’ Day Celebrations for National Teachers’ Colleges-NTCs at NTC Kabale in Kabale district on Wednesday.
Ms Turyagyenda said that the policy will be implemented gradually after thorough consultations with all education stakeholders in order for it not to affect teachers who are already in service as well as existing core Primary Teacher’s Colleges and NTCs.
The general secretary Uganda National Teachers Union, Mr Filbert Baguma, said the new policy will improve professionalism and welfare of teachers.
This came after principals of the NTCs at the same function asked government to establish a National Institute of Teacher Education to regulate activities and services of the five institutions in the country. The colleges are Kabale, Muni, Mubende, Kaliro and Unyama.
“We need to have a National Institute of Teacher Education to properly address our concerns like the Nurses Council addresses issues of the nurses,” Ms Daisy Aliwaru, the Principal NTC Muni who spoke on behalf of her colleagues, said.
She added, “The current Tertiary and Other Institutions Act of 2001 is not helping us at all. We are in between Kyambogo University which is our examination body and the ministry of education and sports that handles our policy issues. We need our own institution that directly regulates our services besides direct handling of our challenges.”
Celebrations were organized by Belgium government through Enabel, its development agency, and government of Uganda under the theme, ‘Young Teachers; the future of a profession.’
The ambassador of Belgium in Uganda, Mr Rudi Veestraeten, said NTC teachers’ day was organised to present the national teacher policy and its impact on secondary teacher education; to communicate on all innovations which are taking place in the NTCs in order to improve teacher motivation and teaching and learning; to advocate for changes related to NTCs and to recognize the NTCs staff and honor the outstanding ones.