Teachers urged to have passion and commitment towards job

Salary Enhancement is another intervention by Government to improve teacher morale. In the last ten years, before the current financial year, secondary school teachers’ salaries had been enhanced by between 154%, for deputy head teachers, and 233% for Education Officer – Science.

Feb 3, 2023 - 11:02
Teachers urged to have passion and commitment towards job

UGANDA - The Ministry of Education and Sports strives to achieve its strategic objectives of; Equitable Access to Education and Training; delivery of Relevant and Quality Education and Training; and Efficient and Effectiveness of Education and Sports service delivery at all levels. Ketty Lamaro, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Sports reminded the stakeholders to pursue those objectives as a guide as they prepare to start the new school year with renewed energy and commitment.

She congratulated the Primary Seven candidates of the year 2022 for their excellent performance and perseverance amidst challenges. This demonstrates that the ministry is on the right path to attain the objective of ensuring equitable access. A total of 2,436 registered learners with special needs, is an unprecedented increase to 52.3% in 2022 from 1,599 in the year 2020. According the UNEB report, performance in English and Mathematics improved significantly in the distinction and Credit levels with a significant overall improvement in Integrated Science. This is commendable. Literacy and Numeracy are two basic skills that propel success in all the other subjects and spheres of life. Success in science is a building block of future growth in Science, Technology and Innovation. It is a key ingredient to drive the country into a middle-income status and is a priority of government. However, there are still wide gender gaps even in the schools which continue to disadvantage girls and women in education and sports - Low levels of proficiency especially in sciences and mathematics mainly among girls and stereotypes in subject combinations; boys excelling in sciences and girls in arts. The Permanent Secretary appealed to the Head teachers to promote gender equality in education by creating a healthy and protective learning environment for both boys and girls including learners with special needs.

Teachers also have the ability to motivate and encourage learners especially a girl child to study the sciences. The Ministry of Education and Sports takes the placement exercise very seriously since it has the individual learner behind it. Selection is not just an exercise in student placement but one that determines and in similar measure, affects the lives of all the students affected or influenced by your decisions here. Permanent Secretary's Remarks Verbatim Continued below:

Your successful accomplishment of this exercise helps the Ministry to respond effectively to her national stakeholders on the process of advancement of education in this country. I therefore, appeal to you to show commitment and objectivity while conducting this two-day placement exercise by intentionally placing the successful candidates to the schools of their choice in fairness, transparency and on merit. I would like to remind you that the quality of education in any school are only as good as the quality of its teachers and the leadership offered by the head teacher of the school. Head teachers play a central role in the delivery of quality education through planning, implementing and supervising teaching and learning related activities. 5 The morale and motivation of most teachers is quite low. Many teachers indicate that apart from salary, the cause of their dissatisfaction is poor quality of leadership and supervision by head teachers. More so, there is teacher absenteeism and limited time on task.

This challenge is attributed to the practice of part-timing in different schools, as well as limited supervision by Head teachers. Some Teachers teach on only one or two days in a week. Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Sports has introduced the Effectiveness and Learner Achievement (TELA) to curb the high levels of absenteeism of Head teachers and teachers, and the poor timetable implementation which are the major factors leading to low learning outcomes. The pilot was carried out in FY 2018/19 and in this current year, we are rolling out to all Government Aided Primary, Secondary Schools and Certificate Awarding Institutions. In the second phase all private schools will be brought on board. The Ministry is leveraging on ICT to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in education through the implementation of Teacher Effectiveness and Learner Achievement (TELA). Therefore, all head teachers are urged to embrace and effectively implement TELA.

I implore you to manage the unethical and unprofessional behavior of some teachers which render them unable to make a positive impact on their students’ lives and careers, because they are unable to impart important life skills, values and ethics. Furthermore, the limited participation in Continuous Professional Development (CPDs) by many of our teachers has meant that the above challenges are not effectively addressed in time. Head teachers are encouraged to plan and budget for basic professional development trainings and workshops. You should also mobilize and support your teachers to attend capacity building trainings organized by the Ministry or local governments. To address the above challenges, a number of interventions are being implemented as highlighted below: 1. The Ministry developed and is now implementing the National Teacher Policy (NTP), which provides a comprehensive framework for the development and management of the teaching profession and for improving teaching and learning in the entire education system. To achieve the above, Government is working on the standardization and streamlining of the management, development and practices of teachers. The specific priority interventions include: a. Establishment of the National Teachers’ Council to professionalize the teaching profession. The Council will be responsible for registration, licensing, accreditation of teachers and implementation of a motivation framework and the reviewed Scheme of Service. b. Establishment of the Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education to provide leadership in Continuous Professional Development programmes (CPDs) and the training of tutors. The institute will implement the Initial Teacher Training and CPD frameworks. c. Development and implementation of standards for teaching, institutional leadership and a Teacher Qualification Framework that can be harmonized with the regional frameworks.

The second key intervention is ensuring Performance Management in Schools. In May 2020, the Ministry issued Performance Management Guidelines for Tertiary and Secondary Schools. Head teachers are expected to conduct end of term performance reviews for all staff. The Guidelines aim at: a) Cultivating a performance culture; b) Promoting accountability among teaching staff; c) Linking the performance of staff to learning outcomes; and d) Enhancing the quality of education at all levels.

Salary Enhancement is another intervention by Government to improve teacher morale. In the last ten years, before the current financial year, secondary school teachers’ salaries had been enhanced by between 154%, for deputy head teachers, and 233% for Education Officer – Science. This is a clear demonstration that Government is committed to salary enhancement. The recent major enhancement of science teachers’ salaries should be viewed as an achievement for all teachers, especially because the Government has clearly indicated that the other categories of teachers will also benefit in the near future. Ladies and Gentlemen, you are all aware that by mid-2022, over 3,000 secondary school teachers passed ESC interview and are awaiting appointing and deployment, as soon as MoFPED provides the required wage. The deployment of the recruited teachers will be rationalized in favor of upcountry schools and schools in hard-to-reach areas, which have perennially been understaffed. This should help lessen the workload on the few teachers in these schools, but also address the challenge of Head teachers hiring additional teachers on private basis.

This practice has led to increased wage bill, which is then passed to parents under the guise of voluntary contributions, when in fact it is compulsory. Staff transfers in secondary schools was suspended awaiting completion of the staff validation exercise. A report from this exercise has been submitted and it is being reviewed to inform effective management of staff transfers. In the meantime, limited transfer of teachers who have stayed over ten years in one station, and for replacement of teachers who have retired or passed on by those who have limited load elsewhere, is being considered. The teaching of Physical Education (PE) is now compulsory in all schools and examinable by UNEB. To this effect, the Physical Education and Sports (PES) Department conducted two central specific orientation trainings to a cohort of 108 qualified registered, experiences and previously oriented teachers of PE from the 13 ASSHU regions, on the practical units of the Competence Based Curriculum. Through the PES Department, the Ministry intends to do regional trainings of PE teachers. I call upon the respective ASSHU Regional Chairpersons, to make best use of the specifically oriented teachers to help other teachers in all districts of the regions to implement the lower Secondary Curriculum.

I remind you all to provide for the S.3 learners who will have opted to continue with the subject. Plans are under way to support the teaching of PE with assorted equipment to supplement on the improvisations that the teachers will have made. I thank all schools who have followed the school sports calendar, and encourage each school to regularly practice co-curricular PES programs and projects, and to participate in competitive sports at some level. Trainings have been conducted to equip the games teachers and some students with coaching, referring and umpiring skills and media reporting. The Ministry is in the stages of finalizing the review processes of the National Physical Education and Sports Policy (NPESP) and enacting the Sports Law. The PES subsector participated in providing a comprehensive reference material for the review of the macro policy frame work on education to the Education Policy Review Commission. In addition, we are deepening ICT integration in secondary education. So far, through the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) Rural Communications Development Fund, Government has supplied 20 computers to each of about 1000 government secondary schools.

11 Over 2000 secondary school teachers have already been retooled on ICT and the Ministry of Education and Sports is planning train 3300 science teachers on ICT integration in the teaching and learning process. For effective evidence-based planning and resource allocation, the Ministry is strengthening the Education Management Information System (EMIS). An integrated and effective EMIS is very critical for decision making, planning, and implementation and monitoring. As a foundational requirement, we need to have all learners assigned with the unique Learner Identification Numbers (LIN). This will not only help in planning and efficient resource allocation, but also in following the progression of each learner through the education cycles. UNEB will also utilize EMIS data in their Assessment exercise of learners in the lower secondary curriculum. To date, a total of 9.7 million learners have been uploaded in EMIS. In addition, 77% of the P7 candidates for last year are now registered in EMIS. Starting this year, all learners who will be enrolled in S1 must present their Learner Identification Numbers from their previous primary schools. Therefore, the learner’s testimonial given out by the former primary school must include a Learner Identification Number amongst other parameters.

I appeal to all heads of education institutions to embrace the redeveloped EMIS and respond in a timely manner to provide the needed information. Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to urge you not to turn away learners with disability from your schools. The Ministry of Education and Sports advocates for inclusive education and there is a fully-fledged Department of Special Needs at the Ministry, to which you can address all your challenges in this regard. It is also very pertinent for you to indicate the disability of the learner when registering them with UNEB to enable them get the necessary assistance. Finally, all Heads of Secondary Schools should note that UNEB withheld results of some candidates pending clearance by the Security Committee. Once these results are released and cleared, candidates should be admitted according to their choices. On behalf of the Ministry of Education and Sports and on my own behalf, allow me take this opportunity to thank the Executive Secretary - UNEB and the staff of UNEB that is working with our Ministry placement committee in preparation for this exercise. I thank the Chairperson, National Placement Committee and her entire team for the work well done.

I appreciate the commitment and dedication of the department of Guidance and Counselling for the good work you do. It is important to note, that the placement function is one of the key activities of the department of Guidance and Counselling. I also thank all of you for attending this opening ceremony and wish the heads of institutions a peaceful and successful placement exercise. I wish you success as we start the new academic year as you make school improvement the cornerstone of your school plans this year. I now take this singular honor and privilege to declare the 2023 placement exercise for Senior one officially open.

John Kusolo John Kusolo, a Ugandan Journalist, Sport fanatic, Tourist, Pastor, and Motivational Speaker. I am passionate about my work with a steady source of motivation that drives me to do my best. I am ambitious and driven. I thrive on challenge and constantly set goals for myself, so I have something to strive toward. Socials: John Kusolo on facebook and Twitter.