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This unit is responsible for ensuring that there is a continuous supply of high quality instructional materials, improving instructional materials, improving the instructional quality and hence improving pupils’ learning achievement.
Production of primary school syllabuses by NCDC and related instructional materials have been completed in the four core subjects; namely English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. These are being implemented. In addition, a Teacher’s Handbook has been written and launched, August 1999.
These programs including the National Examinations, PLE are implemented by UNEB. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of Primary Education with improved pupils’ performance in the core subject of English, Mathematics Science and Social Studies. NAPE has carried out two surveys to determine the level of pupils’ achievement in the core subjects. A total of 64 Headteachers’ 256 Teachers’ and 4096 pupils participated in NAPE surveys. NAPE also has developed training materials such as test items, teachers’ score record books, cumulative record cards, an assessment module and CA users’ guide. In addition, it has undertaken training and orientation of teachers on CA using the developed materials; training has been conducted in 41 districts for nearly 30,000 teachers of P4 – 7. (PIU,1999)
7.4 Reduction of the Adult illiteracy rates
As already mentioned the Ministry of Gender, labour and Social Development covers only 26 Districts. Literacy materials have been produced in six languages with the assistance from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the German Adult Education Association (D.V.V)). The languages include Luganda, Luo, Lunyankole, Lukiga, Lunyoro, Lutoro, Ateso and Lukonjo. The Literacy Materials include Primers, Instructors’ Guides to the primer, and charts. Some post-literacy materials have also been produced. However, this is a drop in the ocean for a country like Uganda which has more than sixty languages and dialects.
Some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been also active in the field of functional literacy programmes as mentioned earlier. However, their activities have not been coordinated to assess their impact. Some of the NGOs include Action-aid. National Adult Education Association, Uganda Community Association for Child welfare, Uganda Joint Action for Adult Education, Religious bodies and some parastatal organisations. There are also some literacy programmes being carried out by the Prisons Department.
Literacy Levels by 1997
Between November, 1996 and March, 1997 the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics, Makerere University and nine District Administrations of Kapchorwa, Kibale, Lira, Mbarara, Mpigi, Rakai, Rukungiri, Moroto and Tororo in collaboration with UNICEF Uganda conducted a study on the status and community opinions about the quality of basic education in Uganda. The information above gives the status of literacy levels by gender and region. Nationally the literacy rates among the population aged 10 years and above was 81% and 65% for males and females respectively. These figures reflect a wide variation in relation to the findings of the 1991 Population and Housing Census which showed that 64% of the males and 45% of the females were literate.
There are variations in the literacy status according to age of the individual. Lliteracy rates increase with ages of individuals up to age of 34 years and steadily declines to their lowest values in ages higher than 55 years
The literacy rate among males and females aged 10 years and above region are shown in Table 45. There were regional variations, with male literacy highest in Western region followed by Central, Northern and Eastern. Females literacy was highest in Central region 77% followed by Western and Northern regions again with Eastern region having the least female percentage (47%) literate population.
Table 1 Population and literacy rates among males and females aged 10 years and above by Gender.
Source: The 1991 Population and Housing Census, Statistics Department, MFEP.
7.5 Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults.
The effectiveness of EFA strategy with respect to acquisition of essential skills in the country has to be analysed by considering a number of factors, but the most pertinent ones are: liberalization and privatization of the Economy; thrust towards Universal Primary Education; decentralization programme; the National Gender Policy, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy.
Uganda Government passed a Gender Policy in 1996 in which Government emphasizes on the widening opportunities of skills acquisition for girls and women at all levels of education and training, and formulated an encompassing policy on technical and vocational education and training that lays emphasis on their expansion to enable the entire population to enhance and harness its capacity and the country’s endowments in a sustainable manner.
During the period 1990 – 97, all programmes pertaining to formal education and training from primary school to tertiary level were monitored and supervised by the Ministry of Education and Sports. Programmes of Vocational training were supervised by the Directorate of Industrial Training based in the former Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Other line ministries conducted and supervised their specialized programs within their spheres of competence.
With Civil Service Reform all educational and training programs were brought under the Ministry of Education and Sports. The Ministry, through wide consultations, is planning to establish a body to supervise and coordinate all technical and vocational education and training programs.
The evolving socio-economic trends in Uganda will continue to require skilled individuals with the capacity to learn and be trained through life. With the privatization of state enterprises, very few workers will be hired by government. Consequently EFA goals of evolving entrepreneurial spirit are well placed and timely.
Effective acquisition of basic skills requires computational skills, numeracy and some communication skills. Therefore the Universal Primary Education programme enacted by government in 1997 has provided a unique opportunity for more than 6 million children to be at school. These children, apart from being introduced to academic work, are also engaged in basic motor skills.
The implementation of the decentralization programme by Government has devolved a significant part of governance of education to the Districts and Local Authorities. The citizens of this country are empowered to participate in the decision-making process of their communities. With regard to EFA, parents are constructing schools and taking keen interest in the management and administration of their schools.
As far as acquisition of essential skills by pupils in primary schools is concerned, the results are still disappointing. The curricula are not properly implemented as most of the energy is targeted at examinable theoretical subjects. Trained teachers and adequate essential materials are lacking. At the informal and non-formal level there has been an upsurge in training. This is the only survival path in a market-driven economy. In fact the informal sector is one of the most growing area of the economy. As far as Technical and Vocational Education and Training is concerned, the private sector is set to own and fund the training component of the system in order to facilitate and promote its growth.
Government and donors have over the past three years invested a lot of money into basic education especially in improving and production of teaching materials, training of teachers and equipping administrators with managerial skills. Unfortunately not much of these funds have been specifically invested in practical aspects of education especially at the formal primary school level.
At the non-formal education and informal training, considerable success has been registered with the help of NGOs and direct participation of the communities. Women have acquired entreprenuership skills through training and active participation in both the formal and informal sector; while cheap non-formal functional literacy programmes have equipped a large number of them with essential skills for self-improvement.
In the area of medical care, traditional birth attendants at the grassroots have been trained by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with NGOs such as Safe Motherhood Initiative. Other interventions such as the heifer projects, tree planting for environmental sustainability and fuel wood and vegetable growing have improved the nutritional status and quality of life in rural households. The Government Primary Health Care Policy, which emphasizes interventions in health promotion, immunization, sanitation and rehabilitative care for the elderly and people with disabilities, has improved women’s and children’s health status.
All the above interventions have led to a decline in infant mortality rate (97 per 1000) in 1995 compared to 119 per 1000 in 1989). The fertility rate has also fallen from 7.3 children per woman in 1989 to an average of 6.9 in 1995. The percentage of married women using family planning has gone up from 5% in 1988 to 15% in 1996. Tribute must be paid to the numerous indigenous NGOs, professionals NGOs and local chapters of international NGOs and self-help grassroots groups.
Three main achievements of EFA since 1990 in this thematic area are summarised herein:
Under the Basic Education and Child Care and Adolescent Development (BECCAD) Programme, a manual and other support materials on life skills for out-of-school young people were produced and distributed. The programme helped orient and train representatives of 20 NGOs in the use of these materials. Preparatory research to guide the development of life-skills materials for children, parents and community members was completed in four regions of the country.
With the support of the BECCAD Programme, training of tutors and teachers in life skills for primary and secondary schools was done. Nearly 75 percent of all Primary Teacher Colleges (PTCs) responsible for pre-service training of primary school teachers and all National Teachers Colleges (NTCs) responsible for training secondary school teachers participated. A decision has been reached by Government to maintain life-skills education in all tertiary institutions and secondary schools.
Government’s readiness to take full control of continuing education (CE), is good and plausible. However, there are misconceptions here that CE was for those who had failed to continue schooling because they had not scored the required entry points. Also the objectives and organization of distance education have not been well understood and supported. The general feeling is that the course content given through distance education is inadequate because few normally pass with very high grades. Nonetheless, the number of those who sit for Mature Entry Examinations Scheme of Makerere University has risen in the last 10 years. The number of adults who pass through IACE of Makerere University has increased over the same period of time.
Government has recognized the effectiveness of distance Education as a way of accessing education to the majority of its citizens who are disadvantaged, and will continue to support it in all ways possible. The main constraint is that these courses tend to limit admissions of students due to high costs.
There has been expansion in the rural press, private media, public libraries, theatre and effective use of announcements and advertisements. However the following strategies have not been implemented:
a) the establishment of the National Council for Non-formal and Adult Education (NCNFE).
b) the establishment of the National Council for Higher Education;
c) the establishment of Educational channels for educational programs on Radio and Television.
d) training of staff for educational programs.
8.0 MAIN PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED AND ANTICIPATED.
8.1 Expansion of Early Childhood and development Activities
The main problem encountered in the ECD relate to limited government investment in ECD. Community awareness is limited and hence limited demand and low private investment in ECD institutions. Monitoring and supervision are inadequate, and
curricular materials for pre-primary are insufficient. Training institutions are mainly in urban centres and there is no data bank on ECD.
There are no programmes in place to implement the strategies in the Government White paper. The curriculum was developed but it was not pre-tested, not oriented to the users and a teachers' guide was not completed. This has made the use of the curriculum a bit difficult.
The problems that will most likely persist relate to: lack of monitoring and supervision, inadequate instructional materials; limited community awareness; high tuition fees for the self – sponsored courses for pre-school teachers ; high school fees required in pre-schools ( ranging from Ug.Shs.50,000/= to 300,000/= per term); and under – staffing in most of the training institutions. (1 US $ = 1500).
Government should address should address the above problems to accelerate the progress of EF and to achieve national goals and targets
The economic disparities among regions and between rural and urban settings affect access to, retention in and completion of the primary education cycle. Moreover such disparities continue to affect construction of physical facilities, and community contribution to primary education provision. The existence of some negative attitudes and cultural beliefs towards education generally and education of girls in particular have greatly affected progress towards EFA goals and targets, and so did irrelevance, imbalance and overloaded nature of the curriculum with consequences for school dropouts.
Progress towards UPE goals and targets may be slowed down by: economic disparities in Uganda and among the people, some negative attitudes and cultural beliefs, widespread rising abject poverty in rural areas and some regions, and heavy dependence on foreign funding.
New problems will revolve around heavy dependence on foreign funding; rural/urban and regional disparities in wealth, inability to sustain UPE activities, poverty which is seemingly increasing, and collapse in community involvement/participation in UPE provision.
8.3 Improvement in Learning Achievement
NAPE report (1997) highlights major problems encountered or anticipated in improving learning achievement. The problems resulted into disparity in pupils performance in different regions and in relatively poor performance of pupils in certain core subjects like Science and Mathematics.
The problems did not only breed inequitable performance of pupils in urban and rural schools but also brought about decline of pupils' performance in upper classes of the rural schools. The girls did not perform well in some subjects like Science too.
The problems or difficulties that tended to slow or prevent progress towards specific EFA goals and targets are summarized as follows: inadequate or irrelevant curricular teaching and learning materials; poor academic background of some primary teachers; use of inappropriate methodology in teaching and learning as well as assessment, high enrolment with consequences for pupil-teacher ratio; inadequate learning space; high costs of books and other scholastic materials; lack of reading culture; abuse or inappropriate use of instructional time; language constraints (English and mother tongue); reinforcement of gender biases; pupils, parents and community attitude towards education/teaching; understaffing/untrained teachers; inadequate infrastructure/physical facilities; and irregular inspection and supervision of primary schools.
Some of the problems or difficulties that are likely to continue slowing down progress towards improvement in learning achievements embrace continuous assessment. Teachers are not fully trained and skilled in CA. The CA puts a lot of demand on the teacher. The teacher has to establish a set of well-defined assessment criteria. He or she will use these criteria to assess an individual pupil against course objectives. This is a formidable task. Moreover a moderation system will have to be used to standardize marks on a national basis. These constitute some of the new problems that could slow down efforts to achieve national EFA goals and targets. Kiswahili, local languages and vocational education in primary schools particularly primary Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) are new innovations. Teachers for these subjects are not available. They will have to be trained and made available. Appropriate and relevant learning materials will have to be produced. These will hamper progress a great deal.
8.4 Reduction of the adult illiteracy rates.
The problem encountered relate to: inadequate funding to enable the inter-sectoral committee for Functional Adult literacy to meet the demand for the programme for all parts of the country; inadequate supply of literacy materials; lack of sufficient trained personnel in the area of adult literacy; lack of reliable data to assist in planning and implementing the programme, and lack of motivation on the part of literacy facilitators and supervisors who have continued to serve on voluntary basis. The problems which should be addressed to avoid slowing down the programmes include inadequate funding and lack of incentives for instructors and supervisors.
8.5 Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults.
There was lack of technical teachers, vocational instructors, administrators and absence of staff development, and acute shortage of textbooks, instructional materials/manuals as well as lack of essential equipment and tools. Also theoretically oriented curricula and lack of gender sensitive programmes did not make things better. Lack of adequate buildings in terms of workshops, stores, library classrooms, laboratories and teachers’ accommodation together with negative attitude towards vocational training programmes by the bulk of students slowed down progress.
By 1990, the overall vacancies for artisans, craftsmen and technicians in all sectors of the economy were high. It was also predicted that the number of vacancies would continue to grow as the economy picked up during the decade. It was being anticipated that the required manpower would be catered for by technical, vocational and business education institutions, to be supplemented by the informal sector.
Of the total student population, the Technical Schools produced approximately 1200 artisans, Technical Institutes 2700 Craftsmen; Polytechnic and Technical Colleges – 490 technicians and Colleges of Commerce – 1500 technicians. The ratio of artisans to craftsmen to technicians of 120; 270:49 was not in line with modern trends of technical manpower development. This required an increased intake at technical school level of more than 11 – fold, which was not possible at that time.
The problems likely to slow down progress towards EFA goals and targets are stated herein. They include:
Although government has made considerable efforts in training teachers for basic education, the number is still far from adequate. The Primary Teachers Colleges (PTCs) also experience inadequacies in staffing. This situation is likely to continue for a long time.
The present formal basic education curriculum, although well endowed with practical innovative concepts and ideas, its implementation is theoretically oriented and both the teachers and pupils target their emphasis to passing examination. Practical work, as envisaged in the curriculum, is not carried out-especially in the urban and peri-urban areas.
A number of primary schools especially those in the North and North-East of the country have no permanent structures and some classes continue to be held in the open. Parents’ contribution has not been forthcoming due to the insecurity in the region. People are poor and their only hope is a daily meal. Local NGOs are sometimes insecure and threatened and their programmes are therefore not fully implemented.
In such a situation, it is very difficult for the pupils to acquire essential skills as the environment in which they study and work is unfavourable.
The absence of the Directorate of Non-Formal and Adult Education as recommended in Government White Paper of Education (171:1992); and the National Council for Adult Education together with its committees (Government White Paper): National Functional Literacy Committee; District Functional Adult Literacy Committee; Sub-County Functional Adult Literacy Committee; Village Functional Literacy Committee; and Class Functional Literacy Committee have affected progress towards EFA goals and targets and will most likely continue to do so. Lack of funds has also affected progress.
A multi-sectoral and integrated approach where all sectors participate in the programme need to be strengthened. Also, private and community based initiative be supported and strengthened i.e.Government agencies community- based organisations and NGOs need to participate in the programmes at all stages: Identification, Planning, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation.
New problems that will likely slow down progress toward EFA goals and targets relate to resource mobilization and management, and monitoring and evaluation of educational progress.
8.6 Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living, made through education channels.
The problems encountered or anticipated relate to: limited resources to produce and carry out these educational programmes (financial constraints); inadequate number of trained professional staff to handle educational programmes in the media establishments; private media are commercial and entertainment oriented; level of illiteracy of the masses in the country (some cannot read, and others cannot grasp messages in foreign languages); poor infrastructure and lack of facilities to reach the remote rural areas.
The level of poverty among the masses (some are too poor to own radios, TVs, buy newspapers which are the basic means of communication in media) will most likely continue to slow down the progress towards EFA goals and targets as well as inadequate facilities and under-staffing (instructors).
9.0 PUBLIC AWARENESS, POLITICAL WILL AND NATIONAL CAPACITIES.
The policies that are in place give evidence of government commitment. There are sectoral programs including National Council for Children (NCC) (Children’s statute), the Health policy which is centered on Primary Health care in health services delivery, the National Population Policy which aims at positively influencing demographic trends including fertility (MCH); the education policy which aims at increasing accessibility, equity, relevance with special focus on universalisation; the Gender policy 1997 which provides direction and guidance to all programs and all stakeholders to consciously streamline gender issues in their respective activities including child related ones, the Poverty Eradication Strategy and Plan of Action , Modernization of Agriculture policy and the National Food and Nutrition Policy. The Nutrition and Early Childhood Development project funded by the World Bank has a strong communication and advocacy component.
Sensitisation workshop on ECD concepts for district officials have been held under multi-sectoral approach. This was done in the four districts being co-ordinated by the National Council for Children.
d) ITEK is offering a Nursery Certificate training program but many of the
participants on the program drop out due to lack of fees.
e) Education Planning Department has established a data bank on ECD.
A few NGOs have given support to early childhood development but on limited scope. However, on the whole NGOs continue to show keen interest in ECD activities.
2000 Goals and Targets.
There is evidence of strong public awareness, support and demand for primary education in Uganda. For example, Communities have founded schools which they ask Government to code (grant aid); the NGOs have built, supported and controlled schools, the religious bodies have a long history of involvement in education provision in this country; their interest continues to grow and consolidate in this regard, numerous private schools have been built, supported and controlled in an effort to increase access to education, and the communities are involved in supporting, participating and demanding education provision for their young.
Evidence of Government Commitment to Achieving the National UPE Goals and Targets
The political will and commitment to UPE is high as evidenced by: the institution of Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) in 1987, the Presidential declaration of UPE, the National Conference on Universal Primary Education (UPE), the consistent increase in Government expenditure on Primary education, and in the EPRC, GWPE, and ESIP.
National capacities for monitoring and evaluation of learning achievement of pupils are in place and function. These include UNEB, NCDC, ITEK, Makerere University, MOES, DEO, DIS. The functions of monitoring and evaluation are undertaken by UNEB, NCDC, ITEK Makerere University MOES, LC V Secretary for Education, Headteachers, teachers, parents and the community.
In addition, Government commitment to achieve National UPE goals and targets is most of all reflected in budgetary allocations towards primary education. As we saw earlier on in table 2, section 5.2.2, public expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public expenditure on education jumped from 49% during financial year 1995/96 to 62% during financial year 1999/2000.
These are witnessed in the: collective demand, support and willingness to provide UPE; provision of other complimentary efforts to increase access; communities are out to help in this respect; community responsiveness e.g. in classrooms construction, teachers motivation; and foreign funding and support has been greatly attracted.
These are witnessed in the stakeholders’ different interpretation of UPE;
unwillingness of some communities to be involved in the provision of UPE e.g. islanders and nomads; widespread rural/urban and regional economic disparities.
9.3 Improvement in Learning Achievement
There is a strong political will for quality education and improved learning achievement of pupils in Uganda. Evidence for this, for example, exists in R27, R28 and R29 of the GWPE mentioned earlier, in the ESIP and its Framework and in the introduction of NAPE and CA programmes under UNEB. This political will is essential in the drive to achieve national EFA goals and targets.
Public awareness, support and demand for quality education and improved learning outcomes are equally strong as manifested in the EPRC and GWPE. The public expressed concern that achievement in learning was based on examinations which were "narrow in scope, predominantly academic, selective and eliminative" (GWPE P162). They called for an assessment system that measures a whole range of abilities (GWPE and EPRC). It is with this in mind that NAPE was established and CA introduced for its formative functions. Further the summative examination system was reformed to accommodate knowledge, skills (life, social, productive and problem-solving), values and attitudes. NAPE has also disseminated its reports to the various stakeholders including the community in order to share its findings. This is a step in the right direction.
National capacities for monitoring and evaluation of learning achievement of pupils are in place and function. These include NAPE, NCDC, ITEK, Makerere University, MOES, MOLG, DEO, DIS, Headteachers’, teachers, parents and the community. The districts have been drawn into these activities too as a result of Government decentralisation policy.
9.4 Reduction of the adult illiteracy rates.
The areas covered by Functional Literacy programmes have experienced a big number of participants turning up especially women. e.g. Uganda Community for Child Welfare has conducted literacy classes in Kumi District with 98 centres and each centre has an average of 35 participants. There is public awareness about the need for adult education. Also there is a strong political will towards eradication of literacy as clearly stated in the Government White Paper on Education(1992).
As far as national capacities are concerned, the Government has enough infrastructure which need to be cost-effectively used. For example there are 8,000 primary schools with over 70,000 classrooms.
The policies that are in place give evidence of Government commitment. There are sectoral programs including NCC (Child Right’s statute), MOE (ECE), MOH, Population Secretariat (Child Survival programs) Food and Nutrition Council (NECDP), Poverty Eradication that support ECD.
9.5 Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults.
Many youths have no opportunities for further formal education after the primary cycle, and some are too young to engage in productive labour. The public is becoming increasingly aware and worried about the future prospects of their children. The privatisation process, which has been embraced by all parents, requires that individuals require employable skills in order to be job creators and to compete favourably in the labour market. In the rural areas on-farm and off-farm skills are required for survival.
Government commitment have been manifested in the following documents: Government White Paper on Education and the Education Policy Review Commission (1992); The Ministry of Education and Sports Report of the Curriculum Review Task Force (1993), the Universal Primary Education (UPE, 1997), the Education Strategic Investment Plan ESIP (1998 – 2003), the New Primary School Curriculum (May 1999), and the Vision (2025) which emphasizes measures and strategies to eradicate poverty through provision of basic services, all of which require imparting skills and training. The above documents have intrinsic mandates putting skills and training at the centre of National Development.
These are manifested by: deliberate commitment by government through Policy Guidelines; improved capacity in mobilizing partners in EFA programmes; strong desire by parents, especially in urban/peri-urban areas, to have their children acquire essential skills; increasing number of communities are getting more organised and co-operative in matters relating to EFA; and gender sensitive programmes are promoted by government in the area of essential skills.
These are manifested by: inadequate information flow between Ministries; Districts and Local Authorities ; inadequate transparency and accountability at all levels; and insecurity in some regions of the country;
9.6 Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living made through education channels.
There is public awareness, support and demand for Media Education in Uganda.The media is more publicly quoted today than ever before. Media has a lot of influence in National decision making process e.g. the issue of rationalisation of PTCs and the issue of ranking schools' quality according to examination results, gender issues, health issues, (HIV/AIDS), farming issues, civic affairs and so on. Government has given high priority in the promotion of public awareness in National issues i.e. HIV/AIDS. There is increased desegregation of programmes in public media as can be seen in increased output of rural press, special column and programmes for women, youth, children and persons, with special needs. Due to increasing liberalisation government is losing control of the media output, some of which can be harmful to society e.g. films showing violence. Some of the educational programmes meant for some specific groups do not reach them due to the high costs involved e.g. rural school children, etc. The media bill will soon be enacted by parliament to regulate their operations and activities.
10.0 GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF THE PROGRESS.
The ECE curriculum was designed, developed and produced in 1998 is being implemented. The ECE teachers are being trained at ITEK and other training institutions such as, YWCA.and Montessori school. Learning material are being produced for ECD activities. The enrolment of children to ECD schools has increased and community involvement is satisfactory.
Government has well- intentioned programs for ECD. However, the implementation pace is slow and most programs still lack funds.
Status of ECD as part of the Education Situation since 1990.
There has been government support through sectoral policies, coordination, ECD technical forum (NCC), curriculum development and training of tutors by ITEK.
2000 Goals and Targets.
Generally UPE is on the right track, with consistent steady annual increase in enrolment. There is increasing government commitment to invest in the primary education sub-sector. Capacity building and resource mobilization are some of the activities being undertaken. More classrooms have been built, instructional materials provided and teachers continue to receive adequate teacher education and training. The PTE system and instructional time have been rationalised. The primary curriculum together with the PTE curriculum have undergone reform process and efforts have been undertaken to implement Continuous Assessment (CA) in primary schools and to reduce the high pupil-teacher ratio.
Although the enrollment of the school going age children has dramatically increased, almost tripled since 1997, more seems necessary to be done. i.e. building more classrooms providing more learning materials and reducing pupil teacher ratio (PTR).
10.3 Improvement in learning achievement
The Teacher Development and Management System, TDMS and the Support for Uganda Primary Education Reform, SUPER were a necessary intervention, together with the Institute of Teacher education Kyambogo, ITEK, the National Curriculum Development Centre, NCDC, and School of Education Makerere University for the reform of the primary teacher education (PTE) programs. The PTE Curriculum was reviewed, broadened and modernized between 1994-97 with emphasis being placed on: knowledge, skills (problem-solving and vocational life, social and civic attitude) values (moral and ethical) and attitude.
The curriculum aims to educate the head, the hand and the heart as well as the tongue. Curricular materials such as modules, supplementary materials and audio-visual tapes have been produced for the programme.
The School Practice (SP) System has been reviewed. The Student-Teacher is expected to cover at least 12 weeks of supervised SP during the entire
course. A new comprehensive system of SP assessment and moderation is in place and is being used.
There are two alternative delivery modes: the pre-service mode and the in-service mode. The pre-service mode is a two-year training course offered in full-time residential colleges. The in-service mode is a three-year on-the--job training course offered partly through Distance Education modules and face-to-face session in the vacation. Also, there are two modes of assessment in use. There are comprehensive examinations and continuous assessment. The continuous assessment is a new innovation in the primary teacher education programme.
The assessment system and instructional time have been rationalised. The examination system now seeks for the higher order abilities and skills such as problem solving rather than memorisation. Continuous assessment is emphasized and will contribute to the Primary Living Examinations (PLE). The National Assessment of Progress in Education has been instituted to monitor and assess progress in primary education. NAPE has conducted workshops, and seminars for teachers, Headteachers, SMC, parents and the community.
Some progress has surely been made in certain areas to achieve EFA vision and national objectives for basic education. These areas are: teacher training (for quality and quantity, distance education); curriculum review (basic learning needs); mode of assessment (examinations and CA Systems); provision of learning resources (books, modules, TG, etc) INSET (workshops and seminars): Developing & testing (CRS Cumulative record system); training in CA in PTCs ; training primary teachers’ in CA; and implementing CA in primary schools.
10.4 Reduction of the adult illiterate rates.
The government policy on adult and non-formal education is well spelt out in the Government White Paper. The major problem is lack of co-ordination, lack of funds, poor motivation for instructors, inadequate education materials, and lack of facilities. Many classes are held under trees, therefore during rainy seasons people cannot attend classes. Other barriers are institutional e.g. location of programmes; psychological barriers e.g. attitudes of some people, and situational barriers e.g. many languages spoken, for the way forward, there is need for funds, to train literacy instructors and to provide them with logistics to continue mobilization and sensitization for the non-formal and adult education programs at all levels, to establish the Directorate of Adult and Non-formal education as indicated in the Government White Paper of Education, introducing adult education component in all training institutions; and to initiate formation of adult education committees at all levels e.g. LCs 1 to V to co-ordinate the programmes.
10.5 Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults.
Enrollment in the primary cycle of education has risen by more than 180 percent above the 1990 level. Hence class sizes are large, making practical work, handiwork, crafts and other essential skills hard to supervise. Most schools have inadequate or no gardens at all to cater for the large number of students. Despite these large classes, there has been a positive response from parents in respect of acquiring essential implements such as slashers and hoes necessary in agriculture. However, carpentry tools are too expensive for parents. A number of communities have special days for cleaning their wells, as well as clearing their feeder roads and in these cases require the participation of their children. It is not easy to state with confidence the quality and scope of essential skills attained in respect of regions or districts. The data in this area is scanty. Monitoring and evaluation of existing programmes is weak. Management structures for skills acquisition at the district and local levels are inadequate and weak. It must be streamlined and strengthened as a means of bringing order and credibility to the system. Efforts in curricula reform have been taken, especially with respect to incorporating practical aspects of education and training in the curricula. The challenge, however, remains to realize the objectives of the curricula.
10.6 Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living, and through education channels.
Generally slow but sure progress has been made in this thematic area especially in regards to health education, civic education, human rights education, agricultural extension and education, environmental education, gender education and so on. For example, the rate of HIV/AIDS infection has reduced through incessant use of the mass media.
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