New Vision (Kampala)

27 February 2013

Uganda: Uneb's Mandy - Most Teachers Are Short of Skills

Photo: The Monitor
The national examination body has confirmed the cancellation of 2012 Primary Leaving Examination results for 965 candidates (file photo).

Kampala — The chairperson of the Uganda National Examinations Board has said the overwhelming majority of teachers are grossly lacking in the qualities necessary for them to carry out their roles effectively. Fagil Mandy said this explains the high failure rate in most of Uganda's schools.

Less than one teacher out of 100 in Uganda loves their country or looks for new knowledge to improve their quality of teaching, according to Mandy. Less than two read, do research or even understand their learners, he said, during the release of last year's Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) Examination results at Statistics House yesterday.

Mandy said he did research among teachers and discovered shocking revelations that could be contributing to the failure rates in Ugandan schools. He said he used 24 parameters set by a sample of 30,000 teachers stating what a good teacher does to shape an all-round learner. The sample, Mandy said, was drawn from primary and secondary school teachers all over the country.

He said much as the teachers had acknowledged the things that are essential for them to be able to shape a learner, those who reported doing those very things were less than 10 out of every 100 teachers.

Reading, listening to learners and planning lessons, according to the respondents, were done the most, but even then, it was a paltry 330 teachers out of the population sample of 3,840 or 8.59% who said they did them.

These were followed by teachers who said they guided and counselled their students as well as practised God's wish. For each of the two categories, 300 out of 3,840 teachers or 7.8125% said they did them. They were followed by 270 out of 3,840 who said they control their emotions. A total of 240 or only 6.25% said they evaluate their work or even inspire their pupils.

Only 70 teachers (1.822916%) reported that they keep physically fit and healthy, while 60 (1.5625%) said they do research, innovate, understand their learners or correct and edify their learners. Only 40 (1.041666%) said they understand the social, political and economic environment of Uganda.

The research, according to Mandy, also showed that 100 teachers (2.6%) possess multi-skills or take on multi-tasks, while 90 (2.3%) keep time or find other ways of earning reliable income. He stated that 120 teachers (3.1%) adapt to changes, change people or practise honesty and integrity.

It also showed that only 210 (5.4%) of the teachers communicate effectively and only 180 (4.6875%) act as an example to their pupils. Mandy noted that the teachers cannot give to a learner what they do not have for example the quality of being enterprising. He said the situation calls for quick action on the part of teachers and parents.

(Compiled by Anne Mugisa, Conan Businge, Francis Kagolo and Taddeo Bwambale)

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