18 April 2019

Uganda: Janet Orders Closure of Teacher Schools With Less Than 100 Students

All Teacher Training Institutions (TTIs) with an enrollment of less than 100 students will not be allowed to operate, the minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni, has said.

Considering that fees may be the only source of funding for these institutions, Museveni said this automatically indicates that standards are being compromised.

"I have been informed that most private institutions are operating with less than 50 students in the last two years," Museveni said.

"I think we should all be on the lookout for these institutions which really don't qualify even by just looking at them because they do a bad job for children. They produce half-baked professionals and that is not what we are looking for in teachers."

She added: "Those operating illegally register their students to sit examinations in other accredited institutions. This practice must stop."

The minister made the remarks yesterday during the release of the 2018 Grade III Teacher's Certificate in Primary Teacher Education (PTE) examination results at the Office of the President Conference hall in Kampala. Museveni said teachers must be taught where the environment models them to be caring role models and therefore the training environment must not be compromised.

"Teaching is a noble profession because it deals with moulding of our children to be all that God has created them to be. The teachers that you produce through those institutions define our education quality and therefore you should be conscious of what you do and how you manage the institutions," she said.

The commissioner Teacher Instructor Education and Training (TIET), Dr Jane Egau, said some private institutions are also fond of submitting fake documents.

"During registration, they give us clean files. When you go ahead to do monitoring, you see a completely different thing. There institutions operating with the first license and have never renewed them yet after two years, you are supposed to register," Egau said.

She added: "When you look at it economically, it doesn't add up if proprietors heavily depend on fees to run the institution. You need to pay tutors, buy instructional materials, construct classrooms, and feed students, among others. How will you achieve this with less than 100 students?"

CANDIDATES PERFORMANCE

A total of 11,164 candidates registered to sit the examinations from 58 centres. Of the 58 centres, 46 are government-owned PTCs and 12 private. This is the first cohort of candidates to sit examinations after the review of admission entry requirements.

Statistics indicate that the new standards affected enrollment but posted improved grades. Some 15,944 candidates registered in 2017, 2016 had 16,273, 2015 (10,612), and 11,810 in 2014. In a bid to improve the quality of teachers, the education ministry in 2017 reviewed the system from passes in English and Mathematics to a credit in both subjects and two science subjects from at least Agriculture, Biology and Physics or Chemistry obtained at the same sitting of O-level examinations.

While presenting the results, Kyambogo University academic registrar Dr Annie Begumisa noted an improvement in the overall performance with a pass rate of 65.42 per cent compared to 61.93 per cent in 2017. This, she said, was mainly due to an improvement in English language and Mathematics - previously worst performed - after revision of entry requirements.

"All the subjects were done well with an overall percentage pass of over 85 per cent with the exception of Mathematics passed at 72.27 per cent compared to the previous years," Begumisa said.

Out of the 11,164 candidates that sat the examinations, 16 passed with distinctions, 7,025 had credits and 263 with passes. At least 3,316 (29.70 per cent) failed but have an opportunity to repeat the examinations while 544 (4.87 per cent) were ungraded.

In 2017, more candidates failed at 5,905 and 5,628 in 2016. Out of the 7,304 candidates who passed last year, 3,395 (45.1 per cent) were male and 4,025 (54.9 per cent) female. She also noted an improvement in performance of the PTE curriculum management and continuous perfection in its implementation by stakeholders.

Kyambogo University vice chancellor Prof Eli Katunguka-Rwakishaya commended government for the enormous support rendered to the university for reviewing and implementation of the curriculum for Primary Teacher Education programme.

"Grade III teachers lay the foundation for the education system in Uganda. In line with this, we have put emphasis on training of specialised and competent teachers to teach either at lower or upper primary as well as changed the mode of assessment of students to include the continuous assessment component," Katunguka said.

BEST STUDENTS & COLLEGES

In the 2018 examinations, Wilson Kasimagwa from Shimoni PTC in Wakiso emerged the best student after obtaining aggregate 16 out of the possible nine aggregates in subjects with an 'A' in school practice. He was followed by Fred Kachope of Canon Apollo PTC in Kabarole with aggregate 16 and a 'B' in school practice.

Meanwhile, Eva Nandege from Kabukunge PTC in Masaka was also recognised as the overall best female candidate. She got Aggregate 17 and an 'A' in school practice. The best performing colleges in ascending order were Rukungiri PTC, Canon Apollo PTC (Kabarole), Mukuje Core PTC (Tororo), Bushenyi Core PTC and Bulera Core PTC in Hoima. Each college attained an overall pass of over 85 per cent.

The worst performing colleges with an overall pass rate below 35 are; Magherita PTC (Kitgum), Kampala University PTC (Masaka), Buloba PTC (Wakiso), and Walugogo PTC in Iganga.

Begumisa said that the worst performing privately-owned are continually challenged in as far as staffing, resources, and management therein is concerned. Principals of PTCs across the country started collecting their results at the university yesterday.

nangonzi@observer.ug

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