Uganda: Government to Get Another Round of Shs550b World Bank Support

12 December 2019

Government is in line to win another round of up to $150m (about Shs550b) to support the Uganda Teacher and School Effectiveness Project (UTSEP) funded by Global Partnership for Education (GPE) through the World Bank.

This follows the successful execution of the previous $100m (about Shs370b) project that started on May 24, 2015, and is expected to end in March 2020.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr Alex Kakooza, on Tuesday said: "We qualified for the new round (of funding) and are going through the application process because the funders liked the way we performed, we are in line to receive between $125m and $150m," he said.

The project centres on improving education service delivery at the classroom level so as to realise meaningful gains in overall pupil performance in primary education.

In Busoga Sub-region, primary schools from Bugiri, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge, Namayingo and Namutumba districts received textbooks, hearing devices, early grade reading and community childcare programme from the previous project worth Shs370b.

This was after an assessment established that 962 schools in more than 105 districts did not meet the government minimum standards for a primary school.

In other words, they lacked three permanent classrooms complete with furniture and lockers, five five-stance pit-latrine, a two-stance pit-latrine for teachers and rainwater harvesting facility.

Following the intervention, two classroom blocks were constructed at Kibenge Memorial, a government-aided primary school in Namboote Village, Nsinze Sub-county in Namutumba District, while three were constructed at Buwanga Primary School in Buwanga Village, Bugobi Town Council in Namutumba District, among other schools.

The headmaster of Kibenge Memorial Primary School, in an earlier interview, said his school - which has been in existence since 2008 - was grappling with lack of classroom blocks with most of the children studying under tree shades.

"Each time they studied under trees, they would be distracted by noise from the birds and environment. Remember, disseminating information under a tree is more distorted than when one is in the classroom," he said.

Mr Godfrey Bwaita, an education officer in Namutumba District, said UTSEP has benefitted both schools.

"Each school had two old classroom blocks and the rest of the pupils were sitting under tree sheds. However, the children are now learning in an environment that has the three dimensional aspects of classrooms with a good floor, good roof and good wall," Mr Bwaita said.

He added: "There is also improved learning even during rainy seasons, unlike before where classes had to be stopped and all pupils crammed into the old blocks when it rained. Also, over the past two years, the enrollment at both schools has doubled."

By the time the project ends in March 2020, 929 classrooms, 144 administration blocks, 290 five-stance pit-latrines, 154 two-stance latrines for teachers and nine teachers' houses would have been constructed.

Background

An assessment on teachers by the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) in 2011 showed that about half of them did not meet the expected standard in oral vocabulary, while three quarters did not have the expected competency in numeracy.

To curb this situation, Government, through the Ministry of Education and Sports, initiated the UTSEP to support the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan, by improving teacher and school effectiveness in the public primary education system in the country.

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