BY PAUL MURUNGI
Primary Teacher Colleges’ Principals have asked the government to go slow on the degree policy contained in the National Teacher Policy.
The principals made the remarks during a workshop organised by the Ministry of Education officials at Kibuli Core PTC yesterday for a brief on the new National Teacher Policy.
According to Joshua Muhindo, the Principal at Mukujju Core PTC in Tororo district, the decision to phase out PTCs by 2021 was rushed yet poor remuneration remains a key issue in the education sector.
“When it comes to PTCs, that is where I personally have an issue starting from 2021. The law of precedence has a lot to do in cultivating interest, and career guidance. How are we are going to call students to enter a PTC at A’ level when their fathers and mothers are not yet earning the graduate and diploma salaries?” he asked.
He says getting students to enter PTCs at A’ level will require a lot of career guidance in the secondary schools because they are the main feeders to PTCs.
“The policy is calling for teachers who are motivated to join teaching, so 2021 might to be too early for the PTCs,” he added.
He suggested that 2023 would be better since government will have started paying teachers by qualification both in primary and secondary. However, he welcomed the idea of NTCs to start offering degrees.
“Even if NTCs started awarding degrees next year, it would be very okay because the entry requirements for a student in an NTC are the same for a person undertaking a degree. Our students have been wasting time to study diplomas for two years and then go for degrees,” he remarked.
Fr. James Nuwagaba, the Principal of Kisoro PTC in Kisoro district questioned issues of funding of the policy saying unless government is involved, paying for the degrees remains expensive.
“This policy is too good for Uganda. The constitution advocates for children to have a right to education but do their parents have a right to money to afford the education? The policy would have been good for us if government was offering all this education but the hindrance is cash.”
The new National Teacher Policy was approved by the cabinet in April this year and its implementation will start in 2021. It aims at improving the quality of teachers at the different levels in Uganda’s education system. It demands that all teachers at different levels of education have degrees.
The degrees are earmarked for four years including one year for practical studies.