Last Updated on: 20th September 2023, 02:13 pm
Kampala | Close to 5,000 teachers are due to retire in a few years, a validation report by the Education Service Commission (ESC) has revealed.
To the UPC party, “this ordinarily is supposed to be a routine exercise that both the school authorities and Ministry of Education and Sports should have been aware of and prepare accordingly.”
With an education system that strategically relies heavily on senior teachers to nurture and shape young educationists, UPC adds it demands that the transition has to be carefully planned.
“Each senior position in school automatically needs a senior teacher to administer,” says Arach Oyat Sharon, the party spokesperson.
Arach, addressing a media conference on Wednesday, says UPC is fully aware of the challenges that our schools are facing.
“During the Covid-19 lockdowns, a number of teachers dropped from the teaching profession and tried other trades. Coming back to the profession has not been automatic as the part-time jobs proved more rewarding to them thus creating a vacuum.
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“Additionally, the unfair and selective implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by the government that witnessed only science teachers benefiting with nothing to their counterparts, the arts teachers, demoralized them as well as scaring the young ones from joining the profession.
“This poses a great challenge of what is going to become of our education system coupled with the existing teacher–student ratio and textbook–student ratio issues,” she points out.
Both teachers, pupils and students are directly responsible for working towards good performance, others just come in to play a supplementary role.
“So, it is imperative that the welfare of the teachers and learners is catered for very well.
“It is high time the government through her line Ministry of Education and Sports made the teaching profession more attractive with better pay and good conditions of service.
“There is a school of thought that there is no country that can develop better than her education system. All the way from pre-primary, primary, secondary school, college/vocation training and university have a direct bearing on the country’s development.
“When our education system lacks innovation and practical skills, our graduates lack a competing edge in a globalized market.”
On record and missed chances
UPC says they are on record demanding quality education across the country and to achieve this, Arach, on behalf of the party says, “We need to assess the necessary requirements of our schools, colleges and universities and provide them at the right time.”
“The culture of responding to the crisis should stop and instead invest in proper planning and effective implementation of the strategies.
“Going back to the school of thought that no country can develop better than her education system, Uganda is now faced with the challenge of having our food products rejected by our trade partners like Kenya and South Sudan.
“In the same vein, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has denied Uganda an opportunity to host international football matches due to the poor quality and /or standards of the football ground!
“It is the education system that is responsible for the falling standards, and it is equally the same education system that is to lift Uganda.
“This calls for early proper planning, goodwill and effective implementation of the plans or policies,” she concludes.