The College of Education and External Studies (CEES) today 10th November 2021 launched the teacher education project, a project intended to support the implementation of the National Teacher Policy. The project, is a collaboration between Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education and University of Bergen.
The project, Capacity Building for Research-Based Teacher Education (CABUTE), will offer 16 masters scholarships, 8 PhD scholarships, 4 post-doctoral fellowships for researchers in the field of teacher education. The project will also put in place infrastructure for training of music education teachers, mathematics education, English Language and the foundations of education.
The Principal Investigator and Deputy Principal of CEES, Assoc. Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, said each of the partner institutions will also benefit from infrastructure development.
The college Principal, Prof. Fred Masagazi Masaazi, expressed the university’s willingness to support the implementation of the National Teacher policy and ensure that the country gets quality teacher and teacher educators.
He thanked the Vice Chancellor and the university management for the continued support towards research.
Speaking at the launch of the project, the Minister of State for Higher Education, Hon. J.C Muyingo, challenged the researchers to find solutions to the issues affecting the education sector.
He said a comprehensive study supported by UNESCO on teacher issues in Uganda in 2014 had identified a number of teacher issues affecting the quality of education in Uganda, saying, a conference of this kind can go a long way in creating an opportunity for presenting and ably discussing evidence-based solutions to some of the challenges the education sector in the region is facing.
The National Teacher Policy has proposed several key policy shifts as listed:
The minimum entry qualification to teacher training is Senior Six or its equivalent. The implication is that there will be no more admission of S.4 leavers to Teacher Training Courses. Implementation starts in 2021.
Pre-entry assessment of prospective teachers will be undertaken by Teacher Training Institutions to assess their attitudes and commitment to teacher training and to the profession.
Minimum qualification for teaching at all levels of education (pre-primary, primary, secondary, tertiary) is a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. This means that all current teachers and teacher educators need to upgrade within a period of 10 years of transition provided for in the policy, and also all curricular have to be upgraded.
All teachers will be adequately equipped with 21st century skills such as effective communication, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, collaboration and digital literacy skills, among others.
The Bachelor’s Degree shall last four years. Three years at the teacher training colleges, and the 4th year shall be dedicated to internship.
All teachers who meet the requirements of the profession will be enrolled on the Roll of Teachers to practice by the National Teacher Council.
Continuous professional development is to become compulsory.
All heads of education institutions shall undertake compulsory training in educational leadership and management.
The policy provides for specialization in three career pathways, namely: Teaching, management, and specialist (curriculum, inspection, etc.) after the basic training as a graduate teacher.
Teacher remuneration and incentives will be progressively addressed to ensure teachers are motivated, their professional image boosted, their working environment improved, and they have clear career prospects.
To this end, the CABUTE project will facilitate the implementation of the National Teacher Policy by strengthen the quality of post graduate training at Masters and PhD levels, increase the competence and capacity of higher education faculty and teacher educators, improve institutional small-scale infrastructure and equipment and improve gender equality and inclusion of marginalized groups in teacher education and research, among others.
The Principal Investigator of CABUTE in Norway, Prof. Steiner Saetre, said the project will focus on four subjects; English language, Mathematics, Music and General Education. “We will invest in infrastructure development, inform of digital tools for distance learning,” he said. He said CABUTE will support staff from Norway and Uganda to collaborate on research projects and co-write with each other. He is hopeful that the research to be undertaken will address the challenges that the education sector is facing.