The Ministry of Education and Sports has warned head teachers at Universal Secondary Education schools (USE) against blocking students over failure to pay fees.
While officially closing a two day 2020 Senior One and Business, Technical Vocational, Education and Training (BTVET) placement exercise at Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Lugogo on Friday, the Ministry Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza said Government is in consultations with local governments on this matter.
“Government is consulting local governments on what to do with charges in USE schools. But in the meantime, we are saying these children are not supposed to pay and they should be allowed to access education,” said Kakooza.
The PS on the other hand asked parents to play their role, noting that the Ministry acknowledges that children are supposed to make a contribution to school feeding because their parents don’t provide food.”
In a bid to absorb more students who successfully completed P7, Kakooza said Government has continued to grant more community schools and noted that 117 and 115 schools will be constructed this year and next year respectively.
“This year alone we are constructing 117 schools and next year we are going to construct 115 in sub counties without,” he said.
“We are addressing the issue of access and soon we will have more schools to absorb all our learners.”
Kakooza also noted that the Ministry is advertising vacant positions for Head Teachers.
“We are advertising now for positions to fill positions which have come up. Head Teachers, kindly encourage those below you to apply, especially those who you think can make good Head Teachers.”
Meanwhile, on matters professionalism, the Ministry’s top technocrat said the Ministry is handling the matter through new “teacher policy” introduced last year to have all teachers in the country acquire a University degree in the next 10 years.
He said the policy will raise the profile of teaching in this country.
“We are going to have a teacher’s Council that will guide and help our teachers to attain the profile that other professions have. We are also establishing National Teachers Institute and that Institute will help us train the teachers especially providing continuous professional development.”
He added that the Institute will help Government establish early the areas teachers want to specialise in.
As a result, Kakooza highlighted among other areas included in the policy such as leadership, curriculum etc.
“We want teachers to specialise. Pre primary, you will have a degree but you specialize in pre primary teaching.”
Kakooza further said that the Ministry is embarking on a process of registering all teachers to exclude those who have been masquerading as teachers.
He said the act of masquerading endangers learners.
“To promote efficiency and effectiveness of our human resource, the Ministry has also carried out some staff re organisation.”
Recently, Government transfered, teachers, deputy head teachers and Head Teachers as a means of reorganizing human resource in the education sector.