By Felix Oketcho

First Lady and Ministry for Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni is set to officially launch the long awaited National Vocational, Education and training policy in place.

Opening the 25th Education and Sports Sector Review meeting in Kampala, under the theme: “Striving for Excellence in Education and Sports Service Delivery” Janet Museveni said the department under Policy, Legal and Planning in education ministry has finalized preparation of a draft Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy which aims at streamlining Technical Vocational Education and Training operations in the country.

In addition, Janet Museveni said, that the draft Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy has been finalized and subjected to nation-wide consultations.

“The Ministry is now embarking on approval processes and will ultimately submit the Policy to Cabinet for discussion and expected endorsement. It is also gratifying that a draft National Teacher Policy was approved by the Ministry’s Top Management and only awaits a Certificate of Financial Implication before submission to Cabinet for adoption,” she said.

Similarly, Janet Museveni said draft Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Policy, which aims at incorporating strategies to address economic, social and environmental aspects of development in the general education, was approved by the Ministry’s Top Management for submission to Cabinet.

Highlighting key achievements in previous year, Janet said her ministry has developed a number of frameworks including the Sexuality Education Framework (2017) which aims at guiding and regulating the delivery of appropriate sexuality education at all levels of education.

Recently ministry of education launched Teacher Incentive Framework as well as the Education and Sports Sector Refugee Response Plan for the period 2018-2021 on 14th September, 2018.

This Plan is another important milestone to address the pressing needs of equitable access to education by refugees and our people in the host communities.

Janet Museveni however assured stake holders that her ministry will embark on drafting Education Management Information System (EMIS) Policy; the Instructional Materials Policy; Inclusive Education Policy; as well as, the ICT in Education Policy.

On the part of legal frameworks, Janet said Cabinet Paper on Principles for amendment of The Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trust Act is ready, while Cabinet has already approved Principles for amendments to the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) and Uganda National Examinations Board Acts and will be presented to First Parliamentary Counsel for drafting and should hopefully be presented to Parliament before end of this year.

She however revealed that government is in advanced stages of reforming the Lower Secondary Curriculum saying syllabus content for twenty (20) subjects of the Lower Secondary curriculum was reviewed, reducing the O-level curriculum menu from 40 to 20 subjects.

Challenges and Way Forward

The first lady identifying challenges which the Sector faced in the implementation of planned activities and targets included insufficient resources, inadequate inspection, limited involvement of parents, governance issues, scarcity of data, etc.

“If we truly mean to see a paradigm shift in the education and training that we provide to our nation, then we must look for practical ways to address the shortcomings that we face head-on. We need to renew our commitments so as to improve among others inspection, monitoring and evaluation, putting in place a robust and reliable Education Management Information System (EMIS), improving governance, teacher training and capacity building,” Janet Museveni said.