school child class

 A research fellow from the Economic Policy Research Centre, Madina Guloba has blamed parents for the poor education sector management and accountability.

While presenting the 2011 Impact evaluation report titled “Management and Motivation in Uganda Primary Schools,” Madina faulted parents for failing to maintain strong School Management Committees (SMCs) which would ensure bottom to top accuntability in UPE schools.

This was during a research symposium on “Building Peace Through Education-enhancing governance and management of the sector,” held at the Golf Course Hotel Kampala on August 24, 2015. The symposium was organized by Unicef in collaboration with Ministry of Education Sports, Science and Technology, International Growth Centre, Learning for Peace and Gulu University in support of the 22nd annual education sector review.

Madina also asked politicians to stop meddling in education programs since this makes parents irresponsible. She noted that several politicians from the ruling party use UPE as a mouthpiece for garnering votes from locals emphasizing governments contribution towards free universal primary education and negating the parents roles and obligations.

The study which was conducted in 100 schools across the Districts of Apac, Hoima, Iganga and Kiboga showed that most children in upper primary didn’t meet required proficiency and numeracy in Maths and English. It also indicated that School Management Committees (SMCs) were performing below average.

Madina advised stakeholders in the education sector to avoid focusing on inputs and outputs but also measure and strive to improve the education production process which encompasses the revitalization of SMCs.
Likewise, George Bogere a researcher at Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) blamed the remedial classes in some schools and the automatic promotion under UPE saying it burdens students and kills the parents’ responsibility in participating in the education of their children.

He also cited persistent underfunding of monitoring, adding that District Inspectors and Education Officers in all districts visited pointed out inadequate funds for monitoring and inspection. He explained that, “At the current work load of 22,600 schools, it would take six years for each to be visited once assuming one school is visited per day.” Bogere also advised educationists to focus on students’ proficiency and not necessarily passing or failing of exams.

Participating under the session on Education Financing, Mildred Barungi another EPRC Research Fellow presented her assessment of the performance of Private-Public Partnership in delivering social services under the Universal Secondary Education (USE) Programme in Uganda.

According to Mildred the programme is driven by limited public secondary school infrastructure which denies some eligible children access to secondary schooling. Her findings indicate that the public private partnership is not efficient since it covers 34 percent of schools with huge numbers of students leading to overcrowding in classes. However, the programme has positively led to creation of employment for teachers, ease of registration with UNEB and reduced burden of school fees. 35 percent of teachers interviewed believed that the system will sustain increased O’ Level completion rates in the long run.

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