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Public invited to submit proposals on Uganda's education system

A pupil waiting for transport to return to school

A pupil waiting for transport to return to school

The Education Policy Review Commission has started collecting public views and proposals on the current education system in the country.

The ministry of Education and Sports constituted the commission in May 2021 to inquire into the effectiveness and relevance of the current education policy to the achievement of the education needs of users.

Among the issues, the commission is supposed to inquire into and investigate the implementation of the recommendation in the Government White Paper on Education of 1992. The commission will also investigate and inquire into the issues of policy, planning, funding, access, implementation, and legislation across the education and sports sub-sector.

The commission has now invited the public to submit written views and proposals on the required policy and legal reforms in the education and sports sector. The process of gathering the written views from the public will last for one month ending on February 28, 2022.   

Brighton Barugahare, the secretary and commissioner in charge of policy analysis and research says other forms of public participation such as debates, seminars, and workshops will kick off in March 2022.  

"The process is we have extended an invitation to the public requesting them to give us their views in a written form. So the four weeks we're starting today, are the weeks when everybody can consult and put in their views. Then in March, we will be conducting public hearings, we will move across the country, we will invite people who have any idea about how to improve education or how we can do things differently to come and interact with us. They may ask us, they may give us proposals, they may also seek clarification through that engagement. But now we can receive views in form of a written soft copy. You can send an email," says Barugahare.

The commission through its engagements with the public is also expected to assess the relevance and effectiveness of specific policies, programs, and projects designed to implement the recommendation of the 1992 Government White Paper on Education along with the education and sports value chain.

Among these will be looking into the pre-primary, primary, secondary, tertiary, university levels of education the rollout of curriculum development programs, assessments, examinations, and placement of learners in respective educational institutions.

Barugahare says the commission has already submitted preliminary findings from its first survey. He notes that although education is a collective responsibility, some people think that the government should be providing everything to the learners.   

He also says the report recommends the review of the foundation bodies that were left by the missionaries. According to Barugahare, the foundation bodies are playing a big role in the education of the sector but since inception, the principles of their operations remain undiscussed, which needs attention.

Dennis Mugimba, the spokesperson ministry of Education says the preliminary report by the commission recommends an interrogation into the reasons as to why some recommendations from the pre-independence governments up to date are not implemented.

He explains that despite the cabinet approving these recommendations for the education improvement they have been recurring hence to avoid repeating the same mistake the commission will have to investigate why these recommendations are not being implemented.

According to Barugahare, the commission after collecting the views will be writing a report containing its findings, conclusions, and policy recommendations. The process is expected to end by December 2022 although the initial plan was to be complete by May.  

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