FIRST LADY MEETS FORMER UK EDUCATION MINISTER AND DFID OFFICIALS
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has held discussions with David Laws former UK Education Minister and current Chair of the Ark Education Partnerships Group who was together with H.E Peter West the British High Commissioner to Uganda and a team from UK’s Department for International Development(DFID).
The discussions held on Tuesday at State House Nakasero revolved around DFID’s core support to the Education sector for 5 years starting from 2016/2017 to 2021/2022, the provisional findings from the field study made by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with Ark Education Partnerships Group in July and August 2017 to review the Public – Private Partnership (PPP) and considerations for expanding Secondary education provision in Uganda, plus the proposed bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and PEAS Non-Government Organization Secondary Schools in Uganda.
Mrs. Janet Museveni welcomed UK’s support to Uganda’s education sector and gave guidance that DFID’s support should prioritize inspection and assessment saying inspection plays a major role in producing the good results everyone desires to see. “Support for inspection and assessment is valued and will take us a long way”, she said.
According to Ed Barnett, DFID’s Human Development Team leader and Education Adviser DFID will provide £46 million over 5 years for the Strengthening Education Systems for Improved Learning (SESIL) programme. The three pillars to focus on include building strong foundations by improving early grade learning outcomes for all in primary schools, enhancing the examination and assessment system through incentivizing teachers to teach what is most important for children to learn and supporting cost effective education expansion by supporting government to work effectively with non-state providers of education.
About Expanding Secondary Education Provision in Uganda, Mrs. Janet Museveni maintained that the way forward is to establish one Government USE school in each Sub county as per the Presidential commitment. She said that having USE schools under the Public Private Partnership programme has proved not to be cost effective and with effect from the beginning of the 2018 School year the Ministry of Education and Sports will not pay out Capitation Grants to USE Schools under the Public-Private Partnership. She recommended that the PPP Schools should become completely Private Schools or be taken over by Government and be expanded to take on all school going children in the vicinity.
The provisional findings from the research to review the USE PPP and options for expanding secondary education provision which were presented by the former UK Education Minister David Laws during the meeting indicate that currently there are 898 USE Government Schools and 792 USE Private Schools under PPP in the country with a total of 952,539 students enrolled under the Universal Secondary Education Programme.
The findings also indicate that there is need to build 385 Secondary schools to cater for the 216 Sub Counties that currently do not have any secondary school plus 169 schools in Sub counties whose schools are over populated.
The UK Officials also briefed the First Lady and her team about how the proposed bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and PEAS Schools would support expanding access to education and increasing quality and equity.
They said UK is ready to support the Ministry of Education if it wants to explore a new approach to partnerships between Government and Non-State providers of education.
The team also included Jacklyn Makaaru and Rita Perakis from Ark Group.