GPE LAUDS UGANDA’S TEACHER AND SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS PROJECT
A Global Partnership for Education (GPE) mission carried out from 20th March to 22nd March 2018 in Uganda has applauded the commendable progress so far made by the Uganda Teacher and School Effectiveness Project (UTSEP) funded by the Global Partnership for Education Phase 1 as support towards implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP).
The purpose of the mission from the GPE Secretariat in Washington DC USA was to follow up on the implementation of the ongoing GPE Grant and to brief and guide the Ministry of Education and Sports on the roadmap for applying for the second phase of the Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (ESPIG) worth US $100 Million which Uganda now qualifies to be given.
The GPE Mission led by Mr. Fazle Rabban, Senior Education Specialist and Country Lead for Uganda paid a courtesy call on the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni at State House Nakasero on Thursday to brief her about their findings. The meeting was also attended by Dahal Nebendra from UNICEF, senior officials from the Education Ministry led by the Under-Secretary Finance and Administration Aggrey Kibenge and representatives from the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development.
Mrs. Janet Museveni expressed happiness that the project she found uncoordinated and whose funding was almost stopped by GPE just as she joined the Ministry of Education, is now on course and receiving commendation from the Global Partnership for Education. “This is a promising future. I am happy to see how far we have come and to hear that the GPE Mission has acknowledged and commended the progress made”, she said.
She thanked the GPE Secretariat for being patient and holding hands with Uganda’s Education sector which has enabled it to overcome the challenges faced in implementing the project.
In his report Fazle Rabban said the Mission was impressed with the progress of the implementation of the GPE 1 and with such results the Education Sector was on course to meet the targets by June 2019 when the first phase of the GPE Grant closes. This is in spite of the challenges encountered in the first two years (2014 – 2015) of the project implementation which called for the Project restructuring. He said the overall rating of the project was satisfactory.
The mission commended the Ministry of Education and Sports for maintaining progress in implementing key project activities and noted that the project had picked up pace in a number of areas, for example teacher training, inspections, Early Grade Reading (EGRA), school construction and implementing crucial safeguard requirements.
Aggrey Kibenge the Education and Sports Ministry Under Secretary pointed out that there are still notable delays in the procurement process which lead to delayed construction of the school facilities.
He emphasized the need for the Ministry to work fast and start on the preparations for the second phase of the GPE Grant so as not lose any time between the first phase ending in June 2019 and the second one commencing in 2020.
The UTSEP/GPE project aims at improving teacher quality and performance through the provision of textbooks and materials for pupils from P1 to P7 somas to enhance early grade numeracy and literacy. It also aims at improving the school learning environment through the construction of school infrastructure and improve teacher performance through the training of headteachers in school management and leadership so as to enhance accountability on school results and performance. The project also focuses on provision of Early Childhood Development.
A number of interventions have been implemented under the project including Lower Class reading, Community Child Care Program, reviewing the Early Child Care Education Policy (originally ECD Policy) and establishment of an Integrated Inspection System. However, there is need for the Ministry to plan on how these interventions will be sustained after the project closure in order not to lose the huge amount already invested.