Monday, 17 October 2016

ToroDev’s UPE schools Baseline survey from Kyenjojo district reveals gaps in education sector

 ToroDev in her pursue to improve the education standards in Rwenzori sub region is planning to train newly elected school management committees in the four (4) districts of Rwenzori sub region that include Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa & Ntoroko with first priority put on worst performing sub counties most of them from hard to reach areas. School management committee is a body that is in place under the second schedule of the Education Act 2008 section 58, 59 which spells out that every school whether government or private shall be governed by the School management committee. This body is approved by the District Education Officer in consultation with district councils standing committee responsible for education on behalf of the district council.

ToroDev's M&E officer Amanya Shiela with a class teacher at Rwensambya primary school

The school management committee is made up of twelve members, six members including the chairperson are nominated by the foundation body and two of them must be women. There is one local government representative who is nominated by the district standing committee in charge of education, a representative of the local council executive committee & a representative of parents of the school supposed to be elected through the assembly of old boys /girls or by the association of former students.
It is mandatory that every School Management Committee should meet at least once a term & this committee is mandated to manage the school.

ToroDev team, area inspector of schools Kyenjojo and some teachers during the field visit
In the next five years ToroDev will be focusing mainly in three core sectors; Education, Health and Economic development. As a way of working closely with the education departments in the 4 sampled districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa and Ntoroko, ToroDev has had several engagements and consultations with the education team including DEO’s, inspectors of schools, secretaries of education at the district council in these districts to discuss challenges affecting the education sector in their districts and the main challenge identified was to train school management committees so that they are equipped to do their governance roles & deal with some of the challenges affecting their schools since many new members had been brought on board as members of these committees.

ToroDev team together with the area inspector of schools have gone ahead to conduct a baseline study on the current state of the schools in Bufunjo & Nyankwanzi sub counties in Kyenjojo district. The sampled schools where the training will be done are twenty five (25) and the baseline survey was done in 10 schools. The issues collected will represent the situation in all the 25 schools. The survey findings indicate that; school management committees are not doing their roles, pupils dropping out of schools, issues of enrolment, retention & completion, PTA is not supporting the schools, infrastructure in form of class rooms, libraries& latrines are still a big challenge, congestion of pupils in class & desks i.e. pupil desk ratio was at 1:6 in some schools conflicting with 1:3 minimum standards of education under the ministry of education in Uganda. Some teachers refuse to report where they have been posted due to lack of accommodation in these schools and long distances from a near by trading centre to the school combined with the nature of transport & roads in the area, lack of lunch for pupils making them go hungry the whole day hence affecting their learning, lack of safe & clean water, interalia. 
state of some classrooms from the visited schools

 The training is aimed at providing capacity building and training of 600 School Management Committees, so as to help them become collaborative, support systems for improving learning amongst students. The training sessions will be organized to transfer knowledge to SMC members in matters of UPE policy, using ICT to advocate, inspections, capitation grant procedures, etc.
The orientation & training will also involve a discussion and action points on ways of retaining the female learners in UPE schools and reducing the annual drop-out by at least 20%.  The facilitators will further look at orientating & training of focal senior women both at SMCs and School staff levels.

The training will aim at strengthening 144 SMCs from the 12 sampled poor performing schools in the four districts and providing them with knowledge on their roles and responsibilities as managers of schools. The training will further equip all head teachers with customer care techniques on how to work with School Management Committees in schools and also explain  in  details  the  mandate  of  School  Management  Committees  in schools and what is expected of them. Training will be facilitated by the team from the District education department who are more knowledgeable and experienced in education matters and is scheduled for the last week of October 22016.

We are much humbled by the financial & technical support from SIDA, NED, SPIDER, CIPESA, ICT4DEM & all other development partners as we aim to offer a hand to improve the education standards in our country.

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