National

Government admits education standards in the country are declining

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By Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Friday, December 13   2013 at  02:00

In Summary

The ministry has since recommended that the UPE capitation grant to schools be increased to at least Shs12,000 per pupil per year.

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Ministry of Education officials yesterday confessed that the education standards in the country are sharply declining at a “worrying rate” and that there are several public schools without science teachers. It also acknowledged that universities are “churning out half-baked graduates.”

The officials told the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that shortage of teachers and lack of facilities was hurting education quality and that the poor funding from the government and a cap on recruitment placed by Ministry of Public Service compounded the situation.

The director of the Education Standards Agency, Mr Huzaifah Mutazindwa, told PAC members that the latest findings of the state of quality of education report in the country are disturbing. He said at Primary level, the quality is poor, fair in secondary schools, and poor in Business Technical Vocational Education and Training is poor.

“As far as the quality of education in the country is concerned, there is no good,” Mr Mutazindwa said. “The situation is bad and we have made recommendations to the ministry.”

The lawmakers also heard that the low performance at PLE and USE was due to teacher and pupil absenteeism, poor pay, limited scholastic materials and infrastructure.
The officials who were in PAC over accountability issues told members that out of 139,000 teachers required at primary level only 129,000 are available, leaving a gap of 10,000 teachers.

At secondary level, out of 48,000 teachers needed only 25,000 are available, leaving a shortfall of 23,000 teachers.

Another ministry official, Dr Daniel Nkaada, also admitted before the committee that there are ghost teachers and that the government had asked the Auditor General to carry out a forensic audit of the Ministry of Education payroll.

On poor funding, Ministry officials told MPs that government spends Shs7,000 per pupil under Universal Primary Education and that efforts to increase the funding have not been successful.

The ministry has since recommended that the UPE capitation grant to schools be increased to at least Shs12,000 per pupil per year.
The lawmakers also said some public universities lack professors and that they are churning out half-baked graduates because lecturers are overwhelmed by large numbers of students.