The Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, has been summoned to appear before the Committee of the Whole House to explain why she defied Parliament resolution suspending the implementation of the revised lower secondary school curriculum.
The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, yesterday ordered Ms Museveni, also the First Lady, to appear in person, as she told the Executive that the debate on the new O-Level curriculum was done in the open.
“The issues [concerning the lower secondary curriculum] were not for joking, they were spoken on behalf of the people of Uganda, and they must be answered,” Ms Kadaga said.
“The Minister of Education must come here and answer those questions to the country,” she added.
The summons were channelled through the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, during the plenary.
Speaking on the matter that was raised by Ms Betty Aol, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (Gulu, FDC), the lawmakers condemned Cabinet defiance and demanded that the Speaker holds Ms Museveni in contempt of Parliament as well as have her tried by the House Committee on Rules, Discipline and Privileges.
MPs led by Mr Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga, NRM), Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju (Kira Municipality, FDC), among others, had sought explanation from Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, the Leader of Government Business, on why the House resolution was ignored.
“It is wrong for Parliament to resolve on a serious matter, and then you find civil servants not having the reason to come before Parliament to explain themselves. They choose to turn the public into ridicule; it is up to us, we are either here sitting and keeping positions because we want to be MPs or we take our rightful places and we fight for our country,” Mr Ssekikubo said.
Trouble came after it emerged that Ms Museveni presented the Parliament position to Cabinet last Monday, and the ministers opted to roll out the curriculum in disregard of the House resolution.
The resolution was adopted on February 4 following a public outcry about the ill preparedness of the teachers, and lack of textbooks for more than 4,000 schools and funds.
Ms Museveni and other junior education ministers were not in the House.
However, Dr Rugunda faulted the House for using “explosive language, instead of expressing points” on the matter.
“There is no need to light fire when there is no firewood, when there is no fuel. Please cool down tempers for all those concerned,” he said.
The Premier promised to deliver Ms Museveni to the House. The Minister is expected in the House on Tuesday next week.
Parliament voted to halt the implementation last week after heated proceedings. The House asked the Ministry of Education to suspend the curriculum until government is ready to implement it.
The MPs wondered how the National Curriculum Development Centre could roll out the curriculum without textbooks to aid the teaching and learning with majority of the teachers are not yet trained on the new methodologies.