The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has issued fresh summons to the Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni, to appear before Parliament after she did not show up yesterday as required under the previous summons.
Ms Museveni had been expected to explain why her ministry defied a parliamentary resolution suspending implementation of the new curriculum for lower secondary education.
In an apology presented by Ms Rosemary Seninde, the junior minister for Primary Education, the ministry instead said they were ill-prepared and requested to be given up to tomorrow to present a statement on the matter.
“I request this August House to bear with us that on Thursday [tomorrow] we be on the Order Paper and we shall be in position to respond. We shall also be in position to give the members details of the responses to concerns they raised on February 2, 2020,” Ms Seninde said.
She said the ill-preparedness was caused by late receipt of the Speaker’s instructions, which were delivered to the ministry on Friday.
Ms Kadaga granted the ministry’s request but said tomorrow would be the last time Parliament was summoning Ms Museveni.
She added that the answers must be produced or else Parliament will apply its powers.
“The Ministry of Education must answer those questions this week and Thursday is the last day and if you don’t, we take you where you know,” Ms Kadaga said.
However, Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju (Kira Municipality, FDC) and Mr Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality, DP) accused the Education minister of taking Parliament for granted.
Mr Ssemujju accused Ms Seninde of attempting to seek refuge in the letter issued by the Clerk to Parliament yet she attended the sittings when Parliament made the resolution and when the Speaker issued the summons.
“The minister was here when the resolution was made and now she is referring to a letter of the Clerk; in any case, you are supposed to be here under our Rules of Procedure; attending Parliament is not optional,” Mr Ssemujju said.
Mr Maurice Kibalya (Bugabula South, NRM) asked what would be done since schools have already opened for the first term.
“We are accountable, the parents are asking questions and we have no answers. The minister, who is on the floor, was here last week and they are here postponing and we have no explanation,” Mr Kibalya said.
Among the queries by MPs is the fate of teachers whose subjects have been phased out in the new curriculum.