Aga Khan, Muni varsities partner to retool teachers

 Mr Raymond Ombere, Arua City education officer, speaks at the launch of a new diploma programme for primary school heads in Muni University, Arua, at the weekend. PHOTO/CLEMENT ALUMA

What you need to know:

The programme targets primary school heads in West Nile Sub-region.

The Aga Khan and Muni universities have launched a retooling programme for primary school head teachers and their deputies.

The Diploma in Education Leadership and Management programme will see Muni University in Arua training the head teachers, while Aga Khan University will provide the scholarship.

Launching the programme at Muni University at the weekend in Arua City, Associate Prof Fr Epiphany Picho, said the training will improve the leadership skills of the head teachers in the West Nile Sub-region.

“This is a befitting programme for our headteachers because it has been developed arising from a needs assessment from the field. It’s a product of research, not guesswork,” Fr Picho, the deputy vice chancellor of Muni University, said.

He said the National Council for Higher Education has approved the programme.

At least 35 head teachers across the sub-region will be trained in the first cohort.

Ms Sally Adania, the headteacher of Niva Primary School in Arua City, and one of the students, said the programme will guide her on effective teaching and learning.

“In many of our schools, we look at examinations as a basis for the learners to pass, forgetting what we give out to learners at times hasn’t been taught before. This programme has come to enrich us, before we assess learners, we need to have thorough teaching,” she said.

Dr Jane Rarieya, the dean of the Institute for Education Educational Development, East Africa at Aga Khan University, said a year ago, they commenced a similar programme in Tanzania and Kenya, and it has been helpful to the schools.

“Whilst many leadership programmes focus on developing leaders’ administrative skills, this diploma programme aims to develop school heads as leaders of learning,” she said.

The Arua City Education Officer, Mr Raymond Ombere, said the training will also address the country values, which are cherished but diminishing at the moment.

 “One of the sad realities….is that many of our educational leaders don’t know that the functions for which our schools exist. This is why in some schools, the head teachers focus more on doing exams. Some give from 15 to 20 exams to one class and you wonder when these children learn what you are examining,” Mr Ombere said.

He said the course will benefited primary school heads and their deputies.