Focus education on devt, not just grades- Musenero

Minister in charge of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Monica Musenero. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • According to her, education is not for grades.

The Minister in charge of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Monica Musenero, has asked teachers, educationists and policy makers across East Africa to focus their education systems on driving development, and not just shunning out numbers and good grades.

 “We need to define the purpose, why are we educating?  What do we want 20 years from now because those workers who are in kindergarten now are going to join the workforce?” the minister said at the closing ceremony of the Foundations for Learning Conference organized by the Aga Khan University, in Kampala on Friday.  

According to her, education is not for grades.
“It is not for just all those indicators. Education is for national development, social economic transformation of the nation and the region and we need to bring that in view as we plan, as we prepare the teachers,” she said.
Musenero argues that failure to plan has left the system producing graduates with ideas that have been overtaken by time, and thus have minimal impact on the future.

The conference, a brain child of the Aga Khan University ran under the theme empowering educators: Building transformative and inclusive educational ecosystems in East Africa and beyond.
The three-day conference brought together stakeholders in the education sector from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania who deliberated on much needed improvement of teacher educators as an effort to cause a shift in the quality of Education in the region.

Prof Jane Rarieya, the Dean AKU- Institute of Educational Development, said: “as we return to our respective communities, let us carry forward the spirit of collaboration and the passion for lifelong learning. Let us continue to push for inclusion and advocate for equitable education for all,”
Dr Lwabwene Mtahabwa, Commissioner for Education in Tanzania told the gathering that the quality of education is dependent on the welfare of the teachers.

Dr Salome Maina, who represented the Principal Secretary from the Kenyan Education Ministry shared a similar view and remarked “there can never be quality education without quality teachers.”

Ms. Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education applauded the Aga Khan University for organizing the conference that she says has been key in highlighting challenges and opportunities available for the improvement of the sector, and the region.
After the three days deliberations, the stakeholders issued a joint communique highlighting concerns like uneven progress of children in the education system.  

The attendees also resolved to direct efforts to harness the demographic dividend given the youthfulness of the Continent, and across East Africa, and urged stronger multilateral and bilateral partnerships for better funding and support, as well leveraging the unfolding digital ecosystem to meet the learning needs of children and young people.

Governments have also been urged to invest more in teacher education through allocation of adequate resources for high-quality teacher preparation, promote education that meets the needs of diverse learners, including those with disabilities, marginalized communities, and minorities.