What you need to know:
- In a side interview, the NCDC executive director, Ms Grace Baguma, said they are waiting for the Solicitor General to sign the contracts before they start printing the learning materials.
The Ministry of Education has not been able to print textbooks for the post-Covid-19 abridged curriculum which schools are supposed to be using to teach their learners, seven weeks to the end of term one.
Officials at the National Curriculum Development Authority (NCDC) said the Ministry of Finance has not yet released the Shs5b needed to print the required copies for schools across the country.
Addressing journalists in Kampala at the Uganda Media Centre yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Ms Ketty Lamaro, said they are at the final stages of the procurement process to have the books printed.
“We are at the final stages of the procurement process of the abridged curriculum. Within a few weeks, the textbooks will be ready for distribution,” Ms Lamaro said.
In a side interview, the NCDC executive director, Ms Grace Baguma, said they are waiting for the Solicitor General to sign the contracts before they start printing the learning materials.
She said once the Finance ministry releases the required money, they are slated to print two copies per subject for all the 36,000 primary schools and 6,000 secondary schools across the country.
This means they have to print about 2.4 million copies for the 42,000 government and private schools across the country.
Schools reopened on January 10 and are supposed to break off in April when the first term ends.
Finance ministry speaks out
The Finance ministry spokesperson, Mr Jim Muganga, yesterday said if the NCDC already made the request early, then they will get the money from what they [Finance] have already released to the Education ministry which budgets for them.
He, however, said if the request came in late, then they have to wait for the next release in the next quota.
Prior to reopening of schools in January, the Ministry of Education approved an abridged curriculum that is going to be used by Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb) to set the 2022 examinations.
These are supposed to be used by all schools to teach learners except those in Primary One, Senior One and Senior Five since they just started their new cycle of education.
However, some schools, especially those in rural areas, have continued to teach their learners using the old curriculum because they have failed to access the new curriculum online.
The chairperson of National Private Education Institutions Association (NPEIA), Mr Hasadu Kirabira, said the government should prioritise education and ensure these copies are printed and distributed to schools before it is too late.
The chairperson of National Private Teachers Association, Mr Paul Etiang, said it is still not too late for the government to print these copies and send them to schools.