MBARARA - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has directed the ministry of education and sports to strengthen its inspection role to improve the quality of education.
He said that it is only through strict inspection and regular supervision that one can know whether teachers are teaching and students attending class through roll calling.
Museveni made these remarks while officiating at cerebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Mbarara Municipal School at Boma grounds in Mbarara municipality.
He said: “When the head of the family walks as if he is lame, the children will copy him. Therefore when you have a dedicated headmaster, the teachers will also be dedicated at their work.
“The one who sets the trap while hunting should check on it regularly for any catch. That is why the issue of supervision in schools is very important.”
The president had initially commissioned a new classroom block at the school worth sh754m before commending the school leadership for the good nurturing of children and for giving them a very comprehensive educational program and curriculum that covers formal academics, vocational and religious education that covers their moral needs.
He urged the relevant government organs to strengthen supervision of government programs, noting that lack of supervision had affected service delivery by the government.
“The key to better education is supervision and I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Kananura, the headmaster of the school, and the bishop and the entire diocese who take keen interest in supervising the school, leading to its excellence” he said.
The education ministry requires four types of inspections to be carried in every school. They include;
- Full inspection – once a year
- Short or routine inspection – once a term
- Flying visits – adhoc, and
- Follow-up inspection – within 18 months from when an inspection is done.
According to a value for money audit report on the inspection of primary schools by the Office of the Auditor General, it was noted that schools were not regularly inspected.
President Museveni after receiving a spear from Mbarara woman MP, Hanifa Karadi (C) and one of the Old Girls of Mbarara Municipal Primary school during the Sunday event. PHOTO/Abudlkarim Ssengendo
The report attributed this absence of inspection to low staffing levels of inspectors, inadequate supervision and monitoring of inspectors and inadequate provision of logistics to carry out inspections.
This, according to the report, resulted into laxity in attendance by both teachers and pupils, thus high absenteeism among the teachers and pupils, conflicts in schools, teachers‟ underperformance and low syllabus coverage, leading to poor performance in schools.
President Museveni lauded the leadership of the 50-year-old school for exhibiting the highest level of excellence in the running of the church-founded government-owned school, making it one of the best primary schools in the country.
He said the school’s success has demystified the myth that the UPE program is a failure.
In routine fashion, the president borrowed from his wealth of proverbs, and said: “A cow with a sick swollen cheek and can’t eat will not stop other cows from eating. Let those who cannot afford expensive fees continue with UPE. The rich people can take their children to other schools.”
He underlined that where the universal primary and secondary education has failed, the problem has largely been administrative.
At the function, Museveni announced that in recognition of the exceptional educational example set by Mbarara Municipal School, government will construct and equip a technical workshop and avail the school with professional instructors to strengthen its vocational training.
He also contributed sh100m towards the fundraising drive geared at the completion of the vocational centre for the school that was built in memory of the school's half-a-century’s existence.
Education minister Jessica Alupo said that the school’s performance had energized her ministry’s recognition of the UPE program as the main mass program that needs support of all Ugandans.
She commended the Church of Uganda – who are the founders of the school – for supporting the education sector, and said that the government does not take it for granted.
The Bishop of the Mbarara Diocese, Sheldon Mwesigwa, said the school has been the best performing UPE school in the country for the last nine years and attributed most of the success at the school to the deep Christian values on which the school was founded.
He used the occasion to reiterate his support and that of the church to the recently enacted anti-gay bill and said that all religious institutions are working in unison in support of this law.