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FROM THE EDITOR: Institute a formal exchange programme for teachers in East Africa

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th October 2010 03:00 AM

LAST week the Rwandan government placed an advertisement in various Ugandan newspapers inviting applications from teachers of English language in Uganda wishing to take up teaching posts in Rwanda.

LAST week the Rwandan government placed an advertisement in various Ugandan newspapers inviting applications from teachers of English language in Uganda wishing to take up teaching posts in Rwanda.
This is good news for teachers who do not have jobs, but also a signal for Uganda to rethink its teacher retention policy to avert a situation where good teachers are likely to leave the country for greener pastures.

English language remains a core threshold of Uganda’s education system. It is the official national language and the medium of instruction in schools countrywide. Losing English teachers to other countries is, therefore, a big threat to the foundation of the country’s education system.

The Literature Fraternity of Uganda, an association of English language and literature teachers, has expressed concern that teachers of English are hard to get compared to other arts teachers. The association argues that some schools take more than six months looking for one teacher of English in vain.

With English as the language of instruction in all schools countrywide, we should not allow a situation where some schools will have to do without teachers for the subject.

In the spirit of the East African integration, it is okay for any member country to hire the services of another one’s professionals, but formal guidelines should be put in place to avoid situations where some countries would end up losing all the skilled manpower to others after investing a lot of national resources in training.

The process could be handled through a regulatory framework to make the arrangement more binding between the two countries.

When professionals cross borders in their individual capacity, without any formal policy to protect their interests, they are gullible to exploitation.

The education ministries of the all the five member countries should come up with a formal exchange programme.

In the absence of such an arrangement, unscrupulous individuals abuse the trend by establishing fictitious recruiting agencies to con unsuspecting teachers with promises of better paying jobs in neighbouring countries.

Uganda is still the favourite education destination in the region and this position should be consolidated.

FROM THE EDITOR: Institute a formal exchange programme for teachers in East Africa

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