Education Policy Review Commission kicks off public hearings, invites proposals to revamp the sector

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Uganda's Education ministry kicks off Policy Review Commission to revamp the sector; Courtesy Photo

The Education Policy Review Commission (EPRC) under the Ministry of Education and Sports has today issued a call for public views and proposals about the education and sports sector policies in Uganda with a motive to improve the quality of education.

The EPRC was constituted the minister for Education and Sports Hon Janet Kataha Museveni on May 7, 2021, to inquire into the effectiveness and relevance of Education policy to achievement of education needs of users and government.

The Commission according to the PRO MOE&S Dr Dennis Mugimba, will among other things inquire into implementation of decisions contained in the government White Paper of 1992 as a macro policy framework for human capital development in the country, and the existence of policies on curriculum, teaching, assessment, and placement of learners.

The EPRC will also assess the relevance and effectiveness of specific policies, projects and programs designed to achieve the 1992 government White Paper on education decisions along the education and sports value chain right from pre-primary to University and tertiary levels as well as curriculum development and roll out, assessment and examinations, and placement of learners in respective education institutions.

Furthermore, the commission will inquire into relevance of laws and regulations for enforcement of education and sports obligations, the adequacy of education and sports funding, the relevance of partnerships with stakeholders in the education and sports services, the adequacy and effectiveness of the policy and legal framework governing teachers and teacher education, as well as laws and management procedures for Technical, Vocational Education and Training -TVET.

The government White Paper of 1992 was a product of a policy review conducted in 1987 which has been a blue print of education service delivery in the country and has since been used to guide implementation of the education and sports sector.

Brighton Barugahare, the commissioner in charge of policy and research at MOE&S says after years of technological revolution, population growth and increased private sector participation in the education sector, the country needs to reconsider how to move forward on education. He also says there has been need for evidence to back up decisions on what works and what doesn’t but also provides a forum for the public to offer ideas on how best the sector can be managed.

Since last year, Dr Mugimba said the EPRC has been working in the background doing extensive literature review on past reports of several commissions established by past governments but with guidance from the minister, public hearings were suspended due to the covid pandemic.

“Today we are here basically to make a call for formal public views, comments and proposals on what needs to be done to make our educational and sports sector the kind that will drive Uganda’s social-economic transformation agenda to be submitted formally” Dr Mugimba said.

Mugimba said, members of the public can submit their views on the education sector by sending formal comments to the commission using email, engaging the commission officials in workshops convened by the ministry, and through public hearings in seminars and site meetings which will be extended to communities.

Under formal submission of comments by mail, a soft copy of the written memorandum by the sender clearly indicating ones names, contact numbers and email address should be submitted to EPRC using the addresses: [email protected] or [email protected] The deadline for submission is Monday January 28, 2022 at 5:00PM.

He however said some of the workshops and seminars which begin today January 31, 2022 and expected to run until February 28, 2022 will at times be conducted virtually because of the specific timelines fixed for different activities. Dr Mugimba said the ministry is also planning to actively engage with the media in order to reach as many Ugandans as possible in the shortest time available.

Other terms of reference for the commission include identification of policy, program and project gaps in the government White Paper, their causes and relationship to implementation failure. It will also inquire and identify challenges challenges into the implementation of the 1992 government White Paper and suggest how those challenges can be addressed.

Upon conclusion of the hearings, the EPRC will compile a report containing findings, conclusions and policy recommendations on matters investigated but also make an analysis of education and sports delivery in and out of education institutions.

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