The challenge of developing the teacher resource under the UPE in Wakiso District, Uganda.
Sembatya, Musinguzi Florence
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The study assesses the challenges that face the development of teacher resource under UPE in Uganda with special reference to Wakiso district. It ascertains whether effective and efficient measures of the teacher resource lie in the process or in the implementation itself. The study was prompted by the fact that since 1996 when UPE was launched there have been many problems affecting its implementation. The teacher resource development as a critical area did not seem to have empirical research conducted to ascertain the impact on the development of the teacher resource under UPE. The major issues discussed therefore generally relate to the key factors that affect the development of the teacher resource. The main objective of the study was to examine challenges of developing teacher resource under UPE programme in Wakiso district. The specific objectives were to identify the factors that determine the development of teacher resource under UPE; to examine the contributions towards developing of the teacher resource under UPE; and to identify the major constraints in developing the teacher resource. The study used a case study research design and was predominantly qualitative in nature. Purposive sampling was used to select Ministry, district officials and PTCs due to the central role they play in the development of the teacher resource. Random sampling was used to select the schools. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions as well as observation methods were used to collect data from selected schools in Wakiso district while in-depth interviews were used to collect data from the Ministry, district and PTC officials. The study put into consideration the differences between rural and urban settings. Wakiso and Kira Sub counties were selected to represent the rural setting while Entebbe Municipality represented the urban setting. Major findings show that government has not achieved much in the development of teacher resources. There are conflict policies which affect the implementation of teacher resources, for example whereas the government has been focusing on developing teacher resources, there has been a parallel policy to reduce on the number of Primary Teachers’ Colleges making them fewer. The challenges in the teacher resource development were mainly resource constraints and lack of proper conceptualisation of the problem and plan. Over dependency on donors was found to have negatively affected the implementation of teacher resource development programs and projects since most of the projects are short term. There is lack of sustainability after donors withdraw. Local authorities, parents and individual teachers were found to have an important role to play in the development of teacher resource under UPE. Teachers’ abilities to use the available resources and the ability to deliver what has been trained all depended on the individual teacher. Other factors like lack of motivation, self esteem, political interference and the social environment were found to affect individual teacher resource development. The report concludes by recommending that Wakiso district and the Central government should provide practical ways the teachers can use to explore their skills to effectively and efficiently deliver quality education services under UPE. The Central government and Wakiso should endeavour to increase and make better motivational factors, such as monetary and non monetary incentives, focus should be put on reducing the teacher-pupil ratio as well as helping individual teachers develop their skills. The Central government should ensure that all resources which facilitate the developing of teacher resource are in place such as working condition, living wage, health care, housing and professional progression (promotion- Teachers’ Scheme of Service); the local governments are allocated sufficient funds to facilitate the implementation of the policies and programmes under their mandate. Education programmes should follow the technical recommendations in as much as the political programmes have to be executed. The policies and programmes for UPE should be harmonised for smooth implementation at all levels and to facilitate the developing of the teacher resource. Central government should shop for ideas from Asian countries like China and Malaysia on the developing the teacher resource.