Cabinet Approved National Teacher Policy to Increase Teacher Quality in Uganda

Government spokesperson at media center addressing about the national teacher policy @UgandaMediaCent

Ugandan Cabinet has approved the National Teacher Policy (NTP) on 1 April 2019. The policy aims to streamline teachers’ management for better productivity, discipline, retention and motivation.

The NTP was one of the key activities supported by UNESCO through the Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme in the Ugandan Education Sector. The analysis phase can be backtracked to 2013 when the Teacher Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa (TISSA) study, conducted by the Government of Uganda through MoES with the technical support from UNESCO, revealed several challenges in the teacher sector in the country. Facing the fact that the existing provisions tackling the issues were scattered in numerous documents and not up-to-date, the TISSA report recommended to update and consolidate the various teacher policies into a comprehensive national teacher policy.

The aim of the NTP is to provide a framework to professionalize and standardize the teaching profession and enhance the development and management of teachers. Focusing on four thematic objectives and policy actions, namely Standard and Qualification, Training, Management and Cross-cutting issues, four policy priorities were provided: 

• Establishment of the National Teachers’ Council by an Act of Parliament to professionalize the teaching profession;

• Establishment of the Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education to provide leadership in Continuous Professional Development and the training of tutors;

• Development and implementation of standards for teaching, institutional leadership and a Teacher Qualification Framework that can be harmonized with the regional framework; and 

• Mainstreaming cross-cutting issues into teacher training, management and utilization and teacher practices by particularly taking advantage of the policies in other ministries.

In line with the implementation principle of professionalism, effectiveness, accountability, innovation and creativity, and efficiency, an implementation framework was provided by the NTP to clarify the roles and responsibilities of MoES and other Educational Stakeholders, as well as the financing for its implementation.

As the NTP has been approved, the MoES prepared a road map for the implementation of the policy at four levels: policy reform, legal reform, administrative and institutional reform, and communication strategy. First of all, as policy reform actions, four documents will be developed before the publication of the final NTP: Standards, Guidelines, Procedures and Baselines. The next step is the legal reform actions required by the NTP in order to support the teaching profession, in the form of a Teachers Bill. As administrative and institutional reform actions, cross-cutting issues will be mainstreamed into teacher training, management and utilization, as well as teacher practices by particularly taking advantage of the policies in other ministries. In addition, the National Teachers' Council and the Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education will be established, and standards for teaching, institutional leadership, a communication strategy and a Teacher Qualification Framework will be developed and implemented.

This NTP will serve as an umbrella for the various frameworks developed under the CapED Programme coping with teacher professionalization, teacher management and teacher development in Uganda.