The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports has called on Secondary School Head Teachers to tighten the assessment and appraisal of their staff.
“We have introduced open appraisals and this will force people to do their best. Come January you will have to sit with your teachers to map out what u will do in the next six months with measurable performance indicators. If each time a person cannot meet the indicators why must they continue being in your school?” she said in a speech read for her by Mrs. Elizabeth K.M. Gabona Director, Higher, Technical, Vocational Education.
Ms Gabona was officiating at the opening ceremony of the National Secondary School Head Teachers’ and Managers’ Conference. The event organised by the College of Education and External Studies was held at the Makerere University Main Hall and run from 1st to 2nd June 2015.
The Permanent Secretary expressed her confidence that the appraisal would help during litigation cases. “In the past we have gotten in to litigation and have wanted to suspend a teacher but there is nothing on record to show that the person did not perform”. She said that a three year appraisal would be considered when a teacher is seeking promotion. She urged the head teachers to utilise their peers, teachers and student feedback during the appraisal process.
She also called upon head teachers to play an active role in developing policy reforms because they have the structures to ably participate in their development. She reminded the head teachers about the emerging challenges of insurance, taxation, citizenship, lightening/fires and how to find lasting solutions to these issues. She noted that head teachers had an important role to play in attracting and retaining competent teachers by involving staff in all school activities, treating them with respect and building a team spirit.
The Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Dr. Ernest Okello-Ogwang observed that there was a crisis in the education sector in which students across all disciplines do not receive hands- on training and as such have no skills to do anything after university. He noted that conversations on skilling children to be hands-on lacked an element of cultivating a sense of citizenship and critical thinking.
The conference had a gamut of topical presentations listed below.
How to transform a third world school into a first world- My 35 years of experience, by Mr George William Ssemivule, Former Head Teacher, Kings College Buddo, Ndejje Senior Secondary School and Mengo Senior Secondary School
Challenges to enrolment, retention and transition among schools in Uganda by Ms Specioza Kiwanuka, Country Director, Build Africa Uganda
The Principal College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Dr Fred Masagazi Masaazi noted that school management which is responsible for all education interventions had not been prioritised in talks on rethinking Uganda’s education system.
He stressed that the conference would be used as an evaluation tool to further understand the flexibility and appropriateness of the teacher training programme at CEES. “We have been able to get feedback when we meet one on one but it adds value when we meet as a team in a gathering of this nature. This workshop does not benefit school managers alone but also teacher training institutions. As researchers in education institutions, we look forward to listening to problems affecting your school management work and to also propose solutions to those problems through direct discussions or through scientific inquiries,” he said.
At the end of the conference, participants were given certificates of participation by the Ag. Commissioner Secondary Education, Mr Benson Kule. In his speech, Mr Kule urged head teachers to organise small dissemination workshops at their schools in which they would share the information they had received at the conference. He also urged them to keep abreast of the regulatory frameworks and policies which guide their operations.
The conference themed, “Visionary Leadership: Achieving excellence in school leadership and management,” was attended by over 120 head teachers from public and private secondary schools across the country. The aim of the conference was to share current issues in education, get updates on the new O-Level curriculum as well as acquire refresher skills in education and school management.