eprc teachersfail testThe majority of Ugandan teachers lack adequate knowledge of the subjects they teach which jeopardise the quality of education, a new report has revealed.

In study conducted last year, the World Bank discovered that Ugandan public schools teachers have significant knowledge gaps which makes them rank among the worst n the region after being out smarted by their Kenyan counterparts.

Only one in five of primary four teachers managed to score at least 80% in a test based on the subjects they teach. On average, teachers scored 65% and 58% on the mathematics and English test.

According to the report, this means that only 20% OF Ugandan public school teachers have mastered the curriculum they teach.

Service delivery indicator (SDI) report was compiled by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) and the World Bank from last year's country wide study.

"The share of teachers with minimum knowledge was twice as large in Kenya compared in Uganda .Kenyan teachers performed better in every component of the assessment: English, mathematics, and pedagogical,? says the report.

"Teachers knowledge of the subjects they teach was very low in Uganda, and the pedagogical skills to transform their knowledge into meaningful teaching were even lower.?

To achieve vision 2040, the report advises that Uganda should address service delivery failures like the high rate of absenteeism among teachers and the health workers and the build a healthy and educated work force.

The SDI initiative is a partnership of the World Bank, the African economic research consortium and the African development bank to track service delivery performance in sub-Saharan Africa over time.

The preliminary report, launched in November last year, is based on surveys of about 400 primary schools and nearly 2500 teachers country wide.

The tests were based on items from the curricula being taught in Uganda.

"Pedagogical skills were weak as reflected in the average score of 26%on the pedagogy test, and only 7%of the teachers scored 50%," says the report.

Surprisingly, more experienced teachers and female teachers fared worse on the assessment .head teachers performed better on the pedagogy assessment.

The study also confirmed a high rate of absenteeism among the public school teachers which is also higher than that of Kenya.

Dr. Daniel Nkaada, the commissioner for primary education the ministry of education, acknowledged that absenteeism was highest especially in upcountry schools .he however said that the ministry had embarked on campaign to fight the problem through strengthening school management committees to take disciplinary action against absentee teachers.

Nkaada also noted that it was likely for teacher to score below 80%in a subject he teaches because usually the profession attracts students who are not the best academically.

"We only need to improve teachers? conditions of service so as to attract the best performing students into the profession, "he said.

Older teachers and those born in the district in which they teach were the most likely to be absent from class. Female teacher were significantly less likely to be absent.


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