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Education Minister Welcomes Shs2Billion Norwegian Initiative to Have More Qualified Teachers

Saturday, 24th March 2018

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has welcomed the 'New Norwegian Teacher Initiative' a project that is focused on strengthening Multi-Partner Cooperation to support the teacher policy and improve learning.

The Government of Norway funded 2-year project aims at facilitating the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 target and its central role in quality learning. SDG4 requires to substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers by 2030.

The project will be implemented in Uganda with effect from June 2018 by UNESCO Teachers' Task Force, as the overall coordinating agency, in partnership with the World Bank, UNICEF, UNHCR, ILO and Education International.

It will support the implementation of the thematic areas in Uganda's National Teacher Policy.

Mrs. Janet Museveni on Tuesday met with the scoping mission team for the project who were in the country to identify and work with the Education Ministry, key partners and stakeholders to set the groundwork for the project implementation and identify relevant project initiatives.

She appreciated the project saying it comes at an appropriate time when Uganda is striving to achieve quality and inclusive education for all children and having qualified teachers is key to this.

She pointed out a challenge of some teachers who refrain from working in rural areas and said Uganda can learn from other countries' experiences on what incentives to apply in such a situation. "I want to see this project succeed in Uganda and all learners across the country accessing qualified teachers and quality education," she said.

Mrs. Janet Museveni pledged the Government's and her Ministry's support towards the success of the project. The mission team was led by Dr. Edem Adubra who is the Chief of Section for Teacher Development and Head of the Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers in the Division for Support and Coordination of Education 2030 for UNESCO Headquarters in Paris France. Other members included Nikolina Postic from the ILO Headquarters in Geneva Switzerland, Lucy Barimbui from Education International and Dr. Victoria Kisaakye Kanobe from UNESCO Kampala Office.

In his brief about the project Dr. Edem Adera explained that Uganda is among the four beneficiary countries to this New Norwegian Teacher Initiative in its pilot phase. Others are Burkina Faso, Ghana and Malawi and each target country will receive US$ 584,800 (Shs2,165,925,925) for the project.

He added that the Norwegian Government wants emphasis on the quality of teachers and the project will ensure improved coordination among partner organizations and strengthened national teacher policies that impact teaching and learning. It will also support the target countries to make significant progress in closing the teachers' gaps, ensuring equitable allocation of teachers, their training and appropriate management, plus addressing the needs of the marginalized teachers such as those in crisis areas.

He said UNESCO's will use their coordination role for this project to underscore what the organization does globally.

State Minister for Higher Education Dr.  John Chrysostom Muyingo said teacher policy and teacher education is very important and having a helping hand will contribute to Uganda's effort to address many of the challenges arising from unqualified teachers.

The meeting at State House Nakasero was also attended by the Education and Sports' Under Secretary for Finance and Administration Aggrey Kibenge, the Commissioner Teacher/Tutor, Instructor Education and Training (TIET) Dr. Jane Egau Okou, and Rosie Agoi the Secretary General Uganda National Commission for UNESCO (UNATCOM).

 Courtesy of the Kampala Post.

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