More teachers needed to attain Millennium Development Goals

By: Stephen Kafeero

Kampala: Uganda needs to recruit more teachers by 6 per cent on average if it is to achieve the Millennium development goal of Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015, a UN agency report has revealed. Currently, the average increase is 3 per cent.

The 11th Education for All Global Monitoring Report published yesterday by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (Unesco) shows that governments must provide enough trained teachers and focus their teacher policies on meeting the needs of the disadvantaged to improve the quality of universal education.

According to the report, the move will attract the best candidates into teaching, give them relevant training, deploy them to areas where they are needed most and offer them incentives to make a long-term commitment to teaching.

The report confirms a 2013 progress report by the ministry of Finance and UN Development Programme which revealed that Uganda was lagging behind in achieving UPE.

Some progress

Ms Jessica Alupo, the minister for Education, said the last time they were in a Unesco general conference, 70 per cent of the countries expressed that they would attain some goals by 2015 and Uganda is no exception.

“We will not have achieved the goal by 2015 on the ground of quality but in terms of accessibility, sensitisation about UPE and USE and provision of education services, we have done very well,” she said.

The report also states that no country is projected to reach all the goals which cover early childhood care, primary and secondary schooling, adult literacy, gender equality and educational quality – by the 2015 deadline.

Going by the current trends, the report reveals that the wealthiest boys in sub-Saharan Africa will achieve universal primary completion in 2021, while the poorest girls will have to wait until 2086.

The report recommends commitment to equity so that every child has an equal chance of an education for the new education goals after 2015.

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