Uganda: No Money for Home E-Learning Materials – Govt

The government is looking for money to print online study materials and pay those who developed the content.

The Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Mr Alex Kakooza, said they are costing the work for printing, which money apparently they don't have.

"We don't have the money. It is what we are actually looking for now," he said yesterday.

Earlier, the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) director, Ms Grace Baguma, told Daily Monitor that the homeschool content for both primary and secondary learners was ready and pending approval from their supervisors, the council before being handed to the ministry.

However, she acknowledged that those who developed the content hadn't been paid their Shs115,000 allowance for each person who worked. Although she didn't disclose how much workforce she had for the activity, Ms Baguma said they would be paid as soon as government finds the money.

Videos and few radio scripts were also developed for the second phase of online study materials.

"It is true government has not given us money. They have to be patient. The money has been processed and I think they will have it once it is ready. I don't know the budget. Some of the work is done here. Some at the ministry," Ms Baguma said.

NCDC initially had budgeted for Shs15 billion to produce the first phase of online study materials. Mr Kakooza later reported that only Shs6 billion had been released to the body although sources at the ministry, who declined to be named, said only Shs3 billion was given. It is not clear how much is going to be used after officials at the ministry and NCDC declined to share their budget.

Ms Baguma said they collaborated with Uneb in developing the e-learning materials for a whole year which schools can still use when children return to school.

She, however, urged that parents and guardians must assist their children while at home, adding that with their support, any child can sit an examination.

"We worked with Uneb and other organisations. It is good work if it reaches all the children. If we had sat to wait for the money, we would never have been ready with the work," Ms Baguma said.

The ministry through NCDC, initially developed online materials to facilitate continuous learning for two months after schools were closed indefinitely in March following the Covid-19 outbreak.

In May, curriculum developers were tasked again to develop further content considering the children were going to stay longer in the lockdown than earlier anticipated.

The materials weren't ready as planned by July with the President promising to make his pronouncement before September.

The ministry's top technical team has remained tight lipped on how schools will reopen with the surge in numbers of Covid-19 patients.

Source: The Monitor

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