The Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) General Secretary Filbert Baguma has said Positive Deviance can be used to identify talents of teachers which in turn could be used to improve the quality of education in the country’s primary schools.
Mr Baguma made the assertion during Twaweza’s research brief launch on Tuesday in Kampala. The report titled ‘How are some children learning when most are not? Positive deviance in Uganda’s Primary schools’, is based on a qualitative investigation of 17 schools in 10 purposely selected districts using the positive deviance methodology.
Positive Deviance is where in every community, there exists ordinary people or institutions that have figured out better, extraordinary solutions than their neighbors to the social problems affecting them without having access to extra resources.”
“It is possible we can do it, but how do we do it? It is a question we should address and once we do, we shall have a system that produces the quality of Education we want,” said Baguma.
Adding, “The Positive Deviance strategy can be used in identifying a good education management system which can help in placing the best talents where they can continuously perform their best to inspire others.”
Dr C.T Mukasa Lusambu, the Commissioner Basic Education at the Ministry of Education and Sports revealed that the ministry is trying to recognize best performing teachers around the county in a positive way as a way of motivating them.
“There are many teachers making a different in their respective schools and as a ministry we have organized a Teachers Conference next month to identify them and reward them for their enormous contributions towards improving the Education quality,” said Dr Lusambu.
At the same launch, Isaac Luwemba, a social studies teacher at Nakivumbi Primary School in Bugweri District said as a Positive Deviant, he has improved the grades of his pupils through making his subject interesting by telling interesting stories, encouraging pupils that they can do it as well as giving out incentives.
“Every pupil wants to be taught by me, and eversince I joined Nakivumbi, my subject is always the best done in the school at the national level,” said Mr Luwemba.
Betty Apolot, another Positive Deviant is the Head teacher of Kamuge Olinga Primary School in Paliisa District.
Ms Apolot said when she was Head teacher; the school had a number of challenges such as late coming of both teachers and pupils, escaping from school, lack of meals for pupils among others.
“After identifying the challenges, I committed myself to improving the welfare of the school and to do that I needed to lead by example. I solved the issue of late coming by being the first one to always arrive at school very early in the morning, later teachers and pupils followed suit. On the issue of escaping, I mobilized parents, old girls and boys to contribute towards the construction of a wall fence and now we have only one entrance and exit. And on the issue of meals, I talked to parents and they agreed to pay for their children’s meals. Now the school is one of the best in Paliisa.”
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