The First Lady and Education and Sports minister, Janet Museveni has tasked educationists to find a solution to the persisting low learning outcomes.
Ms Museveni was speaking during the opening of the 26th Education and Sports Sector Review meeting taking place in Kampala. She urged all delegates present to do something and find a solution to one of the sector’s persisting problems.
Reports from various education stakeholders have cited low learning outcomes as one of the issues affecting quality education. The 2016 Uwezo ‘Are Our Children Learning Report shows that pupils in primary three are not able to do primary 2 arithmetic. Data from the 2018 National Assessment for Progress in Education shows literacy the rate for P3 and P4 stands at 49.9 per cent and numeracy 22.2 per cent.
At P6 the literacy rate stood at 53.1 per cent and numeracy at 50.9 per cent. According to the minister, while results from the 2018 Primary Leaving Examinations show an improvement in performance by 0.4 per cent, the level of literacy and numeracy are still low even with the introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE).
Ms Museveni says the reason why learners are not learning enough are still an issue that is challenging them. She tasked educationists attending the sector review meeting to find a solution to the problem she says has been eluding them.
“We need to identify why children are not learning enough. What aren’t we doing? What should we do to improve learning outcomes? The answers to these questions are eluding us. I task this review to identify underlining factors and also mitigating measures on why our children are not learning enough and what we should do,” she said.
According to a recent World Bank report, Uganda’s children who complete primary seven receive the equivalent of 4.5 years of education. The report showed that 1 out of 3 children who reach P.7 are not literate at P2 level while 15 per cent cannot do simple arithmetic.
Deborah Malac, the US ambassador to Uganda says that it is vital for government to address the learning outcomes if development is to take place. Educationists that URN spoke to say the solutions to improving learning outcomes are complicated. Maria Gorretti Nakabugo, the regional coordinator of Uwezo, says the answer to improving learning outcomes is not a one-day affair.
Zadock Tumuhimbise, the chairman of the Uganda National Teachers Union says government’s inability to fill the teacher human resource gap in the country is responsible for the low learning outcomes.
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