Makerere University intends to train all headteachers in Mbale District and beyond in the area of administrative law. This training aims to enable them to perform to the best of their abilities while managing the education sector.
In a letter seen by this publication, addressed to the District Education Officer, Madam Lydia Musungu of Mbale, and copied to the District Inspector of Schools, Mr. Khaukha Samuel, the university proposes to train the headteachers, their deputies, and other administrative staff in areas such as constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure, and an introduction to law. This training aims to expose the education administrators to appreciate the principles of separation of roles, exercise of discretionary powers, the role of the court systems in adjudication, vicarious offenses, including knowledge of offenses and defenses, sources of law, the principles of natural justice, and branches of the law, among others.
In retooling the above-mentioned officials, the University Administrator, Mr. Steven Masiga, emphasizes that all learners must arrive at the various learning centers with statutes such as the Anti-Corruption Act of 2009, the Constitution of Uganda, the Education Act of 2008 (as amended), the Penal Code Act Cap 120, the Local Government Act, among others.
The proposed training in administrative law by Makerere University follows various issues across the education sector. A recent study conducted by Makerere University Mbale branch revealed that, in this year alone, a number of headteachers were implicated in cases of defilement across the country, while others deliberately refused to comply with directives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, particularly the Permanent Secretary. The final conclusion of the survey by Makerere University suggests that for government programs to achieve their intended goals, those managing them must be equipped with the necessary knowledge of the law. This sentiment is supported by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Madam Ketty Lamaro. Additionally, the Commissioner of Special Needs from the Ministry of Education, Madam Sarah Bugoosi, pledged to mobilize headteachers across special needs schools to benefit from the training at their own cost.
Makerere University has been commendable in taking education to every community in Uganda, explaining its presence in regions like Mbale, which serves areas including Karamoja, Bukedi, Teso, Bugisu, and Kapchorwa. Other centers in Kamuli, Iganga, and Busia serve regions such as Busoga, Namayingo, Bugiri, among others in the East of the country, with additional centers spread across West and Northern Uganda, including Central Uganda.
The Principal College of Education and External Studies, through which all university programs are routed, is tasked to fulfill the university’s extramural mandate. The University Council pledges to eliminate issues such as corruption in the education sector, which occur due to administrators’ failure to comprehend the law. Professor Mugagga emphasized that teachers are trained to be honest individuals, and this training aims to prevent corruption from affecting the conduct of headteachers.
The training of education administrators will also target other local government employees such as parish chiefs and sub-county chiefs.
Available academic research shows that between 2021 and 2023, Makerere University has trained over 3000 local government employees, including parish chiefs, headteachers, education officers, inspectors of schools, among others. A tracker survey on their performance at their workplaces reveals promising outcomes, which the university believes should be replicated across the country so that all educational managers can benefit from the administrative law course.
In a recent interview with Radio Uganda, Mr. Steven Masiga, the Makerere University Mbale Coordinator, shared the interventions the university is implementing to help government programs such as PDM, USE, and UPE serve Ugandans, ensuring that funding benefits the intended audience.
The District Education Officer for Pallisa and Busia welcomed the initiative and pledged to mobilize all headteachers to enroll at nearby Makerere centers spread across the country to benefit from this training.
It has been distressing to see many well-respected administrators arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit or District Public Accounts Committees for failure to utilize public funds within the legal and accounting provisions. Mr. Steven Masiga stated that with appropriate training in administrative law, this will be a thing of the past. He recognized that many headteachers are well-trained to teach but lack proper training in administration.
The training will come at a fee that is quite manageable for education administrators and can be paid in manageable installments.