Key Changes Proposed by the National Teacher Bill
|Establishment of the National Teacher Council||Oversight of teacher standards and ethics|
|Guidance on teacher education|
|Facilitation of professional development|
|Career progression for teachers|
|Registration and licensing of teachers||Regulatory control over teaching staff|
|Comprehensive teacher registry|
|Minimum qualification for teachers set at a bachelor’s degree||Elevating educational standards|
|Phasing out of Primary Teacher Colleges (PTCs)||Transition to specialized teacher education|
|Establishment of Uganda National Institute for Teacher’s Education||Degree-granting institution for teacher education|
In a significant development, the Cabinet of Uganda has approved the National Teacher Bill, a legislative initiative aimed at introducing a new era of professionalism in the field of education. The bill is set to bring about transformative changes to the teaching profession at all levels.
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for Information Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance, has confirmed that the Ministry of Education presented the bill and received approval from the Cabinet with only minor comments. These concerns are expected to be addressed by the Ministry of Education and the Parliamentary Council before the bill is brought before the parliament.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of this bill is the establishment of the National Teacher Council. This authoritative body will have the responsibility of overseeing and regulating teacher standards and ethics, filling a void in the education sector. While professions like medicine, engineering, and law have regulatory councils overseeing their professional conduct, the teaching profession, which boasts the largest number of professionals, has been lacking such governance. This is especially significant considering the impact of teaching, from early education to university levels.
The National Teacher Council’s role extends beyond regulation. It will also guide teacher education, promote continuous professional development, and facilitate career advancement for teachers across the country. Additionally, it will manage the registration and licensing of teachers and maintain a comprehensive registry of educators in both private and public educational institutions. No individual will be allowed to teach at any educational level without obtaining clearance from this regulatory authority.
The roots of this development can be traced back to a comprehensive study conducted by the Ministry of Education between 2010 and 2013 in collaboration with partners. This study led to the creation of a report that offered recommendations for improvements in teacher education and management. Many of these recommendations have since been implemented, including the passage of the National Teacher Policy in 2019. This policy, aimed at enhancing the teaching profession, mandates a bachelor’s degree as the minimum qualification for teachers at all levels, including those in nursery schools.
Furthermore, this policy has led to the phasing out of several Primary Teacher Colleges (PTCs) and the establishment of the Uganda National Institute for Teacher’s Education. This new institute, set to grant degrees in teacher education, will take on the responsibilities previously held by Kyambogo University and the now-defunct Institute for Teacher Education Kyambogo.