Tuesday

Early childhood education in Uganda

The ministry of Education and Sports through the department of pre-primary and primary education is responsible for making policies; development of curriculum guidelines, training of teachers and caregivers; coordination and monitoring of ECE interventions.  ECE targets children between four and five years.
The ministry has developed a draft ECE policy while the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) has developed a draft ECE learning framework, as well as produced and distributed non-book materials to Primary 1 and Primary 2 classes in government-aided schools.  According to the ECE policy, the government is responsible for the provision of curriculum; teacher training supervision; and developing policy
framework and guidelines for coordinating the programmes.  Parents and communities are responsible for providing teaching and learning facilities and paying teachers' salaries. According to government statistics, there were 41,775 children enrolled in ECE in 2004, comprising 21,179 girls and 20,596 boys.  The highest enrollments were recorded in 2002, when there were 78,257 pupils - 38,581 boys and 39,676 girls.  However, it is noted that the apparent decline in enrollment may not represent the real situation on the ground because many centers do not submit their statistics to the central government.
Other achievements made are the establishment of teacher training programmes for ECE teachers at the Institute of Education Kyambogo currently known as Kyambogo University. The training is offered at degree and diploma levels. 

Some of the challenges facing ECE include inadequate trained teachers, shortage of learning and teaching materials, poor curriculum, low enrollment ratios and lack of effective inspection. 

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