THEY ARE INCOMPETENT REALLY? THE FISH STARTS ROTTING FROM THE HEAD. Tell me how much you pay them to keep them competent? Well never mind that. Exactly who also told you that hiring school failures to teach your kids was a good idea? You discourage the great dedicated teachers but you are lucky that so many teach for the love of teaching and go months without salaries which reminds me, how much do you get paid per month sir? You are not looking at the real problem. Stop attacking our teachers because we know where the money is and our teachers are not getting it. How dare you appear in media and talk like this anyway? Fire your PR team as this will hurt you one way or another. Our teachers work for nothing compared to what you earn and you say that they are incompetent. Pray tell us sir, what exactly are you competent at apart from spinning???
KAMPALA- Majority of teachers in upper primary and lower secondary schools lack competencies in subjects they teach, according to a Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb)report released yesterday.
Mr Amos Opaman, a Uneb official, said teachers have inadequate knowledge of Biology, English language and mathematical concepts and lack the ability to assess the learners.
For instance, Mr Opaman reported that although more pupils (72.7 per cent) could count in Primary Three, these members declined as they progressed to Primary Six where only 39.9 per cent of those surveyed could count.
Primary Three pupils lacked sufficient ability to add or abstract numbers where carrying or borrowing was involved. Only 15.6 per cent of the pupils interviewed could solve sums involving money while those who could multiply a two-digit number by a one-digit number were only 14.7per cent. About two in five (39.4 per cent) of P6 pupils had acquired the competencies specified at their level.
Conducted last year, the study, dubbed National Assessment of Progress in Education was supported by USAID and looked at 24,145 pupils and 19,529 secondary students. According to Mr Opaman, teachers were first subjected to the questions before the learners could answer them.
“No teacher could pass the quiz on the sum of series. Only 1.8 per cent of the students passed. He added: “The difficulties encountered by most learners were due to teachers’ inadequate knowledge of the mathematical concepts and improper assessment methods, which emphasise summative instead of formative assessment during class-based teaching.”
Mr Reymick Oketch, a former teacher at Kings College Buddo, admitted to the findings, saying: “Teachers don’t know how to set tests and don’t have skills in marking. Some teachers don’t have competencies to teach, they lack content and ability to interpret concepts. This contributes a lot to the learners understanding.”
All wasn’t gloom though. The learners could count in ones, fives and tens. They also found learners to be competent in adding numbers without carrying or subtraction of numbers without borrowing.
At secondary level, a third of Senior Two students were proficient in Mathematics while Biology had only 20.5 per cent of the students mastering competencies specified in the national curriculum. Only 14.5 per cent of the students could explain what a tissue is and the function of petals to a flower (10.9 per cent).
They also had difficulty in solving discount problems (18.6 per cent), correcting decimal places (11.4 per cent), describing a given set (2.2 per cent) and stating the equation of a mirror line (1.1 per cent).
The report recommends that teachers reduce part-timing in other schools so as to increase contact hours in their deployed schools. Uneb officials also want government to increase the number of years teacher trainees spend in institutions.
Dr Omala St Kizito, the Uneb statistician, said: “There is a suggestion that government increases the years of primary teacher training to three. A learner is what a teacher is and this study is a reflection of who teaches them. Areas where teachers are lacking are the same areas where learners are also lacking,” Dr Omala added.
Overall, 38.8 per cent of the pupils were rated proficient in literacy in English. Punctuation and spelling were the worst done at 9.8 per cent.
Mr Wilber Wanyama, the principal education officer in the primary teacher education department at the ministry, said they are reviewing the primary teaching curriculum.