8,000 students admitted to PTCs

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A total of 8,119 students were yesterday placed in the 45 government-aided Primary Teachers Colleges (PTCs) across the country.

The government reduced this year’s PTC entry marks from Aggregate score 40 to 45 following a decline in performance in the 2016 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams.

According to the new guidelines for PTC entry, a student qualifies to be admitted for a Grade III teacher training certificate if they have a credit in English Language, a credit in Mathematics, Two (2) passes in either Biology, or Chemistry and Physics, or Agriculture, plus any other two passes from any other subjects obtained at the same sitting.

Ms Janet Museveni, the Education and Sports minister, in her opening remarks at the two-day Senior Five, Technical Institutions and PTC placement exercise, said the country was desperate to create teachers of the old, who were interested in teaching as a first option rather than as a last resort and who genuinely perceived teaching as a calling and a noble profession.

“Teachers are central in any country’s development efforts because if we follow the Biblical example, they are shepherds of the flock,” Ms Museveni said.

She said there were two categories of teachers, that is, the hired hand whose only care is their emoluments from the work they do and when there is danger they run to save their lives leaving the sheep to fend for themselves.

Another category, Ms Museveni said, is the good shepherd who is the owner of the sheep, who is willing to lay down their own lives to save the sheep.

“If you are a good shepherd you harness the human resource potential into actual capacity needed for advancement and improvement of the quality of people’s lives,” she said.

Ms Joyce Zesiro Kayondo, the treasurer Principals Association of Uganda (PAU), expressed dismay over unremitted capitation grants (CP) for PTC students in year two yet their semester programmes resumed on February 6.

“We are now depending on the good will of suppliers who have accepted to give us food on credit. Food is expensive because of the dry spell. Besides, running a college needs more than food,” she said.

Government caters for 400 to 450 teacher students at a cost of Shs1,993 per day. This means government spends between Shs70.9m and Shs100m for a three-month term on each PTC.

“We also ask that this [capitation] grant be increased to close to Shs3,000 because the cost of living is becoming expensive, especially during this dry spell,” Ms Kayondo said.

In response, Dr Jane Egau, the Commissioner Teacher, Instructor Education and Training, said the ministry had written to the concerned authorities to have the capitation grant increased

According to the new guidelines for PTC entry, a student qualifies to be admitted for a Grade III teacher training certificate if they have a credit in English Language, a credit in Mathematics, Two (2) passes in either Biology, or Chemistry and Physics, or Agriculture, plus any other two passes from any other subjects obtained at the same sitting.

Complied by Joseph Kato, David Mafabi, Damalie Mukhaye & Patience Ahimbisibwe

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