Science teachers betraying the country, says minister

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Kampala. The Ministry of Education and Sports has accused science teachers of betraying the country by failing to deliver to government’s expectations.
In highlighting teachers’ inadequacies, the State minister for higher education has cited the persistent poor grades in science subjects.
Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo has complained that few students enrol for science courses in institutions of higher learning because many fail to obtain the minimum pass mark in the key science subjects.

He warned that if the situation continues, the country will find it difficult to attain a middle income status by 2020.
“How about those Mathematics teachers in this country denying our children employment? We have noted that Mathematics, Science and English language have continued to negatively affect the performance of our children. We can’t have plumbers in institutions because it requires a good credit in mathematics,” Dr Muyingo said yesterday.

But teachers, under their umbrella organisation, Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) have asked the Minister to stop blaming them for government inefficiencies in the implementation of the science policy.
According to Mr James Tweheyo, the Unatu general secretary, the government’s insistence on the compulsory science policy and neglecting equally important subjects will continue to affect their performance.
Mr Tweheyo noted that in a situation where teachers have not been facilitated to do their work and are few with some schools going without any science teachers, the ministry should appreciate their effort.

“The Minister should wake up to reality. If he thinks by policy they can only stick to sciences and forget the languages which help learners understand sciences and other subjects properly; now reality is catching up with them. He thinks he will blame others for the mistakes…?” Mr Tweheyo said in an interview.
Dr Muyingo’s remarks were provoked by the poor performance of learners in last year’s Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) examinations.
Mr Onesmus Oyesigye, the UBTEB executive secretary, reported that Mathematics, engineering principles and English language had affected performance of their candidates in most of the certificate and diploma courses.

For instance, performance declined by 3.7 per cent in Uganda Community Polytechnics Certificate programmes from 84.per cent in 2015 to 80.3per cent in 2016.
Other categories examined included Technical Advanced Craft certificate, Technical Craft Certificate, Business Diploma and Certificate and Physical and Biological Certificate programmes.
Educationists have in the past called upon government to revisit the science policy if they are to achieve their goal.
Releasing the 2016 Uganda Certificate of Education results, Mr Dan Odongo, Uganda National Examinations Board executive secretary reported that 55per cent of the candidates had failed sciences.

pahimbisibwe@ug.nationmedia.com

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