The Cabinet has approved the National Teacher Bill, a measure aimed at fostering professionalism among educators across various levels. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister for Information Communication Technology and National Guidance, confirmed the bill’s presentation by the Ministry of Education and its approval, albeit with a few minor comments. These minor concerns are set to be addressed by the Ministry of Education and the Parliamentary Council before presenting the bill in parliament.
If the bill becomes law, it is poised to bring about significant changes in the teaching profession. Most notably, it will establish the National Teacher Council, an authoritative body responsible for overseeing and regulating teacher standards and ethics. This move aims to rectify the absence of a regulatory council similar to those in professions like medicine, engineering, and law, despite the vast number of teachers in the education sector.
The National Teacher Council’s role extends beyond regulation and ethics. It will also guide teacher education, promote continuous professional development, and facilitate career advancement for educators nationwide. The council will be in charge of registering and licensing teachers, maintaining a comprehensive registry for educators in both public and private educational institutions. Teaching at any educational level will require clearance from this regulatory authority.
In a broader context, a study conducted between 2010 and 2013 by the Ministry of Education and its partners led to recommendations for enhancing teacher education and management in Uganda. These recommendations have already been implemented, including the revision of minimum qualifications for teachers, now mandating a bachelor’s degree for educators at all levels.
Furthermore, the implementation of the National Teacher Policy in 2019 initiated changes designed to elevate the teaching profession. It led to the phasing out of several Primary Teacher Colleges and the establishment of the Uganda National Institute for Teacher’s Education, which is set to become a degree-granting institution specializing in teacher education, taking on responsibilities previously held by Kyambogo University and the defunct Institute for Teacher Education Kyambogo.