The Busoga Education Initiative (BEI) was launched in November 2018. In addition, with the overall aim of strategizing and working together to uplift the quality of education in the Busoga sub-region.
This was after the realization that over the last five years, the Busoga sub-region had persistently performed very poorly. Also, it was the worst-performing sub-region in Uganda, especially during the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) examinations.
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After the launch of the Busoga Education Initiative, an Emergency Action Plan for 2019 was developed. This identified a number of activities that needed urgent implementation in order to put education in the Busoga sub-region back on track. One of the identified activities was the retooling of Head Teachers and Teachers of the 22 worst-performing schools.
Consequently, the first retooling workshop took place at VIVA College from 6th to 12th January 2019. Over 300 participants from the 22 worst-performing primary schools in districts of Luuka, Namayingo, Jinja, Namutumba, Bugiri.
In addition, Kaliro, Kamuli, Bugweri, Mayuge, Iganga, and Buyende all attended. Other participants included District Education officers (DEOs), District Inspector (DIS’s), Chief Administration Officers (CAOs) from the 11 districts of Busoga.
The purpose of the training was to retool Headteachers and teachers of the 22 selected Busoga Education Initiative model schools. Also, and ensure that they receive a practical package that will help in changing their mindset and practice. Therefore improving the education system of the schools and performance of the children in general.
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The training also gave an opportunity to Busoga Education Initiative and MOES to discuss with DEOs, DISs. In addition, and CAOs, etc on how to improve on supervision and monitoring of the schools in the sub-region.
After the retooling training, a field monitoring trip took place in July 2019. However, the results from the field showed that while there were some successes recorded as a result of the training.
There were still many gaps existing that need further intervention through a follow-up retooling workshop. In addition, Busoga Education Initiative members proposed that the promotion of Vocational training in Busoga should be prioritized. Since there are many well equipped Vocational training schools in Busoga that are underutilized yet many of the youth in Busoga are unskilled.
It is against this backdrop that the second retooling workshop is being organized and it will take place in the first week of January 2020 at VIVA College, Jinja. It will focus on two areas namely; (i) instilling more skills into the 22 original BEI schools in order to fill the existing gaps (ii).
Building capacity of the existing technical schools in Busoga through instilling more skills into the heads of these institutions. In addition, as well as developing strategies for increasing enrolment of students in the existing vocational schools.
Meanwhile, at UNEB when you remove Busoga from the region then the region performs well.
Therefore this meaning Busoga has been the worst performer and affecting the results of Busoga. Using UNEB figures we selected the worst-performing schools to total 22 ( 2 per district).
Busoga Education Initiative partnered with the ministry of education and they have provided a retooling program for 300 teachers in a one-week residential viva college. Also, we have held meetings with the local leadership to agree on the way forward RDC, LCV, mayors, etc in jinja.
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We have 750 candidates, so we went to Iganga and gave each of them a set, pen, pencil and lunch 2000 per student for the two days of the exams. Many of these children don’t eat even on exam days they just sit under a tree and go back for the next exam. Hence we hope the initiative will slowly help to change the status quote. If it works then the ministry will implement the same model in other regions.