Dr. N.A. Karim Ssesanga

Uganda Management Institute,School of Management Sciences



CITATION: Ssesanga, N.A. (May, 2017), Political Turmoil, Fiscal Austerity and Education: The Case of Improving Primary Teacher Quality in Uganda. International Journal of Social Science & Education (IJSSE), VOLUME 3 (IV), 13-28. ISSN 2105 6008.


Post-colonial Uganda up to mid-1980’s is largely a tale of economic crisis, political turmoil, and war which severely affected the quality of education. Indeed, Uganda's once impressive economic and social infrastructure was devastated by insecurity (World Bank Report, 2002; TISSA Uganda Report, 2013). Nonetheless, since 1986, the education system has expanded, and primary teacher population more than doubled (TISSA Uganda Report, 2013). Unfortunately, Government financing for primary education is extremely low which has implications on access to, and quality of education. Many pupils drop out of schools without numerate and literate skills (EPRC, 1989; GMR, 2014). Besides, there is neglect of primary teachers training and teacher motivation (World Bank, 1993; GMR, 2013). The main purpose of the study is to explore interventions to improve primary teacher quality in Uganda. Using the questionnaire and interview enabled the identification of the aspects considered important in improving primary teacher quality in Uganda such as funding PTC’s, effective training of teacher trainees in PTC’s, training of tutors, effective management of teacher colleges, and policy options to be adopted by the MoES. Data analysis shows that teacher quality is dependent on a combination of different factors such as classroom practices, subject knowledge, professional development, and teaching experience and quality of teacher-student relationships which in turn impact on student outcomes.Furthermore, the study findings demonstrate that both the pre-service and in-service training for teacher trainees are superficial and inadequate and thus have little bearing on classroom practice. In a bid to improve primary teacher quality in Uganda, it is recommended thatPre-Service Education and Training should shift the mode of training from full-time less effective and costly residential training to part time non-residential training. In addition, it is recommended that the curriculum of primary teacher training courses should move beyond pedagogical principles and educational theories, and focus on skills and abilities which contribute directly to the promotion of improved learning by pupils in real world classrooms.The paper explores the centrality of improving primary teacher quality through realistic, affordable and cost effective pre-service and in-service training and education. View Full PDF Version