Government to Phase Out Primary Teachers Colleges
The government has phased out Primary Teachers Colleges (PTCs) and National Teachers Colleges (NTCs), setting up the National Institute of Teacher Education (UNITE), which will be housed at Shimoni Primary Teachers College starting next year.
Already, a coordination team chaired by Mr Joseph Oonyu, a Makerere University lecturer, has been set up to oversee the transformation of Shimoni PTC into a degree awarding institute. The members have established offices at Shimoni awaiting the old team to complete their work.
Annually, more than 400 students have been enrolled at the Wakiso District-based institution in Kitikifumba in Kira Municipality.
The latest development is a fulfilment of part of the teacher policy that Cabinet approved last year in a bid to standardise the teaching profession through continuous development and training.
As such, it is proposed that all PTCs and NTCs will be affiliated to UNITE and turned into degree awarding institutions. This means certificates will be phased out as the teacher training institutions will only be admitting Senior Six leavers.
Dr Cleophas Mugenyi, the director of basic education at Ministry of Education, yesterday confirmed that Shimoni will not be recruiting new students after second year students do their final examinations next year as they wait to see the current first year also sit their final papers.
“Shimoni PTC is going to be phased out and those premises are going to house the Uganda National Institute of Teacher Education. When other colleges are recruiting fresh students to study for Grade 3 certificate, Shimoni will not,” Dr Mugenyi said.
The new institute will be responsible for training all the teachers in the country. Currently, NTCs train secondary school teachers at diploma level (Grade V) while PTCs handle primary teachers at certificate level (Grade 3) who are admitted with at least a Uganda Certificate of Education (Senior Four) but who can upgrade to diploma through NTCs.
There are 10 private PTCs and 46 government-aided PTCs in addition to the five NTCs of Kabale, Muni, Unyama, Kaliro and Mubende.
Ministry of Education officials, who declined to be named, said the plan is to see all teachers with degrees if they are to be recruited in the system in future.
The national teacher policy recommends that for anyone to be a teacher in future, they must be graduates.
UNITE will now replace Kyambogo University as the coordinator of teacher training in the country.