New York: Vice President Jessica Alupo has addressed the UN summit on Education highlighting various strides made by the Government of Uganda is transforming the education sector.
The Summit, convened and addressed by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also saw several presentations from different heads of State and Governments.
In her remarks, the Vice President said Uganda was fully supportive of the global agenda to transform education at all levels and strands.
The Government of Uganda used the covid 19 pandemic to come up with innovative solutions to ensure continuity of learning”, she stated, capturing there-in the audience of the leaders.
Some of these, she said, were curriculum reviews, teacher retooling to implement the abridged curriculum, development of home learning materials and online learning mechanisms.
The Vice President gave the re-assurances of the country in ensuring affirmative action in favor of marginalized groups including refugees, girls and people with special needs.
Alupo spoke about the need to continually support a holistic approach to education from early childhood care and education. “We reaffirm our support to all forms of learning through continued partnership with our partners to realize the universal right to lifelong learning”, the VP said.
On what seems to be rising cases of violence in schools across the globe, the Vice raised Uganda’s commitment to end the vice. “We commit to strengthening prevention, reporting, referral and response to any forms of violence at the school level, online, and in emergency settings. Evidence-based prevention approaches such as emotional learning, gender transformative and trauma-informed approaches in curricula and teachers’ training as accelerators to violence prevention, learning and lifelong physical and mental health will be scaled up”, she said.
On reproductive Health Education, which is also an issue of concern, Alupo said the Government of Uganda was committed to
providing age-appropriate sexual reproductive health education and psychosocial support programmes to fast-track the finalisation of the School Health Policy to address health-related issues in the education sector.
Among other issues she highlighted were teachers and the teaching profession, operationalization of the National Teachers Policy, Teacher Incentive Framework and the Teachers Council, support of ICT in teacher education, and provision of digital infrastructure among others.
The Vice President spoke passionately of Government’s efforts in retooling teachers to manage foundational literacy and numeracy skills. “This we do so that all children achieve them by the age of ten or Primary Grade three”.
Earlier, the UN SG, Antonio Guterres had highlighted transformation needed for an ‘inclusive, just and peaceful world’, saying “Education has been my “guide and touchstone”. This, he said, as addressee the final day of the Transforming Education Summit. Mr. Guterres said he regarded himself “as a lifelong student,” posing a question; “Without education, where would I be? Where would any of us be?”
Guterres said that because education transforms lives, economies and societies, “we must transform education”, pointing out that education is fast becoming “a great divider”, because of countries where populations are unable to read and are “barely learning”.
“Now is the time to transform Education systems”, he said.