Reforming the Education Sector Will Require More Private Partnerships – Stakeholders

Ministry of Education's Dr. Tony Lusamba speaking at the forum.

The Assistant Commissioner Primary Education in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Tony Mukasa Lusambu has said partnerships from the private sector are vital if Uganda’s education sector is to move to the next level.

He said that for quality education to be realized, public private partnerships in the delivery of education services is required at all levels.

Dr Mukasa said this Wednesday while speaking at the inaugural Education Forum hosted by Stanbic Bank.

The forum held at Sheraton Hotel Kampala discussed how the private sector can support the government in enhancing education with a focus on skilling students. 

“The Ministry of Education and Sports has a vision for quality education and sports for all. However, we also appreciate that to achieve this, public and private partnerships must be encouraged at all levels,” Dr Mukasa said.

“More importantly, the innovations being shared with us, such as the National Schools Championships, help make the school curriculum more relevant to our times. The Ministry will continue working with the private sector as we seek to reform the education sector for the better”.

Speaking at the same forum, Stanbic’s Chief Executive, Anne Juuko said the bank’s core Corporate Social Investment is education with a focus on equipping students on life skills, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship skills. 

“All our education programmes such as the Stanbic National Schools Championship are tailored to enhance creativity and build capacity among the leaders and job creators of tomorrow,” Juuko said.

“We encourage creativity and innovation with the aim of transforming our economy. We want future generations that see opportunities in providing solutions to the needs of our communities while sustaining longevity and thus creating more jobs which stimulate wages and business profitability. It can be and we feel an obligation to help make it so.”  

Juuko said 80% of Uganda’s population currently stands at about 42 million and is under the age of 30. Of this, only 7.5% finish primary school, 5.2% finish secondary school and a paltry 0.4% gain admission to tertiary and vocational institutions. 

She added that in hosting the forum, the objective was to provide an open platform to promote dialogue between the government and private sector to identify solutions to the gaps within the sector and form tangible partnerships that work towards bridging those gaps.

Dr. Elly Karuhanga, the chairman Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) said PSFU has been working with the government of Uganda and especially the Ministry of Education and Sports in supporting students in internship and apprenticeship to prepare them for the job market. 

“The Foundation has so far supported 2000 students who have been placed in several companies which has given them exposure. This has in turn exposed the teachers to what employees need at the work place,” Karuhanga said.  

This comes at a time when over 15 million learners from Primary School to University and tertiary institutions are stuck home following government’s closure of schools to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease.

In the wake of the schools closure, schools are innovating ways through which to ensure continuity of learning, some using digital channels like social media and emailing of quizzes.

The private sector – schools, Radios, TV stations, not-for-profit organizations, publishers and companies – have also swung in and rolled out learning programs to allow the learners to continue learning from their homes.

Wednesday’s forum which attracted a wide range of participants in the education and private sector will be held annually to inform and rally the private sector in identifying gaps and partnering with the government to help fill those gaps. 

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