How Uganda’s new teacher management system will change schools and educational planning
Jacqueline Kaloli Kutesa is the Principal of St James’ Secondary School in Jinja District, Uganda. I, like many directors, have had difficulty getting hired in the past. “A person can say that he is a teacher, or that he was part of the teaching staff thanks to their skills and practice, but without adopting the appropriate regulations,” he explains. Soon, Jacqueline will stop tackling this problem, as the government makes tangible progress in centralizing, digitizing, and harmonizing teacher certification.
In 2019, in response to a UNESCO study (TISSA, 2014) which revealed that Uganda faces challenges related to quantity and quality of teachers and data collection, the government, with the support of UNESCO’s CapED programme, developed a Teacher Management Information System (TMIS). Launched online in 2019, TMIS aims to harmonize teachers’ records. For principals like Jacqueline, this means that all schools’ HR teams will be able to validate documents for potential teachers using the TMIS online validation tool. “TMIS will help us get real teachers,” said Jacqueline.
The impact of TMIS goes far beyond being a tool for improving recruitment processes. The system is part of a broader effort to enhance the Education Management Information System (EMIS) in the country. The Ministry of Education and Sports is currently updating the Educational Management Information System EMIS, which has not been fully functional since 2017. As part of the update, the Ministry plans to transfer high-quality data from various sources and centralize it into one central platform that allows ease of information. Validated and quality TMIS will provide the primary source of data on teachers. These systems will allow the government to make policy decisions based on reliable, timely, and internally produced data. As the number of Ugandan teachers registered on the platform increases, Uganda will be able to see the total number of qualified teachers in the country and how they are distributed. They will also be able to disaggregate data by gender, which will shed light on equality issues. Ministry staff will then be able to use the data to help make informed decisions about educational plans and resource allocation.
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