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Voices from the field: A study of teacher experiences with universal secondary education in Uganda

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Abstract:

Considerable research suggests that teachers play a pivotal role as gatekeepers of educational reform. Nonetheless, governments, sometimes see bypass teachers, seeking to implement new policies through more top-down efforts. Such was the case with University Secondary Education (USE) in Uganda.

Uganda is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to undertake a national policy of Universal Secondary Education (USE). Introduced in 2007, the policy received considerable international acclaim and was widely popular within the country. However, the policy was adopted largely as a top-down reform with little input from the teachers who were ultimately expected to implement the new policy.

This presentation reports the findings of a 2010 qualitative study which examined (a) the impact of the new policy on teachers’ work lives and (b) the extent these teachers support the new USE policy. Forty teachers currently teaching in USE schools were interviewed in the Kampala district of Uganda. Findings indicate that although teachers support the goals of the policy, they are critical of the way in which the policy has been implemented in their schools. Teachers cite low salaries, limited instructional materials, inadequate school infrastructure, and decreased morale, as factors which have contributed to their lack of support for the implementation of the policy. This paper discusses the implications of these findings and how they will potentially influence how the Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda continues to implement and evaluate this policy.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492937_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Werner, Jessica. "Voices from the field: A study of teacher experiences with universal secondary education in Uganda" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492937_index.html>

APA Citation:

Werner, J. G. , 2011-05-01 "Voices from the field: A study of teacher experiences with universal secondary education in Uganda" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492937_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Considerable research suggests that teachers play a pivotal role as gatekeepers of educational reform. Nonetheless, governments, sometimes see bypass teachers, seeking to implement new policies through more top-down efforts. Such was the case with University Secondary Education (USE) in Uganda.

Uganda is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to undertake a national policy of Universal Secondary Education (USE). Introduced in 2007, the policy received considerable international acclaim and was widely popular within the country. However, the policy was adopted largely as a top-down reform with little input from the teachers who were ultimately expected to implement the new policy.

This presentation reports the findings of a 2010 qualitative study which examined (a) the impact of the new policy on teachers’ work lives and (b) the extent these teachers support the new USE policy. Forty teachers currently teaching in USE schools were interviewed in the Kampala district of Uganda. Findings indicate that although teachers support the goals of the policy, they are critical of the way in which the policy has been implemented in their schools. Teachers cite low salaries, limited instructional materials, inadequate school infrastructure, and decreased morale, as factors which have contributed to their lack of support for the implementation of the policy. This paper discusses the implications of these findings and how they will potentially influence how the Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda continues to implement and evaluate this policy.


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