The State Minister for Primary Education, Dr. Joyce Moriko Kaducu,has tasked technocrats in the Ministry of Education to prepare and present their responses on a number of complaints raised by the muslim community.
She made the directive in a meeting with a delegation from the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council(UMSC) led by Sheikh Juma Bakhit Cucu, the UMSC education secretary, Muhamood Kateregga Namuguzi, the national chairman of the UMSC education committee, Okumu Juma Maboni, the education secretary for Kampala Muslim Region, Kawuma Muhammad among others.
The minister’s team comprised Ronald Kiberu, a commissioner in charge of human resources, Ismael Mulindwa, the director of basic education and Moses Mugingo, the assistant commissioner of guidance secondary education.
During the meeting, Sheikh Cucu read out a prepared document that outlined several issues affecting muslim education in the country.
They included among others; the terms and conditions of service of muslim teachers, the exclusion of Islamic Religious Education(IRE) teachers from the government payroll, faulty new IRE curriculum from primary and secondary schools, upgrading of Kabukunge PTC to Core PTC, promotion of muslim teachers to the position of the headteachers, transfer of headteachers to and from Muslim founded schools among others.
Without mincing his words, Cucu noted how the UMSC department of education had made several efforts to engage the education ministry officials on how best to improve Muslim education through inspection of schools, drawing appropriate learning materials and the status of teachers in muslim founded schools, which is so wanting.
“Unfortunately, in most instances, no tangible response has been received,” said Cucu, claiming that even some headteachers have connived with some corrupt ministry officials to find their way into muslim schools without their involvement as the foundation body.
“Some offer bribes to ministry officials to retain them in schools in disregard of the laid down regulations, which has prompted such unscrupulous school heads to tamper and even make the illegal transfer of land titles from UMSC, community schools and change school names into their personal entities,” he said.
The commissioners noted that despite the fact that they didn’t offer a formal reply to the communications from the UMSC education department, they had started addressing some of the contentious issues so far raised.
They also noted that the recruitment of teachers is purely based on qualifications and with emphasis on the national outlook.
“The statistics show that many muslim teachers have been recruited and are serving in many non-muslim founded schools,” Kiberu said.
Ismail Mulindwa, the director of Basic Education on his part denied any knowledge of any corruption in the transfer of headteachers.
Kaducu directed the technocrats to prepare to present statistics on the recruitment of teachers showing their backgrounds during the forthcoming inter-faith consultative meeting with the stakeholders.
In the meantime, she tasked them to send a team in the field to investigate the overstay of some of the headteachers in some schools, expired school management committees, illegal transfer of land titles and illegal change of school names.
She also directed those conducting the education policy review process to avail ample time to UMSC to present her views.