The establishment of the Uganda National Institute for Teacher Education (UNITE) takes effect in July this year.
The changes that are intended to phase out non-graduate teachers in the system are on course and will see the phasing out of all Primary teachers’ Colleges.
Preparations are in high gear at Shimoni Core Primary Teachers College that is being repurposed to become the Uganda National Institute for Teacher Education (UNITE) in July next financial year.
The task force that was put in place to establish UNITE has already submitted Education programmes to National Council for Higher Education for certification.
The NCHE has already done the inspection and verification of the infrastructure at the headquarters and all the five national teachers colleges that are going to become UNITE campuses. NCHE approved all of them and are now ready for kick off.
Rev. Fr. Adrian Katarikawe the Public Relations Officer UNITE task Force secretariat said they are ready on their part and only waiting for other processes that are handled by different officers.
"Even if we are told to start even tomorrow given what we have done, we would be ready to start but there are other processes that are still pending," said Fr. Katarikawe.
In the new arrangement, the now Shimoni Core PTC will be shifted to Nkokonjeru and the Shimoni premises become the headquarters of UNITE, the coordinating center for all the five UNITE Campuses.
The five UNITE campuses are the current teachers colleges of Muni, Kaliro, Kabale, Unyama and Mubende.
Currently government has 46 PTCs and out of these 23 are non-core and government intends to repurpose them to either become Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), secondary or primary school but following the principles.
"We are going to follow the principle of one sub county, one public secondary school, one parish one public primary school so we are not going to destroy the existing infrastructure. We are going to put it into good use and we are planning on kick starting UNITE in 2023’’ said Dr. Denis Mugimba the spokesperson in the ministry of Education and Sports.
All the Core PTCs shall remain as upgrading centres and UNITE training centres for specialised programs. All the changes will be effected in the government owned and aided PTCs and the private ones will have to choose what to do with their facilities.
In the new arrangement as per the teachers’ policy the current oversight role by Kyambogo University will be shifted to UNITE.
UNITE will house the National Teachers’ Council that will be mandated to supervise and certify all teachers in the country regardless of where they train from.
Teachers with Grade III and Grade V qualifications have up to August 2028 to upgrade and become graduate teachers to fit into the new arrangement.