The 2018 TESSA Uganda Forum has afforded the opportunity at a governmental and a national level to expand the TESSA community, by inviting not only teachers and teacher educators from each public and private primary and lower secondary pre-service teacher education institution in Uganda but also key educational policy makers and managers. T
he Forum took place on the 1st and 2nd February 2018, at Kyambogo University, the second largest public university in the country, mandated to oversee the training of primary and secondary school teachers as well as tutors for the Primary Teachers College.
The Forum was hosted at Kyambogo University under the able leadership of Prof. Eli Katunguka (Vice-Chancellor) and Mr. Charles Okello (University Secretary). It was formally opened by the Minister of State for Education, Charles Bakkabulindi.
The Forum was organized by the TESSA Ambassadors from Kyambogo University (George Wilson Kasule, David Henry Ngobi and Doris Kaije) and Makerere University (Henry Busulwa, Reymick Oketch and Julian Bbuye) in Uganda. It was attended by the Principal and one other representative from each of 61 Primary Teachers' Colleges (PTCs) for primary teacher training and 5 National Teachers' Colleges (NTCs) for secondary teacher training, and by Kris Stutchbury and Jane Cullen from The Open University (OU) UK. It was financed by a grant from the Alan and Nesta Ferguson Foundation). One hundred and thirty (130) Forum participants from institutions across Uganda took part over the 2 days of the forum.
The purpose of the Forum was to begin the process of embedding of TESSA OERs into the work of all the PTCs and NTCs by engaging with the senior managers of each college to show the practical ways in which the TESSA materials can improve the quality of teaching and teacher education across Uganda. The practical guidance given in the TESSA materials to constructing curriculum-appropriate lessons for primary and lower secondary classrooms supports both tutors and student teachers in meeting national policy aspirations, and gives them the skills to effectively implement the new thematic school curriculum. Across the 2 days of the forum, TESSA Ambassadors demonstrated the variety of ways in which TESSA could support the curriculum of the PTCs and NTCs and all participants workshopped within their subject area and within their college ways in which they could spread and embed the use of TESSA
To that end, all participants at the Forum were given a USB Flash Drive containing all the TESSA materials to take back for dissemination at their college, including loading the materials onto a college intranet, onto the computers in the computer room, enabling all members of staff to load the TESSA materials onto individually owned computers, laptops, as well as using the contents of the Flash Drive at staff meetings, college workshops etc. All of the colleges present worked on a plan for embedding TESSA to take back to their individual institution. The Uganda TESSA Ambassadors, along with OU UK TESSA colleagues, will be visiting a cross-section of the colleges in a few months time to give further support.
This was a fantastically successful event, and thanks go to all involved for all the organization in bringing it to fruition.
As a marker of the importance of Kyambogo University in organizing teacher education in Uganda and a wish by both Kyambogo University and the Open University UK to formalize their joint commitment to TESSA, as well as to distance learning and to elearning, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both universities during this forum.
Pictures from left to right: Kris Stutchbury, Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi, Jane Cullen, Prof Eli. Katunguka, Stephen Ndawula, Reymick Oketch, Doris Kaije, Julian Bbuye, David Ngobi, Partocipants at the forum and working on plans to embed the TESSA materials