The current situation.doc

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ECD situational analysis and needs assessment

Briefing report to Ka Tutandike Trustees

Jason Pennells

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The process of the study

Summary report against outputs

Output 1: Executive summary briefly indicating the key findings and action points
          recommended by the study

Output 2: Description of the current status of training of teachers for pre-primary

Output 3: Description of current status of nursery nurse training and professional

Output 4: Indication of the potential audiences for training together with discussion
          and an assessment of their ability to pay for such training

Output 5: Description of the government policy for pre-primary school children, the
          training of their teachers and of their nursery nurses

Output 6: Details of the capacity of the University of Kyambogo to develop and
          deliver such training as may be identified as desirable through ODL

Output 7: Identification of and relevant comment on other potentials partners and
          stakeholders in financing, developing and implementing the training of
          pre-school teachers and the training of nursery nurses

Output 8: An analysis of the University of Kyambogo’s outreach services and
          recommendations about the viability of extending these to support nursery
          school teachers engaged in the posited training programme and for
          continuous professional enrichment and development

Output 9: Information on the current curricula for training Pre-primary teachers and
          nursery nurses

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This report is prepared as a summary briefing for the Trustees of Ka Tutandike Trust
UK on the findings of the study carried out by IEC on behalf of Ka Tutandike into
training of pre-primary teachers and nursery nurses in Uganda.

This briefing report focuses on the outputs specified in the Terms of Reference of the
study, as provided as Annex 1 to the contract between Ka Tutandike and IEC.

Extensive information and documentation were gathered and reviewed in the course
of this study, from many sources. Full description and discussion of these, and listings
and commentary on the institutions, programmes, individuals and other aspects of the
situation engaged with and identified in the course of this study, will be provided in a
separate report to inform, expand on and substantiate the summary points presented
here. The present summary briefing represents a synthesis and evaluation of the key
points derived from the various data.

I am grateful both to Ka Tutandike Trust for commissioning and supporting this
study, and to all the individuals and organisations with whom I worked in Uganda in
carrying it out. Details of those involved in Uganda appear in the full report and its

AfC         Action for Children
AMREF       African Medical Relief Foundation
ANPPCAN (U) The African Network for Prevention and Protection Against Child
            Abuse and Neglect – Uganda Chapter
BvLF        Bernard van Leer Foundation
CCF         Christian Children’s Fund
CCT         Coordinating Centre Tutor
CDO         Community Development Officer
CHILD       Community and Home Initiative for Long-term Development
CORP        Community Owned Resource Persons
DDE         Department of Distance Education
DEPE        Diploma in Education Primary External
DSNEE       Diploma in Special Needs Education External
ECD         Early Childhood Development
ECCD        Early Childhood Care and Development
ECE         Early Childhood Education
EFAG        Education Funding Agencies Group
ESA         Education Standards Agency
IEC         International Extension College
IECD        Integrated Early Childhood Development
IMCI        Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses
KISE        Kenya Institute of Special Education

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KYU               Kyambogo University
MoES              Ministry of Education and Sports
MoH               Ministry of Health
MRC               Madrassa Resource Centre
MUK               Makerere University Kampala
NACECE            National Centre for Early Childhood Education [Kenya]
NCC               National Council for Children
NCDC              National Curriculum Development Centre
NECDP             Nutrition and Early Childhood Development Project
NTA               National Teacher’s Association
NTC               National Teachers’ College
PDC               Parish Development Committee
PTC               Primary Teachers’ College
SCiU              Save the Children in Uganda
TDMS              Teacher Development and Management System
YMCA              Young Men’s Christian Association
YWAM              Youth with a Mission
YWCA              Young Women’s Christian Association

The process of the study
Terms of Reference were developed by Ka Tutandike Trust UK, in discussion with
IEC, to conduct a brief study of the current situation and training needs and the
possibilities for support to make improvements in pre-primary education and early
childhood care in Uganda.

The study was conducted over a three week period in Uganda, 24 June – 14 July
2005, following from an earlier one-week preparatory visit, 4 – 11 April, and
preparatory liaison and planning between the two visits.

A wide range of organisations was consulted, governmental, non-governmental and
parastatal. These included teacher training institutions, organs of the Ministries of
Health and of Education, donors and development agencies, day-care centres, babies’
homes, nursery schools, NGOs and community-based ECD projects.

An interview checklist was used as a guide to semi-structured individual and group
interviews, documents were gathered, institutions and ECD sites were visited in
Kampala and elsewhere, and a stakeholders’ meeting was held to review and discuss
issues arising through the study.

The consultancy was based within Kyambogo University (the national professional
institution with responsibility for teacher training), with logistical support provided
through the Department of Distance Education, and working with a counterpart from
the department of Early Childhood Education.

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Summary report against outputs
Output 1:
Executive summary briefly indicating the key findings and action points
recommended by the study

Re Output 2:
There are a large number of private providers of nursery teacher training in Uganda
offering their own certificates and diplomas. 62 such organizations have formed an
association. Only very few of these are recognized by Kyambogo University (KYU),
though many of the institutions are seeking affiliation.

A tension exists between a demand for high academic standard of entry and exit from
a nursery teacher training course and a desire to meet the needs of many less-educated
potential nursery teachers and caregivers. KYU is urged to develop and agree a
framework matching varying entry and exit levels to accommodate the range of
levels, which government, trainees and all training bodies can operate to.

Re Output 3:
There is no substantial nursery nurse training available in Uganda. Where there is a
nursery nurse working in or attached to a daycare centre, nursery school, children’s
homes or other children’s organization, she will generally have a standard nurse’s

The Ministry of Health, with support from Unicef and the World Bank, has developed
a range of training and resource materials on child health, early childhood
development and nutrition, and for developing community resource people to work in
this field. Unicef has also piloted community-based integrated ECD projects in rural
areas. These projects and the IECD centres they have established are facing collapse
with the withdrawal of external funding.

Re Output 4:
A numerous and diverse market exists for good quality and recognized pre-school
teacher training of appropriate kinds, including among internally displaced people in
the North, untrained, working nursery teachers and caregivers in private urban
daycare centres, and young and old community resource people in rural areas.

Particularly at the lower income and education levels, there is little appetite to pay to
undergo training, as indeed there is little commitment among poor communities to pay
their trained community caregivers for childcare.

Trained nurses working as nursery nurses in urban institutions are willing to undergo
training on the job if their costs are met. The institutions employing them typically
cannot or are unlikely to wish to pay their training costs. There are also many other
categories of potential trainees in child health matters, both urban and rural.

Re Output 5:
Policy is that pre-primary education is to be paid for privately but implemented in line
with quality and curriculum guidelines and frameworks established by government.

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The status of ECE within teacher training and in relation to primary education is
complicated, and ECE is insufficiently recognized as a distinct kind of process from
primary teaching and learning. Thus ECE is not a thriving subject at PTCs, as it is not
a remunerable school teaching subject; and government considers the possibility of
absorbing ECE classes as a lower phase of primary schools, which would further
erode the distinction of methods and focus to the detriment of ECE rather than to the
benefit of primary education.

MoES believes Kyambogo University should focus on training trainers (including
PTC tutors in ECE, who in turn should train Coordinating Centre Tutors in the TDMS
outreach system, rather than KYU directly training caregivers or nursery teachers.

Policy on the training of nursery nurses is neglected, falling between the responsibility
areas of MoES, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social

Re Output 6:
Kyambogo University has a well-established Department of Distance Education,
anticipated to become an Institute, and runs diploma courses for large numbers of
students around the country in cooperation with primary teachers’ colleges and
national teachers’ colleges.

The Department of Teacher Education and Development and the Department of
Special Needs and Rehabilitation are also potentially useful partners within KYU for
developing and delivering ECD by means of distance or blended learning.

KYU would need to adjust the style of its distance courses to suit the needs and
capacities of the various audiences who would participate in the courses.

Re Output 7:
Kyambogo University could usefully form collaborative arrangements with NGOs
active in relevant fields to develop and deliver training in ECE and nursery nursing. It
should also build its cooperative relations with other education sector agencies such as
the National Curriculum Development Centre and Education Standards Agency.

A funder wishing to support the development of ECE and nursery nurse training could
work both with KYU and also with one or more private colleges or NGOs.

Co-funding from private foundations (such as Bernard van Leer Foundation), NGOs
(such as Save the Children or Christian Children’s Fund) or large agency funding
(such as accessing Unicef or World Bank funding contributions, through the
programmes of the line ministries) might be feasible; however, each would have its
issues to be resolved of harmonizing agendas and priorities, overcoming bureaucracy
and agreeing an coordinating respective roles.

Re Output 8:
Kyambogo University’s existing outreach services have some strength, through the
Departments of Distance Education, Teacher Education and Development Studies and
Special Needs and Rehabilitation. These could effectively be built on and adapted for

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training in ECE and nursery nursing, in different ways according to the course and

KYU could build new outreach structures with private training bodies engaged in
ECD and also investigate the option of using the TDMS network of Coordinating
Centres which are supported through the PTCs. Although favoured by some, there is
also a concern that these centres would not have the capacity to provide support

For the nursery nursing aspect, KYU should consider collaboration with relevant
sections of the Ministry of Health, because they have relevant knowledge, some
resource materials, orientation to hands-on, community level health work and
professional links with nursing personnel.

Re Output 9:
KYU’s ECD curriculum is arguably more theoretical and academic, and less
practically oriented, than may be of most general use as regards improving the quality
of pre-school teaching and nursery nursing, and could be reviewed and used as a
source rather than a template when developing a distance training course, according to
the audience and purposes of the course.

KYU could usefully collaborate with selected NGOs in matching a curriculum to the
needs and characteristics of the participants of a new distance or blended mode

For nursery nurse training, KYU would do well to engage also with the Ministry of
Health and its training partners, in developing and offering a course. There could also
be cross-over from the care and health-focused nursery nurse curriculum over to an
education-slanted curriculum for pre-school teachers.

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Output 2:
Description of the current status of training of teachers for pre-primary

Teacher training throughout Uganda is overseen by Kyambogo University, which
offers its own training courses and also moderates and approves the training of other
institutions, both government and private.

In the area of training pre-primary teachers and teacher trainers, Kyambogo offers a
certificate course and a diploma course, as well as specialization in ECE as an option
within its Diploma in Teacher Education.

Overall and in comparison to the need, the numbers of trainees in ECE at KYU is very
small indeed, even on its more popular part-time certificate course. Only a handful of
Diploma students at KYU are currently specializing in ECE/ECD. The numbers at
private training institutions and receiving training through NGOs and development
agency projects is much larger, and many of the graduates of these courses go on to
employment in nursery schools and day care centres.

Private pre-school teacher training bodies
There is also a sizeable number of private institutions, including both former
government-run Primary Teachers’ Colleges and also NGOs which offer their own
training for nursery teachers. Only a handful of these are affiliated to and have their
courses recognized by Kyambogo University, however, although most are eager to
attain this status, as it would make their training more marketable and government
more supportive both to the institutions and also in terms of employing their
graduated nursery teachers.

Some of the private training providers are long established and with large numbers of
students, such as YMCA and YWCA, and Ggabba and Buloba Teachers’ Colleges,
while others are very recent and with few students. An association has been
established recently by private nursery training institutions, to lobby for recognition
and to seek a common framework of standards in their training curricula and other
aspects of their institutional profiles in order to facilitate licensing arrangements by
the Ministry of Education and Sports. This association, the ECD Training Institutions
Association, has compiled a listing of 62 initial members.

One private and esoteric training establishment is Sanyu Training Centre and Mother
Child Day Care Centre. This is a combination of a small, private training college for
nursery teachers and a daycare centre which caters both for the children of the
trainees, if they have them, and also for children of low-income local market trading
women. Sanyu Training Centre has received a considerable amount of attention and
some support.

The proprietor (formerly of Sanyu Babies’ Home, now not connected with it, despite
the similarity between the two institutions’ names) is energetically committed to a
vision of early years childcare emanating from her international training and
exposure, and supported by two other ECE specialists. The centre seeks to help
women improve their health and economic status by means of counseling about
family planning. There are training materials and discussions with KYU’s Department

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of ECE about accreditation and external examination of Sanyu’s training; however,
there are matters outstanding concerning the quality assurance and status of the

Other examples of private nursery teacher training colleges are Misanvu Nursery
Teachers’ College in Masaka and Thaibah College in Kampala. The latter runs a
correspondence course in Kampala, at which students take their assignments each
week for marking. Both of these have graduates working in institutions in Kampala
who speak well of their training, although in neither case is it recognized by KYU.

Variations in the training curriculum
The private colleges and other training bodies do not have a standard curriculum, but
each use a variety of materials and guidelines, both obtained from government
(including the training curriculum of Kyambogo University, and the old ECE school
curriculum framework of National Curriculum Development Centre) and developed

Many training providers offer a Certificate and a Diploma programme. For example,
the Nile Vocational Institute (NVI) offers a 2-year Certificate, each semester
comprising two courses plus a practical component, as compared with KYU’s 1-year
Certificate, comprising 4 or 5 courses per semester. YWCA offers a 1-year Certificate
and a 2-year Diploma, whilst YMCA offers a 1½-year Certificate and a 2-year
Diploma, and KYU offers a 2-year Diploma. Madrassa Resource Centre (MRC) offers
1-year and 2-year programmes. Most of these programmes are part-time – for
example, the YWCA Certificate course is held in the morning or in the afternoon, for
unqualified nursery caregivers who are working, and the Diploma is held in the
afternoon, for managers working in daycare centres who have already attained the

Comparability is a highly contentious issue, prompting a strong demand for attention
to clarify matters and set out guidelines to assist all players to proceed. Reportedly, a
holder of a YWCA Certificate who proceeds to study at KYU to upgrade her
qualification is required to start the KYU Certificate rather than immediately progress
to the Diploma, as KYU does not recognize the YWCA Certificate. This illustrates the
two sides of the debate: on the one hand, the private training institutions wish to have
their qualifications recognized and validated as a pass into further opportunities for
training and employment progression, and submit their documentation to KYU for
review and endorsement. On the other hand, KYU sees most of the training carried
out by these private bodies as invalid due to inadequate curriculum, staff competence
or trainee education and qualifications background.

Standards versus access
There is, indeed, a crucial debate within the sector between those who believe training
must be at a high academic standard, with an emphasis on enrolling O-level holders or
higher, and generating trained pre-primary teachers with at least Grade III Teacher’s
Certificate qualification (the official minimum level of a government employed
primary teacher) or a higher Diploma, on the one hand, and those who believe the
priority should be to admit much less qualified entrants to training, from P7 upwards
in many cases, to provide a practical basic training to the very many caregivers and
nursery teachers who would be excluded from a more restrictive-entry course by

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virtue of their educational background, location or economic ability to attend such a

By and large, government bodies, including and led by the Education Service
Commission, and followed by KYU, take the position of demanding minimum
standards of O-level entry and Grade III or Diploma exit level, for employment
purposes, while NGOs and private training bodies take the more open-access position.
The arguments in favour of the latter include the social and developmental mission of
the respective training body concerned, the vast need for training across the country,
including in rural areas, the unfeasibility of the formal, higher level model addressing
this need in any substantial way, and the characteristics of the potential – and actual,
untrained – caregivers.

Many NGO and development agency-sponsored projects work with grandmothers,
young mothers and others in the community, seeking to support them in looking after
the wellbeing and ECD needs of children in the community. Typically, this is
envisaged as a voluntary or community-funded role, and often integrated within a
broader, holistic, community development project context. Such categories would not
have access to formal training at a college in the District, far less to KYU. In these
cases, training is typically through short workshops and progressive, on-the-job
support, in contrast to the long blocks of institution-based training of the formal
education sector.

Output 3:
Description of current status of nursery nurse training and professional

The situation regarding the training of nursery nurses is even less well-resourced than
that relating to pre-school teachers.

Nursery nurse training only exists as a distinct entity as far as NGOs and projects
design and deliver their own training for their own, often localized, clientele. Very
often, this is in a situation of acute stress, such as Action for Children’s work with
communities badly affected by the HIV/AIDS problem (AfC engages Madrassa
Resource Centre, a key player in the area of nonformal caregiver training in the
country, to conduct its trainings), or Save the Children in Uganda and Child-to-
Child’s work with internally displaced people in camps in the north of Uganda.

Nursery nurses working in daycare centres and nurseries such as the very many in and
around Kampala, if trained at all other than inhouse, have a standard nurse training
without any specialization in nursery nursing. This is the case, for example, at
Nsambya Babies’ Home, whilst the attendants at the neighbouring Mother Kevin
Nursery School have varying certificates from private ECE (ie, education-based)
training colleges. The Ministry of Health does support and provide resource for
specific health-related training, such as in nutrition, growth monitoring and common
diseases, yet such training is not a priority, and the Ministry apparently has no nursery
nurse training in its next 5-year plan.

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Most daycare centres and nursery schools operate without a trained nursery nurse of
any kind, therefore, although theoretically required to have one on the staff in order to
operate. In practice, a nurse or medical general practice is often associated with a day-
care centre, and either a nurse drops in to attend to any health problems or else the
director or head of the centre calls on or takes children to the medical centre as need

Unicef and World Bank programmes
Unicef and the World Bank have supported early childhood care and development –
ie, a more broad-based approach than Early Childhood Education, with a view to the
overall growth, health and social development and wellbeing of the young child, not
focused primarily on her education or intellectual development. Unicef has done this
by direct involvement in implementation of projects with District partners, and in
developing resource materials, whilst the World Bank has engaged through funding
and policy development support to government. One key manifestation of this is the
now-closed CHILD project, formerly known as the Nutrition and Early Child
Development Project (NECDP), which has developed and piloted a range of ECD
manuals and guidelines. These have high quality, relevant content, are well produced,
but the extent of their utilization is limited.

Unicef has engaged in piloting rural, community-based Integrated Early Childhood
Development (IECD) projects in rural locations in selected sub-counties of 34
Districts. However, the assumption that communities and District and local
government would take on responsibility for continuing the initiative after the initial
technical and funding support from Unicef was withdrawn has proved frail, and
cessation of activities and confusion at community level is widely reported.

Output 4:
Indication of the potential audiences for training together with
discussion and an assessment of their ability to pay for such training

There is a very large potential audience for training both in pre-primary education and
in nursery nursing.

The issues outlined in the sections above reflect the constraints on the existing
training and in particular the gap between the widespread need for training on the one
hand and the very limited access to appropriate training on the other hand. This is due
to a combination of policy, capacity, economic and physical distribution factors, at the
national and at local levels.

Audiences for pre-school teacher training
Potential audiences for pre-school teacher training include

      Graduates of Certificate courses run by private ECE training institutions who
       cannot further their professional development by attending KYU’s Diploma
       course because they are not nearby, cannot afford the time or money or do not
       have the required entry qualifications
      Untrained, working nursery teachers both in Kampala and in other locations,
       both rural and urban

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       Youth and older women1 displaced in the North, in camps and in towns, forced
        from their former home locations due to conflict
       Youth and older women who have lower educational background than would
        be required for a KYU-approved or offered course but who could be trained to
        perform a useful role and would be interested in pursuing ECE as an
        occupation, including rural and urban school leavers at various levels
        (particularly the numerous group at P7-S4 level) and older people
       Housekeepers, often brought from the village to Kampala, who might, it has
        been suggested by some (although others are skeptical of the idea), be required
        to have a short training course in ECD in order to gain a license or certificate
        which would enhance their employment marketability.

PTC tutors might be trained as trainers of TDMS Coordinating Centre Tutors (see
Output 8, below) and these CCTs then train at community levels. PTC tutors could
also train PTC students, either as part of a core Foundations of Education curriculum
component in the Grade III Teacher’s Certificate course or as a specialist option,
subject to official approval. However, the formality and inappropriateness to ECD of
much primary level curriculum and teacher training, and the tendency for teachers and
trainers to reproduce the style they themselves have learned under and are used to
teaching by, may make this an option of mixed benefits and difficulties (see Output 5,

Audiences for nursery nurse training
Potential audiences for nursery nurse training include

       Nurses who would like to specialize in nursery nursing, and who may or may
        not already be involved in this sector without specific training
       Similarly to the case for pre-school teacher training, rural and urban school
        leavers, young people and older people, who could create a livelihood from
        nursery nursing if trained, recognized and able either to enter employment in
        others’ institutions or projects or else to establish their own childcare centres
       As a complement to ECE training received, nursery teachers and heads of pre-
        primary schools, to strengthen their capacity to operate effectively across the
        range of requirements of supporting and caring for young children.

Incentives, barriers and the demand for training
The demand for such training, and thus the potential audiences, will be affected by
government policy concerning employment of staff and registration of individuals and
institutions. This will exert a financial pressure, according to how and exactly what
form of regulatory framework is applied, which will in turn act as an incentive and a
potential source of penalty. Equally, the effectiveness, quality and usefulness of any
training will need to make it attractive if it is to attract significant numbers and thus
produce a sizeable impact on the quality, nature and availability of early childhood
care and education.

The ability of potential audiences to pay for their training is limited, particularly at the
lower levels advocated by NGOs and development projects, as opposed to the

 The vast majority of pre-primary teachers and caregivers are women, and there is a widespread
assumption that this is realistic and desirable

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Diploma level currently offered by KYU. Employers, whether babies’ homes run on a
charitable basis, private daycare centres and nursery schools or parents hiring
housekeepers to include childcare in their daily routine, are not in many instances
likely to have the spare funds to spend, or want to spend what they do have, on paying
for their caregivers, nursery nurses or pre-school teachers to undergo training. In some
cases the situation will be otherwise, and in particular the argument may be won in
relatively affluent contexts that a well trained staff brings advantages to the children
in their care, but training fees can be expected to be a major constraint on making
training widely accessible.

Social services and community audiences
It has also been suggested that other categories of people dealing with children should
be considered as potential participants in training and awareness-building of
children’s rights and needs. The Kampala City Council Probation Office argues, for
example that the police department should receive training to orient them to the
provisions of the Children’s Act and children’s rights, and that Local Council 1 (the
most local council level) should similarly be oriented, so that they know how to
intervene in issues of children’s welfare. At a different level, it has been proposed that
basic training in ECD would be desirable for any mother so that she understands and
can support her child more effectively.

With a view to training widely among community resource people, the Ministry of
Health has produced a practical training manual for use in training ‘Community
Owned Resource Persons’ (CORPs) in improving key family care practices. The
manual is intended for use by a range of people, including extension workers, health
workers, school teachers, Parish Development Committees (PDCs), midwives and
environmental health officers, as a tool to use in increasing knowledge and
understanding among school children, church groups, adult education groups, parents’
groups and in any other appropriate local setting.

Output 5:
Description of the government policy for pre-primary school children,
the training of their teachers and of their nursery nurses

MoES policy is that pre-primary education is the responsibility of the private sector.
Government will support the sector by means of developing and implementing policy
guidelines and frameworks on the standards and coverage of pre-primary education,
and by licensing teachers and nursery schools. Although some sections of the MoES
recognize the importance of pre-school education and the desirability of government
supporting and providing it, the reality is that, especially with the recent budgetary
burden of implementing free universal primary education, government is unable and
likely to remain unable to venture into delivery of pre-primary education.

ECE policy documents
Policy on ECE is documented in a series of exploratory and advisory documents,
leading progressively towards stipulations and regulations, concerning the scope, age-
range, curriculum and methods of pre-school education. Whilst the age-range with
which ECE is concerned is a matter of debate, the Ministry of Education and Sports

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considers ECE as stretching from birth up to 8 years, ie including P1 and P2 as well as
pre-school education. Key framework developments in this regard include

      Government white paper on education (1992)
      ‘Eight is too late’ – a review by the ECD Task Force in Uganda (1997)
      Roadmap for implementation of primary curriculum reforms (2004)
      Strategies for development of integrated national policy on ECD (2005)
      Education sector strategic plan 2004-2015 (Draft 2005)
      Learning framework for early childhood development (3-6 years) 2005
      Thematic primary curriculum (P1-3) (Under development 2005)
      Final early childhood development policy and costed action plan (Draft 2005).

Regarding training of pre-primary teachers, as outlined under Output 2 (above),
government is committed to professionalizing the teaching force, including pre-school
teachers, even though the actual pre-schools are to be private not government run.
Thus whilst government for the time being indulges the existence and operation of the
many private training courses recruiting trainees with less than O-level education and
producing graduates with certificates and diplomas not recognized by KYU, and these
graduates then teaching in privately run schools, official policy is to supercede this
cadre with all pre-school teachers having at least Grade III Certificate.

KYU’s role
There is debate about the role of KYU in relation to other bodies. The view held by
several key players in MoES and elsewhere is that KYU should not be engaged
directly in training caregivers and nursery teachers at all but should be focusing on
training trainers. This is in keeping with KYU’s role of training PTC tutors. The
trained trainers would then train and support the caregivers and nursery teachers.

Further, there is a widespread view within MoES, private training institutions and
elsewhere that it would be desirable for KYU to develop and make explicit an agreed
framework of qualifications to meet the varying needs of different levels of trainee,
correlating across levels of trainee intake, the training offered to each category of
trainee, government requirements for each level of training to meet and employers’
requirements and expectations for each level. KYU is aware of this and is to some
extent working towards this goal, but it remains to be fully negotiated, approved and
institutionalized. This would assist with government and private sector salary scales,
the employment and career ‘ladder’ of teachers and caregivers, and other institutions’
development of training programmes which could be recognized and accredited.

ECE in the context of the teacher training curriculum
ECE is not recognized as a teaching subject, and as such cannot count as a credit
when seeking employment in a government school of any kind. For this reason, it has
been suggested that policy is undermining ECE as a professional field, since there is
no incentive for students on government- recognized Grade III or Diploma in
Education courses to specialize in ECE.

One expectation widely held in government is that ECE should be a component of
Foundations of Education, and that all teachers who undergo primary training should
thus be equipped to teach at pre-primary level. This corresponds to a suggestion for
policy direction that pre-primary classes should be added onto existing primary

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schools, thus effectively extending the reach of government education provision
downwards and absorbing pre-primary education into the ‘mainstream’ education

Opponents of this proposal foresee it as part of a threat to the distinct nature of ECE,
already under severe pressure from parental demands, a competitive education system
and teachers’ own teaching preferences and experiences. Such a merging of ECE into
primary education would imply ECE effectively being formalized, and instead of any
real early years curriculum and care being provided, an endorsement and
strengthening of the trend of children being subjected to accelerated primary

This point is discussed further under Output 9, below.

Policy on nursery nurse training
Regarding policy on training of nursery nurses, this exists in an apparent ‘no-man’s
land’ between the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Sports and the
Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The National Children’s
Council discusses matters relating to the issue, but no line ministry has responsibility
or control over the area, and it appears to be left in neglect, essentially because the
role of nursery nurse is not formally recognized within government structures.

Output 6:
Details of the capacity of the University of Kyambogo to develop and
deliver such training as may be identified as desirable through ODL

KYU has a dedicated Department of Distance Education (DDE). This is anticipated
soon to be upgraded within KYU to become an Institute of Distance Education, which
when realised will bring considerable enhancement of capacity in terms of facilities,
staffing, profile, expected roles and status. The present DDE comprises a headquarters
staff compliment of twelve, including its head, academic, administrative and clerical
support staff.

DDE’s activities
This unit is responsible for planning and commissioning the design and writing of
programmes, coordinating the development, production and distribution of course
materials, maintaining student, tutor and administrative records of the programmes,
recruiting, training and supporting outreach staff, and overall support, monitoring and
evaluation of its programmes.

Face-to-face tutoring of students in vacation residential sessions is carried out by
tutors hired by the DDE, who are based at or travel to centres spread around the
country. Tutor-marked assignments and examinations are marked centrally, through
the DDE, although consideration is being given to decentralizing assignment marking
to PTCs once the relevant capacity is sufficiently robust and KYU has sufficient
confidence in it.

At present, the DDE offers a Diploma in Special Needs Education External (DSNEE)
and a Diploma in Education Primary External (DEPE), run as distance programmes.

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These programmes are well established, with a total of approximately 5,000 trainees
on the two programmes (about 70% of these being on the DEPE programme). The
programmes are coordinated through 15 outreach centres (9 DEPE and 6 DSNEE),
located throughout the regions of the country, based within Primary Teachers’
Colleges (PTCs).

The DDE draws on subject experts and professional specialists from KYU’s various
Departments and also resource people from elsewhere (including MoES, other
training colleges, the National Curriculum Development Centre, the Education
Standards Agency and NGOs) to develop the course materials. These are designed,
edited, formatted and produced under the guidance of DDE, either inhouse or by
contracted-in personnel. Printing is contracted out to commercial printers.

There is some concern that KYU is constrained in moving forward as swiftly and
energetically as it might otherwise do in terms of developing and offering distance
training in ECD by processes of approval which have to overcome some bureaucratic
hurdles, and by resolution of different partners’ positions on the nature, target,
responsibility and means of training pre-primary teachers and caregivers.

KYU’s own ODL capacity development
DDE staff, KYU senior management and coordinating centre staff (including PTC
tutors, Principals and bursars) have benefited from a series of externally funded and
sourced professional development activities specifically tailored to strengthening the
organisation’s distance education capacity, including workshops in marketing, policy
and management, financial management, the culture of care for distance learners, an
introduction to online courses, audio learning materials development, the development
of the structure of the proposed Institute of Distance Education, records management
and programme administration.

Outside KYU itself as a campus institution, its partners based at PTCs and NTCs have
joined some staff of KYU in studying a distance-taught course ‘Introduction to
distance education’. This course was prepared especially for KYU, comprising three
print-based modules specific to distance education. The aspects of distance education
addressed are learner support, planning, management and quality, and materials
design and development. Approximately 120 staff in various colleges have completed
the one year programme, which was coordinated and managed by the DDE at KYU.

The head of the DDE and a number of the other staff involved (as managers and
administrators at the headquarters and at the outreach centres, and as course writers
and tutors) have had lengthy experience working in distance learning for teacher
development, having worked on earlier inservice teacher training projects. Much of
the experience has been carried forward and applied in the conception and
management of the DDE, and is reflected in the programmes it offers.

This experience is, overall, a very positive asset in terms of equipping the DDE to
offer training by means of open and distance learning in support of improvements in
ECD. A guiding principal which the DDE follows, inherited from its precursors, is a
360 degree ‘culture of care’ for its students and staff.

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The need for DDE to adjust the programme design to the audience
However, the style, organization and presentation of an ECD training or awareness
development programme, both in its packaging of learning content and in its delivery
or mediation with the potential learners, would clearly need to be designed to suit the
needs of the different target audiences.

Thus DDE would need to vary the design of a programme according to whether, for
example, the participants were rural caregivers with very limited formal education,
trainee pre-primary teachers with O-level education background, PTC tutors,
Community Development Officers, PTC tutors, District or Local Council officials of
others. There would most probably be differences in each case (and in others than
these indicative examples) from the style and substance of the existing materials and
course designs, which are directed at experienced, qualified teachers within the
primary education system. In some cases the differences might be not very marked
whilst in others they would need to be very significant.

Output 7:
Identification of and relevant comment on other potential partners and
stakeholders in financing, developing and implementing the training of
pre-school teachers and the training of nursery nurses

Links and collaboration between different ministries and between formal, government
institutions and sometimes less formal, nongovernmental ones, can be difficult, but
the potential benefits of achieving such collaboration are considerable.

Potential collaborations between KYU and other bodies
In developing training programmes and materials and in delivering training, it is
broadly recognized by different stakeholders that efforts should be supported to
engage the government health sector (MoH and its units of relevant expertise), the
government education sector (MoES, KYU, NCNE, ESA and others) and NGOs (eg,
ANPPCAN, SCiU, Madrassa Resource Centre and others). To some extent, such
collaborations are already extant and have worked well. It is certainly the case that
NGOs with relevant expertise and also relevant units and experts from MoH can make
very helpful inputs to the development of ECE or ECD programmes of KYU and
other providers within the education sector.

As is discussed under Output 5 (above), it is generally felt that KYU should not itself
be spending its efforts on direct training of nursery teachers, regardless of the issue of
what the entry level, course content and exit qualification might be, but should instead
be focusing on training trainers and establishing quality guidelines, as it does with
most of its other work (in the form of training college tutors and supervising the work
of PTCs and NTCs). The argument is essentially one of maximising the return on the
effort put into training, so that the greatest impact can be achieved.

A potential collaboration in this regard would be KYU working with PTCs and NTCs,
as well as with private training institutions, to develop the capacity of these other
bodies as necessary and to support them in their offering of Diploma, Certificate and
lower-level training courses and workshops (eg, for community-level caregivers and
for training of pre-primary teachers) in ECE/ECD. This could be done both in terms

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of conventional forms of support and also in terms of developing and delivering
distance or blended learning professional development, as discussed under Output 6.

It is unlikely that Makerere University would have a large role in developing or
delivering this training, the professional teacher training focal point in Uganda being
KYU. Whether or not to engage the TDMS system in delivering the field support
services remains a matter for debate and decision, as discussed under Output 8

The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) has a key role to play in the
development of programmes, working in conjunction with KYU to ensure the pre-
school teacher training curriculum and the pre-school curriculum, as well as the
primary curriculum, are consistent. This is particularly important at present when
there is much change and evolution of curricula and learning frameworks. At the
implantation phase of a new programme, the Education Standards Agency (ESA)
would also in principle be an important partner, along with its District level
counterparts, the District Inspectorates of Schools, though reportedly inspectors
seldom visit pre-primary schools, due to resource issues (lack of fuel) and lack of
familiarity with or interest in pre-primary education.

Outside Uganda, materials and curricular ideas might be usefully gleaned, and
existing partnerships strengthened with the National Centre for Early Childhood
Education (NACECE) in Kenya and the Kenya Institute for Special Education

Potential partners as alternatives to KYU
In terms of alternative possibilities to KYU, should for any reason it be concluded that
working through KYU and its DDE was not the best route, it would potentially be
possible to work at a different level, with one or more of the nursery teacher training
institutions (eg, Sanyu Training Centre, NVI, Misanvu, Buloba PTC or Ggabba

Within the health sector, for the wider aspects of ECD, as mentioned under Output 5,
the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) unit and the Nutrition
Section would be potentially helpful partners. However, working within or closely
interdependently with MoH might risk a smaller scale initiative become dissipated or
bogged down in the more unwieldy scale and pace of policy and national programme
planning and management.

In collaborating with one or more vigorous NGOs (such as SCiU, YWAM or perhaps
Christian Children’s Fund, CCF), note should be taken that each will already have its
own agenda and priorities, as well as its own funding sources and programmes, so
adding to its larger scale diet of operations needs to be negotiated to ensure the
specific emphasis and intention of the intended intervention is not misunderstood or

A further possibility would be to work through a grouping rather than through or with
a single organization. For example, a working alliance and agreed area and objectives
might be worked out with the National Children’s Council, the Madrassa Resource
Centre or the National Teacher’s Association (NTA)

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Potential funding partners
Potential funding partners include

      Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), which is dedicated to ECCD and which
       already supports some NGO work and formerly supported the National
       Children’s Council
      Unicef (though Unicef’s focus in ECD, like AMREF’s, is now essentially
       limited to assisting the internally displaced populations in the North)
      Government of Uganda, indirectly, through its budget-supported work in MoH
       and MoES, including coordination through the Education Funding Agencies
       Group, EFAG, and at national and District levels. (However, to date
       government has not funded trainees on training in government-owned
       institutions, and there is no real prospect of government sponsorship of
       trainees or funding of training institutions in the private sector.)
      Communities who will benefit from having trained pre-school teachers,
       caregivers or nursery nurses (although experience suggests this is in reality a
       very limited and unreliable source of funding)
      Trainees and their sponsors, whether, on the one hand private employers
       seeking (or pressurized by parental demand or by government regulation) to
       secure a trained workforce, or on the other hand District and local councils
       managing to disburse funds to meet their responsibilities in employment and
       training in order to meet policy ends.

Output 8:
An analysis of the University of Kyambogo’s outreach services and
recommendations about the viability of extending these to support
nursery school teachers engaged in the posited training programme and
for continuous professional enrichment and development

The capacity of Kyambogo University to deliver ECD training through distance
learning, discussed under Output 6 (above), includes matters of its outreach capacity
as much as of its headquarters institutional capacity in the DDE. In addition to the
comments already made concerning the current outreach system the DDE uses for its
active DSNEE and DEPE programmes and the need to tailor the programme design to
the needs of the potential learners and the content of the training, the experience and
potential engagement of KYU’s Department of Special Needs and Rehabilitation and
Department of Teacher Education and Development Studies deserve consideration in
this context.

Departments within KYU
As is touched on under Output 9 (below), the Department of Special Needs and
Rehabilitation has a practical, applied emphasis in its courses. This would be well
suited to incorporation into a distance-taught or blended mode (ie, part distance, part
hands-on, field-based and face-to-face) ECD programme. This department already has
good working links with the DDE, in relation to the DSNEE programme, and both in
its practical, results-oriented approach and in its area of subject specialism, it would
be good for the DDE to involve in developing and offering an ECD programme.

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The Department of Teacher Education and Development Studies also has a practical
aspect, working to train and certify nonformal education instructors on the job. Where
various NGO projects have set up nonformal education centres and carried out their
own training of instructors at the community level, this department has been engaged
by the government to provide additional training to such instructors in order to enable
them to join the ‘mainstream’ as resource people beyond the lifetime and specific
parameters of the project and role in which they were originally engaged.

Although issues of equivalence and accreditation remain unfinalised and under
negotiation between KYU and the Education Service Commission, in principle the
Department of Teacher Education and Development Studies is working to establish
people who may have P7-S4 education and who have been identified by their
communities to be NFE workers (both for school-age learners and adults) to maintain
learning centres and act as key local facilitators. Learning centres have been set up by
projects such as ABEK (Adult Basic Education for Karamoja), which the DDE could
use as centres for an ECD programme, coordinated by these resource people in
collaboration with the Department of Teacher Education and Development Studies.

Partner arrangements with private colleges
As KYU supports and supervises affiliated colleges in ECE (eg, Ggabba College and
the Nile Vocational Institute), so these colleges could themselves act as support links
to their own affiliates. For example, NVI has a relationship with Misanvu college in
Masaka District and a satellite campus in Kakoba in the West of the country, and
could extend its current role by taking professional and administrative responsibility
for overseeing their uptake and performance on a distance programme offered by the
DDE. Madrassa Resource Centre similarly has its own support and instruction
relationships with various other centres and might act as an agent of a course from
DDE to make it available to these partners, assuming the course added beneficially to
the training the MRC already offers them. Other primary teachers’ colleges associated
with KYU which specialize in ECE/ECD and could be engaged include Buloba (just
outside Kampala) and Shimoni and Kibuli (which are in Kampala).

Face-to-face meetings
In the existing DSNEE and DEPE programmes offered by the DDE, students are
encouraged to meet in informal peer-group meetings between the vocational face-to-
face sessions, and are encouraged to invite a resource person to assist them. The
extent and quality of these sessions remains up to the student group concerned and
their resourcefulness and capacity to organise the meetings and to attract suitable
resource people.

DEPE and DSNEE students receive their course materials at the face-to-face vacation
sessions. A problem had been late release of funds by the KYU administration, but the
DDE has learned to avoid disruption on this count by submitting its requisition well in
advance. Students also hand in their assignments and receive back their earlier
assignments, marked, at the face-to-face vacation sessions. This means a term’s delay
between hand in and receiving feedback, which is an undesirably long time and would
need to be avoided in an ECD programme, which in any case would be expected to be
much more demonstration of practical skills rather than writing of essays.

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DEPE teaching practice is arranged through the National Teachers’ Colleges.
Originally DEPE did not expect to include teaching practice since its participants had
done a Grade III Teacher’s Certificate. However, it was found they did need the
opportunity to apply their skills in practice and so teaching practice was built into the
courses so as to apply the skills they learn of in the course. The present pattern is two
blocks of six weeks’ teaching practice in the three year programme, one in year two
and one in year three.

The curriculum of training, and also the modes of delivery and support of a distance-
run ECD capacity development programme, would depend on the participants, as
mentioned elsewhere. Partnerships with NGOs working on the ground in an area
would be beneficial for these purposes. As mentioned under Output 5 (above), KYU
would most likely serve a training of trainers function rather than itself be offering
training directly to distant community level caregivers or pre-school teachers.

TDMS debate
One option, which is favoured by some but seen as impractical by others, is for KYU
to train key PTC staff, who in turn would train the TDMS Coordinating Centre Tutors
(CCTs) who are linked to the respective PTC as a bridge between the PTC and the
teachers in the schools and also the wider community. These CCTs are responsible for
inservice professional development of primary teachers. The CCTs are based at
centres supported by one or other PTC, and organise and deliver training and support
both at the school level and at the coordinating centre. The PTC, through a Deputy
Principal Extension, supports the CCTs, training materials having been developed and
produced centrally for this purpose as a key plank in the government’s education
reform strategy in recent years.

In favour of using this TDMS system, the MoES position is that the structures are in
place and are to be used as a central point of reference for any development work in
the Districts, including NGO-generated programmes or community-based initiatives.
Against using the TDMS, other people point out that the CCTs are already
overstretched to attend to the primary teacher support needs under their remit, that
many are inactive and that TDMS has not had the funds at its disposal to print the
modules intended to be used for the training.

DDE’s use of NTCs and PTCs for outreach
The alternative favoured by the DDE, and planned to be introduced for the teaching
practice component of the DEPE and DSNEE programmes, is to use the NTCs as the
outreach centres and to have the course participants interact and access support
directly at that level. In the case of those programmes, the curriculum content of the
distance programme matches that of a corresponding face-to-face programme offered
by the NTCs, and so the distance and face-to-face students can both undertake
teaching practice together. There is not a direct equivalent, in the case of the various
ECD training courses which might be initiated, either in terms of course content or in
terms of the characteristics of the participants.

In conclusion, KYU does have established outreach services for teacher training.
These might be used, perhaps in modified forms and combinations, to support a
distance ECD training, depending on the content and participants of the programme.

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The outreach system is active and organised, and successfully supports a large number
of students on its present programmes.

The system does present some administrative limitations in its present form,
considering the potential for scaling up, demonstration, swift feedback and provision
of support locally, and these would need to be overcome especially as an ECD-
focused course might probably be a more practically-based training for community-
level resource people, for CDOs, CCTs or even, conceivably, trainee nursery nurses,
as opposed to prospective PTC tutors as its current DSNEE and DEPE are.

SMS texting possibility
The DDE has been investigating setting up a bulk mobile telephone text message
service to alert trainees to actions to bee taken (such as going to collect new set of
materials) and significant dates (such as when the registration for exams is). To
establish and utilize such a service is relatively cheap in proportion to the fees a
student pays to pursue the DEPE or DSNEE, and preliminary discussions and studies
indicate that it would be an effective and convenient way of distributing time-
sensitive brief information to many students.

Outreach for nursery nurse training
For nursery nurse training, because of the professional content as far as this is
specialized to an extent beyond the capacity of an education sector institution such as
KYU to offer and support itself, KYU would arguably be best to collaborate with the
relevant sections of the Ministry of Health and with NGOs to design, develop and
support participants on the course (ie, including the outreach services). It may be
worth exploring possibilities for collaboration with AMREF, which formerly carried
out a substantial amount of distance learning training of health sector personnel, its
Uganda distance education centre being in Mbale. However, reports are that AMREF,
and also Child-to-Child are strongly focused on the North, and so may not be able or
wishing to engage in developing or offering any ECD training outside that specific
context and its requirements. Focal areas within MoH which could potentially
collaborate, and which have already developed useful resource material which could
be drawn on, would include Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI)
and Nutrition.

Output 9:
Information on the current curricula for training Pre-primary teachers
and nursery nurses

As discussed under Output 5, there is pressure to formalise ECE into a competitive,
subject-based, literacy and numeracy-oriented intellectual learning regime. This is
highly resisted among professionals in the ECE field, both within Uganda and
internationally. The NGO sector is more clear and adamant on this point than is the
government sector, while parents, who pay fees at nursery schools, exert pressure on
heads and teachers to deliver literacy and numeracy in order that their children will be
able to gain entry at the competitive primary schools. Even to enter P1, entrance tests
and interviews are now widely reported.

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In contrast to the pressures for formalisation and advanced learning, NGOs and ECE
professionals see the purposes of ECE as general care, encouraging the physical,
social and emotional development of the child, stimulation of the imagination and
physical skills, and pre-literacy development rather than any kind of commencement
of reading, writing and arithmetic skills. Play, rest and nutrition are emphasised.

KYU’s curricula
The situation regarding the current curriculum for training pre-primary teachers has
been discussed under Output 2, above. KYU has a Diploma in Pre-school Teacher
Education, which is to train PTC tutors to train teachers of children of the age range 0-
8 years. KYU also has an ECE option in its Diploma in Education.

The KYU curriculum, and to varying extents the curricula of the various private
training colleges, support a holistic and genuinely ECE-based training. Their
implementation is inevitably influenced by pressures to the contrary, however.

There is a convincing argument that the curriculum and training offered by KYU in its
ECD programmes is more theoretical and general and less practical and applied than
would be most suitable for many trainees. The Department of Special Needs and
Rehabilitation, on the other hand, has very practically-based programmes, including
direct, hands-on engagement – especially in its Certificate in Community Based
Rehabilitation – rather than a more academic ‘child study’ as traditionally practised in
Uganda teacher training.

Other organisations’ ECD curricula
As might be expected, the training offered by NGOs to community members tends to
be highly practical and adapted to the identified needs of the local context and
achieving pragmatic ends (such as healthy, happy children) rather than dictated from
principles of a received curriculum directed at certification and vertical career

The various private training institutions each have their own curriculum package,
drawing eclectically from sources including KYU and adding in their own slant. As
many ECD training bodies are faith-based organisations, there is often a component of
the respective religious doctrine included among the broader and more mundane
components. This can act as a source of mistrust and reservation about sharing
resources and training, for example between Moslem and Christian bodies, but
generally this element of the curriculum is embedded as an item or items within a
larger picture, and there is substantial scope for pooling of core components.

For example, the Christian NGO Youth With a Mission (YWAM) has a curriculum
which includes each day devotion, mathematics, language, reading, creation (as social
science), PE and art; whilst the Moslem Madrassa Resource Centre’s curriculum
whilst widely drawn on by secular and Christian bodies and being influential across
all of these, includes a specific orientation to Islam. YMCA’s course includes ethics,
nutrition and early childhood education.

One of the aims of establishing a framework of standards and curriculum content for
private nursery teacher training bodies is to enable all providers to operate an accepted

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core curriculum with free or optional modules which each organisation could add in
according to its orientation and preferences.

Nursery nurse training curriculum
As discussed above, there is no established curriculum for nursery nurse training, but
a range of piecemeal components which are developed and drawn on in various
combinations, largely through NGO-supported projects and under MoH-supported
initiatives distinct from any overall childcare provision. However, what training there
is appears to be highly practical and well applied. For example, the growth and weight
monitoring training under the Unicef-supported IECD programme appears to be at
least in some cases well done and assimilated by the caregivers.

In conclusion, there is considerable scope for an effective and affordable nursery
nurse training programme to create a professional field which appears not to exist as
yet in Uganda to any notable extent.

With regard to the training of pre-school teachers, ideally this too should incorporate a
greater amount of the child health and general wellbeing aspect of ECD and not be
narrowly defined in traditional ‘education’ terms or, above all, initiating accelerated
progress to the formality and narrowness of the competitive, primary education

It seems reasonable to expect that such training developments, if successfully
negotiated, developed and implemented, would make for healthier, happier children.

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