The National Curriculum Development Centre is on spot for spending billions to train teachers without following the right procurement procedures as stipulated in the Procurement and Disposal Unit regulations.
Several trainings have since 2020 been carried out from various places that include Jinja College in Jinja City, Mt. St. Mary’s College Namagunga, Trinity College Nabbingo in Wakiso District, Muni University among other government institutions. Impeccable sources reveal that some elements within the NCDC management locate government institutions and hire them on full board basis.
They give an impression that the venues are government owned facilities but go ahead and pay for them. The smart officers just write Memorandum of Understanding and send it to Solicitor General for approval in error. The error arises from the fact that they flout procedures established by the known and set laws. Once there is no intervention, it is feared that the ongoing program to train teachers in the Eastern, Central and Western regions from April19, 2022 to May 7, 2022 and thereafter may see more billions siphoned with no proper accountability. This is due to the fact that the procurement for services and materials required to train teachers is flouted with impunity.
It is common knowledge that the curriculum development and management process requires inputs (Consultancy Services/Supplies/Works), which have to be procured. The mandate of the Procurement unit is to offer effective and efficient Procurement services that aid development of curricula and instructional materials for equitable and quality education as guided by NCDC’s regulatory framework. The fully fledged procurement unit acts on the requests of other units and departments. The main activities of the unit include procuring consultancy services, non-consultancy services, supplies as well as procuring works.
Interestingly, the current Finance Secretary Stephen Kwiri finds it safe to ignore PPDU by going ahead to do direct procurement. Owing to his past experience in handling government funds at Diary Development Authority and Uganda National Roads Authority, he is expected to know the repercussions of playing with the government funds. However this has not in any way stopped him from going ahead to directly procure services and some office equipment. It should be noted that on several occasions, he improvises on securing photocopying and printing services through his rightful henchman, Ambrose Sansa. This has not only caused cohesion at the Curriculum Centre but may in future land the innocent people in trouble once external auditors appear to do their job.
It should be noted that before the lockdown, NCDC had benchmarked Shs143bn to train teachers on the new curriculum within a period of five years.
NCDC does the pre and post teacher symposiums to train teachers on the revised Lower Secondary Curriculum. The training also aims at equipping participants with skills to conduct different modes of assessment, and design projects.
The Ministry of Education and Sports guidelines for school re-opening after COVID 19 lockdown indicated automatic progression for all learners of Primary and Secondary school levels. In an effort to recover the lost learning time a number of concepts and competencies must be learnt in the available limited time. The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) through the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) resolved to abridge the existing curriculum for P2 to P7 and S2, 3, 4 and 6. This was aimed at ensuring effective implementation of the curriculum in a limited time without compromising its quality.