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How training for NCDC special needs tutors flopped over poor accommodation

Director, National Curriculum Development Centre, Dr. Grace K. Baguma failed to resolve complaint

Kampala, (UG): A National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) training session came to an unexpected halt on Monday after a group of Center Coordinating Tutors (CCT) raised concerns about inadequate accommodation and unclear communication from the organizers.

The Centre Coordinating Tutors were all forced to return home without a clear explanation.

The CCTs had been selected to undergo specialized training as master trainers for educating other tutors and teachers in primary and secondary schools in identifying and teaching learners with autism, gifted and talented abilities, and specific learning difficulties.

The tutors from across the country arrived in Kampala on Sunday, with some heading directly to Kololo Secondary School, the venue for the training. However, there was soon uncertainty when many of the tutors questioned the nature of the training.

“The letter they sent was vague. It didn’t clarify whether the training would be residential or not. Many people came guessing. To make matters worse, there was nobody to receive us. It was as if they were not expecting us. What we went through at night was tough,” one of the tutors complained.

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CCTs are outreach tutors responsible for providing continuous professional development (CPD) for headteachers and teaching staff in about 50 primary schools linked with the coordinating centers that act as their base.

The tutors insisted that the training would not commence until NCDC officials clarified crucial details such as the residential nature of the training and the amount allocated for their out-of-pocket allowances among other issues. During the discussion, tutors also opposed the proposal of sleeping in open dormitories.

Saulo Timweboneire, the CCT from Bishop Stuart Core PTC who is also one of their coordinators, emphasized that as older individuals, they were entitled to privacy and should not be subjected to sleeping arrangements of this nature.

A visibly frustrated NCDC official declared that those willing to stay could do so, while those unwilling were free to leave, which some tutors perceived as a threat. The tutors asserted that the training would not commence under the current circumstances.

When Grace Baguma, the NCDC Director arrived, she apologized to the tutors and acknowledged the shortcomings in the communication conveyed through the invitation letters. However, she expressed surprise at the focus of the tutors’ concerns, noting that the majority revolved around financial matters rather than the core objective of special needs education that had brought them together.

Addressing the financial aspect, Baguma informed the tutors that they were initially allocated an out-of-pocket allowance of sh30,000. However, this amount was rejected by the funders. Despite this setback, the center engaged with the Ministry of Education, which managed to secure some government funds to facilitate the tutors. She urged them to appreciate the effort made in securing additional funds.

Regarding accommodation, the director emphasized that Kololo SS had been designated as an official in-service training center for the Ministry of Education.

In response, the tutors stressed that if NCDC lacked resources, they shouldn’t have arranged the training.

The director left the meeting abruptly, promising to return within an hour to address accommodation concerns.

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At 4:30 pm, the training had not started, and the director had not returned, leaving the situation unresolved. Tutors decided to return to their respective stations in protest.



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