Africa > East Africa > Uganda > Ugandan Govt Starts Verifying International Academy Teachers

Uganda: Ugandan Govt Starts Verifying International Academy Teachers


Next nearly a year of bickering with the government of Uganda, the American-founded Bridge International Academies appears to have reached a settlement with the government. Last year saw suits and countersuits as both sides accused each other of over-reach.

The Education ministry is in the process of vetting teachers in the Bridge International Academies (BIA) before deciding whether to license the schools.

A source, preferring anonymity, told The Observer last week that the ministry held several meetings with BIA officials before starting on the verification process.

"In one of the meetings, Bridge officials were requested to submit all details of their staff inclunding original copies of their credentials," the source said. "However, in an extra conference, they [BIA officials] said it was difficult to pick original individual documents of teachers since the academies are spread across the country."

The source added that BIA officials were later allowed to submit a inventory of all their teachers and registration numbers as the ministry awaits their original documents.

According to ministry guidelines, a school proprietor or a teacher is supposed to present original documents during the verification process.

This is in line with part V of the Education Act 2008 which states that, "No person shall teach in any public or private school of any description unless he or she is registered as a teacher or licensed to teach."

"In total, BIA submitted 110 teachers out of the over 300 teachers that had before been disclosed to the ministry. We don't know why they did not hand in all the data as agreed, but the department responsible for the verification is still waiting to hear from them," the source said.


In an August 9, 2017 letter seen by The Observer, BIA co-founder and chief strategic officer, Shannon May, wrote to the education ministry submitting data about teachers operating in the academies.

"We are grateful to your team for verifying an additional 34 teacher certificates in the last few days in addition to the 12 you reported on yesterday [August 8]," May wrote. "We as well attach a inventory of 110 teachers with their registration numbers in line with your guidance in yesterday's conference."

She added: "We are working to capture all the registration numbers remaining to submit an additional inventory."

May noted that all BIA teachers have been asked to present their original certificates to the ministry for verification.

"We will be submitting additional original teacher certificates to your office in the coming days for verification until this exercise is complete," reads the letter.

BIA spokesman Solomon Serwanjja confirmed the developments, before adding that they are in constant dialogue with the ministry to get all 63 academies licensed.

"Licensing is a process in Uganda, and not an event. But, we appreciate the support and direction the ministry continues to give us," Serwanjja said.

At the same time as asked whether the shakeup from the ministry has not affected their operations, Serwanjja said: "Bridge schools are open and enrolment is up. We continue to provide high-quality education to 14,000 children in underserved communities.

Bridge schools boast 14,000 learners in 63 schools across the country.


Meanwhile, the ministry spokesman, Patrick Muinda, said various reports have been compiled on the infrastructure, teachers' qualifications and curriculum implemented in Bridge schools.

He said the reports were as well presented to Bridge officials in meetings that he described as 'beautiful, peaceful and cordial'.

"The reports have presently been submitted to top management and we await its position on Bridge schools," Muinda said.

The Observer understands that the ministry's top management is likely to deliberate on the reports this week. In 2016, the ministry inspected BIA facilities and faulted them for poor infrastructure, hygiene and sanitation, which "put the life of schoolchildren in danger," according to the education minister, Janet Museveni.

Ms Museveni as well noted again that the schools did not follow an approved curriculum, before she approved their closure. Serwanjja has since insisted Bridge only teaches the curriculum of the host country in which it serves.

"In Uganda, Bridge only teaches the Ugandan curriculum. As part of the licensing process for any school, materials are being submitted to the National Curriculum Development Centre for review," he said.

On the other hand, Muinda said while the ministry appreciates the use of technology in Bridge schools, it ought to know the content of their curriculum.

"It is good to use technology as that is where we are headed in our schools. [But] we want to ensure that the technology used in our schools to teach, is in line with what the NCDC has prepared for learners," Muinda said. "So, if yours is completely off and we are not aware of it, we wonder why."

Related Articles
  • ‘Betting on Africa to Feed the World’

    2017/10/17 The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration.
  • World Teacher’s day: Gov’t urged to improve teachers’ productivity

    2017/10/16 Cameroonian teachers nationwide have exhorted the Cameroonian government to empower teachers with the requisite tools to be able to deliver their best in the present fast-paced world. While commemorating the 23rd edition of world teacher’s day today, the teachers noted that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers,” reaffirms that peace and security are needed for the development of any country.
  • Africa's Economic Future Depends on Its Farms

    2017/10/16 At the same time as the economies of Nigeria and South Africa recently rebounded, it wasn't oil or minerals that did the trick. It was agriculture. Faster and additional sustainable agricultural increase is crucial not only to the continent's economy, but as well to its ability to feed and employ its surging people. Agriculture still accounts for a quarter of gross domestic product and as much as two-thirds of employment in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, agricultural increase has the biggest impact on non-farm gain and reducing poverty.
  • Uber and African’s economic transformation

    2017/10/16 WHEN Uber was initial established in 2009, its mission was to help people everywhere get a ride, safely, quickly and at the push of a button. Eight years later, that mission remains the same and Uber’s innovative, technology-driven business model is still fundamentally changing the way people think about conference their transport needs. For the completed four years, Uber has been delivering this same level of transformation across sub-Saharan Africa, SSA, and with additional than 1.8 million active riders using the app, Uber certainly has reason to celebrate its fourth anniversary on the continent this September. Uber And it’s not just Uber that has benefited from the stellar uptake of its convenient offering in Africa.
  • Uganda age limit repeal law referred to parliamentary committee

    2017/10/05 A law amending Uganda’s constitution to allow ageing leader Yoweri Museveni to extend his policy was introduced in parliament on Tuesday, at a session where nearly all its opponents were either barred or remained away in turmoil. Museveni, 73, has ruled Uganda since 1986. He is as from presently on ineligible to seek re-election in the next polls in 2021 because the existing constitution places an age ceiling of 75 on anyone aspiring to the presidency. The bill brought to parliament would remove the age hurdle.