With support from the Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda (FENU), MUMYO organized activities for the Global Action Week in Mukono Municipal Council with the theme “increased funding for education”. The activities included matching through Mukono town, signing commitments on a big ball, presentation of papers from the civil society organizations like World Vision, ANPPCAN, District Education Officer’s office, MUMYO and others as well as drama, songs and poems which crowned the day.

Also, MUMYO and the Uganda Adult Education Network (UGAADEN) jointly organized one day consultative meeting in preparation for the 5th Joint Social Development Sector Review by the Ministry of Gender, labour and Social Development (MGLSD). The purpose of the meeting was to consider and discuss the SDIP II alongside the SDIP I Evaluation Reports. The consultative meeting, which was held in Kampala on 14th December 2010 at Green Valley Hotel, was attended by 34 individuals representing a cross section of civil society organization.

Outcomes, Views and opinions  

The consultative meeting raised a number of issues and concerns relating to the functioning and position of the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development vis-à-vis its mandate for social development.

Partnership with CSOs 

The existing working relationship between the Ministry and a number of CSOs is highly acknowledged and appreciated. However, the related provision in SDIP II particularly under section for Community Mobilization and Empowerment is rather vague, inconsequential and does not communicate real commitment to build eventful partnerships. The Green Valley meeting called for meaningful mechanisms that will clear provisions for cooperation instruments such as Memoranda Understanding (MOUs), financing arrangements among others for NGOs involved in adult and lifelong learning.

SDIP 11 Goal and general outlook 

We observe that the goal and general outlook is unnecessarily over-emphasizing employment creation which somehow shrinks the Ministry’s mandate to labour other than the broad spectrum of social development. We propose that the proposed goal be enriched to take care of the concept and value of “equity” which is one of the cornerstones of social development. We hereby offer a proposal: “to develop and promote equitable and sustainable livelihood for improved well-being of all Ugandans”.

Sector Priorities and outcomes:

The six priorities on page 16 of SDIP II are labour and employment inclined further narrowing the mandate of the ministry. We note with concern that:

  • The important function of nurturing and promoting skills development and the whole business of adult and lifelong learning has no corresponding sector priority. There is a great to improving the functionality and accessibility to quality Formal and non-formal adult and lifelong education (ALE)
  • Equally, culture which is one of the indispensable ingredients of social development is missing out on sector priorities.

We beg to offer the following addition to the proposed sector priorities:

  • Enacting and operationalizing a policy framework for promoting adult and lifelong learning with a focus on adult literacy education, and skills development.
  • Analyze and utilize the positive aspects of culture to develop and promote cultural programmes for sustainable development 
  1. Re-thinking the Community Mobilization and Empowerment theme

We note with appreciation, the trend to bring on board adult education and lifelong agenda in the mainstream work of the Ministry. We, however, call for a paradigm shift. We observe that little is being done and current efforts are too minimal to meet the education and training needs of out-of-school young people and adults. We offer the following suggestions:

  • The ministry should consider upgrading adult literacy portfolio to adult education and lifelong as a way of broadening its planning, policy and operational work to match the ever increasing social and economic demand for knowledge and skills for millions of Ugandans who are not served directly by the formal education system.
  • Even with the current narrow concentration on adult literacy, it is our view that the Ministry resists the temptation to promote a single approach called Functional Adult Literacy (FAL). Helping adults to develop literacy and numeracy is a very challenging undertaking which calls for a careful integration of a multiplicity of approaches and methodologies. Examples?
  1. Results for Community mobilization and empowerment
  • Vibrant cultural industry developed
  • Non-formal adult learning policy formulated and operationalized
  1. Overall comment on the position and functioning of the MGLSD

We are deeply concerned that:

  • The existing ministerial linkages with other strategic agencies and ministries such as Education and Sports, Agriculture and its NAADS programme, Finance and its SACCOs seem to be weak and negligible. One wonders, for example, why it is difficult for the Ministry of Education or any other relevant organ of Government to work with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to ensure that adult literacy learners have learning achievements certified, equated and / or recognized within an agreed Uganda Qualifications Framework?. There is little investment in strengthening the technical and institutional capacity to deliver quality adult literacy and other non-formal adult learning services.