Keep Children Learning

Quality Improvement in Primary Schools through BRMS Implementation


Quality Improvement in Primary Schools through BRMS Implementation

In an effort to address poor quality of education, in 2009, the MoES reviewed the Basic Requirements and 13 Minimum Standards indicators. Between 2010 and 2011, the Government of Uganda and UNICEF joined forces to implement the country programme ‘Quality Improvement in Primary Schools through BRMS Implementation’, funded by the Kingdom of The Netherlands and Irish Aid.

The programme seeks to improve the two national systems of supporting teachers in schools: the Teacher Development National System and the Inspectorate.

Since 2011, pupils of 2,860 BRMS ‘model’ schools and, indirectly 15,962 schools, benefit the activities developed by this programme in 77 districts.

In particular, UNICEF supports the institutionalisation of Child Friendly Schools (CfS) through the implementation of the MoES BRMS standards, with a specific focus on enhancing the quality of teaching and learning (indicator 4), reducing Violence Against Children (indicator 10) and increasing community participation (indicator 8).

Progress on the key objectives highlights the success of the programme to date, with most results on track and completion in programme districts already surpassing the target by 11%.


Programme objectives:
The broad programme objectives, in line with the overall UNICEF Country programme objectives are to:

-         Increase in competency of boys and girls in primary grades three and six nationally in literacy and numeracy in each district by 3% from the 2010 NAPE baseline.

-         Increase the completion rate in each district by 2% from the 2010 baseline.

-         Reduce teacher absenteeism by 7% from the BRMS baseline survey findings.

The specific programme objectives are to:

-         Develop the capacity of CCTs, DIS and MIS to successfully support the development of primary teachers’ and head teachers’ capacity to effectively implement BRMS standards    in all primary schools attached to the 12 PTCs.

-         Develop the capacity of all primary teachers to successfully implement the BRMS and Thematic and revised Upper Primary Curricula.

-         Develop the capacity of Regional DES, DEOs, MEOs, PTC principals, DPOs, MoES personnel to provide effective support supervision to CCTs, DIS and MIS in their implementation and institutionalization of the BRMS in all primary schools in Uganda

-         Strengthen the TDMS and inspectorate systems.

-         Develop the capacity of SMCs to effectively monitor the quality of the education provided in schools and to support the schools in any quality improvement initiatives.


The programme covers 2/3 of the country and directly supports 2,860 ‘model’ schools and indirectly through work of CCTs and inspectors without mentors in

15,962 schools, therefore, there is a huge amount of activities taking place.




The mentoring of CCTs and inspectors is the key activity and involves 13 international mentors (12 supported by Netherlands), one in Karamoja supported by Irish Aid, and two national mentors. They are recruited through partnership with VSO, working on a daily basis with CCTs mostly, and inspectors, mentoring them to improve their practices as they work with teachers in schools [note Irish Aid funds Moroto PTC and UNICEF funds two other PTCs; Netherlands funds 12 PTCs].


The rationale for adopting a mentoring approach was to address the well documented failures of the usual training approach, workshops, to improving

practices of participants, whereas mentoring over a number of years have been demonstrated by much research as being effective in changing practices and

in the long term more cost effective also. To date, mentors with CCTs and inspectors have conducted needs assessments, planned work plans jointly, and

visited 7,112 schools which involved, amongst other activities, mostly observing teachers teaching and providing them with feedback on their practices and

how to improve. They and the CCTs also conducted during school visits 6,360 training sessions for teachers and head teachers at the schools on specific

areas of weaknesses identified during needs assessment.

Chronological steps of the activities of a mentor:

o    Observation of the current situation/needs analysis of its Core PTC.

o    Identification of the key areas to be changed.

o    Organisation of a meeting with DPOs and CCTs and districts to set up targets and time-frame.

o    Mentoring/Coaching/Supervision/Monitoring activities.          

Other key activities included:

o    training of 4,369 SMC members (2,897 male; 1,472 females).

o    the collection of best practices to inform the devising of a best practices booklet.

o    the development and use of EduTrak, a mobile phone based system collecting baseline and evaluation data on key results in 19 districts and 1600 schools.

o    the provision of instructional materials to the model schools and provision of new motorbikes to replace old motorbikes of 127 CCTs.


The four year programme, though only funded for 12 PTCs for two years in this phase (July 2011 – June 2013), has been in operation for almost a year and a half, and is already showing significant progress in a number of the targets set.  

Target: Increase the completion rate in each district by 2% point from the 2010 baseline of 50% (52% males; 47% females).

Progress achieved: 61% (63% males; 60% females).

Target: Increase in competency of boys and girls in primary grades three and six nationally in literacy and numeracy in each district by 3% point from the 2010 NAPE baseline.

In the 2,860 schools reached by 286 CCTs supported by the mentors, the % of pupils passing PLE at Division I rises by end 2014 by 3% and Division II by 3%.

Progress on track: D1 – 1% and D2 – 1%
PLE results in BRMS districts: 2009, 40%; 2010, 50%; 2011, 47%; 2012, 55%.

Target: System set up to report violence against children in schools and number of cases reported documented and disseminated to key stakeholders.

Progress on track: 44% schools have system in place to document violence 53% have signs of corporal punishment.

Target: Dropout rate reduced by 3% from baseline by end of 2014.


Progress on track: 1%.




 Email this article

unite for children