Christine Apiot Okudi is a 2016 Echidna Global Scholar and Education Quality Manager at Promoting Equality in African Schools Uganda. In this video, she describes the role of the senior woman teacher (SWT) in Uganda and offers recommendations for strengthening that role so as to improve girls’ learning outcomes and retention. Christine surveyed 386 girls and key school stakeholders across 32 secondary schools.
Christine found that SWTs performed five main functions: counselor, health teacher, role model, girl advocate, and life skills teacher. But she also found that, while the position is present in Ugandan policy, it does not reflect the scope of the work that the SWT performs in reality. The position is not recognized by Uganda’s Education Service Commission, the job description is unclear, little training and compensation is offered to the teachers, there is no allotted time or resources to the teachers, and there is no support from the school community, including other teachers. A key recommendation is to elevate and institutionalize the role in order to provide additional support to the SWTs and increase positive outcomes for girls.