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First tripartite retreat: UNESCO, UNATCOM and Ministry of Education and Sports regroup to build synergies

Kampala, Uganda – WEBWIRE

The first tripartite retreat for staff of three agencies; UNESCO Project Office, Kampala, Uganda National Commission for UNESCO (UNATCOM) and Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) was held from 1 to 3 December 2022. The two-day retreat, the first of its kind, was held to strengthen partnerships and collaborations between UNESCO, UNATCOM and MoES, as well as to enhance and accelerate government’s implementation of UNESCO global and regional initiatives and commitments to improve education outcomes in the country.

Among the 27 participants, staff from 10 directorates within the MoES attended namely, Directorate of Industrial Training, Director Basic and Secondary Education, Business Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BVET), National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC), Directorate of Education Standards (DES), Teacher Instructor Education and Training Department, Higher Technical and Vocational Education and Training (HTVET), Commissioner Planning, Gender and HIV Units.

Discussions about critical strategies and processes that should be undertaken to support the government in its effort to accelerate ratification of global and regional commitments that promote education outcomes rhythmed the retreat.

The opening session highlighted the backgrounds, mandates and working modalities, ongoing and implemented projects and activities within the agencies. Mr. Charles Draecabo, the National Projects Coordinator, delivered the opening remarks and underscored the importance and benefits of building personal relationships with workmates and colleagues and taking advantages of events such as this one to build friendships that permeates beyond the work life. He further presented the UNESCO Country strategy for Uganda, a tool which lays down the framework for UNESCO’s intervention in country.  

The event also provided a platform for stakeholders to brainstorm and conceptualize potential areas of interagency collaboration hinged on UNESCO priority areas such as Priority Africa, Gender Equality and Participatory Programmes, Green and Blue TVET among others.

Subsequent deliberations highlighted some of the current global and regional education commitments that still require government ratification. Special emphasis was put on the Eastern and Southern African Commitments on Education for health and wellbeing for Adolescents and Young People, which Uganda must commit before the December 2022 deadline. Others were the Transforming Education Summit and the Education Plus Initiative.

Other topics of discussion included the need to work together towards developing a joint resource mobilization strategy among the three entities to facilitate efforts of tapping into existing and future opportunities, as well as the periodic wide dissemination and publication of activity reports with the relevant line departments and finally, partnership building.

Above and beyond the strategic engagements, it offered staff team building opportunities with series of engaging activities aimed at promoting collaboration, teamwork, and synergy in the work of UNESCO and UNATCOM in Uganda.

The proceedings of the two-day retreat paved way for the development of a 2023 joint action plan to be implemented by the three key agencies of the tripartite. Special emphasis was put on the need to develop a strategy to follow up on girls who dropped out of schools during the Covid lockdown, on popularizing the abridged version of the ESA Commitment to facilitate its understanding and on organizing annual tripartite retreats.

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