“Make Christian Religious Education compulsory”: Catholic Priest in Uganda to Government

Logo Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC). Credit: Courtesy

The Executive Secretary of the Commission for Education of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) has called on the government of the East African nation to make Christian Religious Education (CRE) compulsory at all secondary school levels in “church-founded schools” in the country.

Addressing members of the Amanya Mushega-led Education Policy Review Commission in the country’s capital, Kampala, on Monday, November 14, Fr. Ronald Reagan Okello also called on the Yoweri Museveni-led government to meet teaching practice expenses at both public and private universities.

Fr. Okello underscored the value of the subject at all levels in secondary school, saying, “The teaching of CRE, which is compulsory in Senior One and Two and an elective for candidates and semi-candidates, is important to impart Christian values and integrity and rehabilitate the morals of Ugandans.”

The Ugandan Catholic Priest added, “The teaching of CRE will help shape early an individual’s conscience and character and save the country from pervasive challenges of homosexuality, drug abuse, alcoholism and teenage pregnancies.”

“This is why we want the government to make CRE compulsory in church-founded schools,” Fr. Okello told members of the Education Policy Review Commission.


He added, “If our education is to offer holistic formation of a human person to a great extent, we recommend that CRE be taught up to Senior Four and some exceptions be allowed in terms of the number of languages studied.”

The UEC official explained, “The Catholic Church has 23 minor Seminaries across the country. They are affected by the threshold of maximum eight subjects to be registered for at Uganda Certificate of Education (O-Level) examinations, which limits the students to drop either CRE or Latin yet these are crucial aspects of their formation and language of the Church.”

“Universities in the country are characterized by high tuition fees, poor infrastructure, low funding and staffing levels and low pay for lecturers,” he lamented, and added in reference to the challenges he had highlighted, “This must be addressed by the government to enable our universities to be at par with those in the region.”

Uganda’s Minister of Education, Janet Museveni, established the Education Review Commission in May 2021.

Members of the Commission were tasked with conducting a rapid assessment of the country’s current education system through citizen participation and by conducting an in-depth analysis of the 1992 Education Policy in order to make recommendations for a new "government white paper" on Education for Cabinet consideration.

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In his November 14 address, Fr. Okello also called for “automatic promotion for in-service teachers that upgrade, re-train and skill teachers at all levels, standardize curriculum for pre-primary education and making nursery education mandatory.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.