Members of parliament were consulted about the newlower secondary curriculum, the National Curriculum Development Centre has revealed.
While addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Wednesday, Grace Baguma, the Executive Director of the National Curriculum Development Centre said that through the Education Committee, they interacted with MPs throughout the process.
Adding that it’s unfortunate that some MPs can now turn around and claim that they were not aware of the process, and their colleagues on the education committee were unable to explain that they were consulted.
The new lower secondary curriculum is set to promote effective learning and acquisition of skills by developing a curriculum that builds meta-ognitive abilities and skills so that individuals are better placed to adapt to their evolving roles in society and the dynamic workplace.
It will also reduce subject and content overload, address the needs of all students and lay foundation for improved pedagogy and assessment procedures that allows learners to realise their full potential more effectively.
The new curriculum will also address the social and economic needs of the country by meeting the educational needs of the learners aspiring for higher academic learning as well as those that wish to transit to the labour market.
Baguma says it will allow flexibility to absorb emerging fields of knowledge in the areas of science and technology, address the 21stcentury skills required in the world of work and address issues of wastage with regard to utilization of resources (teachers, school facilities/space and instructional materials) so as to ensure efficiency. However, it has met serious criticism from legislators who voted to suspend it.
The curriculum was supposed to be rolled out this month after training 20,000 teachers across the country. But, dispute the suspension by parliament, the NCDC says they will proceed with the curriculum.
Baguma says that the current curriculum which has been in existence since colonial times has been criticised for being knowledge-ased with little emphasis on skills and values.
The current curriculum is also overloaded with a multiplicity of overlapping subjects which are expensive to implement, is not in line with international benchmarks in key learning areas, lays emphasis on book learning rather than mastery of competences and skills.
It also focuses mainly on academic achievement to select entry into the next cycle. This leaves out many learners and the examination system drives what is taught and how it is taught, instead of the reverse. Most of the examination questions emphasise understanding hence cram work. The papers and the grading system do not cater for a wide ability range.
Existing textbooks are content heavy and written for learners with the generally high reading levels