The Ministry of Education in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom are discussing methods of overhauling Uganda’s education, assessment and examination system to equip learners with the relevant skills.
During a sympossium on Tuesday, Education and Sports Minister, Ms Janet Kataha Museveni said the public has continued to judge the education success only in terms of examination results and grades attained by learners instead of what has been taught and learnt.
She noted that this has pushed school heads, teachers and parents to concentrate on what is testable ignoring the prescribed curriculum and vital areas of skills, values and attitudes.
She said skills of Ugandan learners are lower than the desired and competent attitude towards work.
“As you are all aware, Uganda has been a hub for quality education in the African region, however, there has been disturbing research reports of late rating the proficiency of Ugandan learners to be lower that the desired skills,” Ms Museveni said.
She said: “I am glad that most of you are educated experts and I implore you to critically look at our education system and identify the gaps and propose solutions to our education system especially assessment and examination which influence class room practice,” she said.
The symposium seeks to reform Uganda’s approach to exams and assessment that will enable Ugandans get the relevant skills needed in the job market.
Meanwhile, the Executive secretary of Uganda National Examination Board Mr Dan Odongo Nokrach said that the country has lost focus on what assessment is since schools have concentrated more on exams to assess students.
“We are looking at what we can offer our students with the basic skills and continuously assessing them through their education at each stage instead of basing on the tests and grades they have acquired,” Me Odongo said.
Dr Yusufu Nsubuga, the former Director Basic and secondary education proposed that there should be a training of teachers examining students because students are exposed to unprofessional tests and exams being set by unprofessional teachers.
“Since teachers are the facilitators in examining our students, our focus should be in training these teachers to ensure that whatever they set for students matches the relevant skills needed in the job world,” Mr Nsubuga said.