Wednesday February 26 2014

Let’s encourage creative thinking

By Editorial

Uganda’s education system must shift its focus to an all-round system with a tinge of creativity for improved results.

Uganda National Examinations Board results released yesterday show a drop in overall performance at Ordinary Level compared to the previous year. From the 289,012 candidates who sat, 261,438 were spread in divisions one to four while a total of 25,229 failed the exams in Division nine.

The government could be deceiving itself about creating a science-based nation yet 2013 results show that Chemistry was the worst performed subject. This is a clear indication that several aspects within Uganda’s education system are sick, require an overhaul. The education system is more theoretical than practical, producing people who are not creative. Teacher absenteeism is partly to blame for the results. Some teachers are too busy pacing from school to school in search of extra source of income; thus leave students to cram pamphlet material to pass their examinations.

This system of cram work cannot adequately empower students to become problem solvers in a world where trends keep changing as technology advances. This means that students are, in most cases, left on their own to master some of the difficult topics, earning them failures in return.

Substantial knowledge gaps also still exist as some students do not know how to use laboratory equipment. The government has also been faulted for lacking a straight mind on the way policies are passed. A case in point is how computer was scrapped a few months to examination time after the students were prepared from Senior One.

Although English was the best done subject; its setting mode was also changed a few months to the examination date, something which disorganised the candidates.

Since focusing more on sciences has not yielding the desired results, it is about time government created a well-rounded education system where citizens can ably battle it out in this highly competitive world.

Government, therefore, should design a syllabus that cultivates creative thinking rather than cram work which could quickly be forgotten before or after examinations. Such students will be better placed to become problem solvers rather than passing blame in the face of increasing challenges. With that, chances are high that Uganda’s education system will yield better results in future.