A lot of resources are being wasted after a pilot study indicated that majority of primary school-going children have difficulty in numeracy and literacy skills.
Speaking at the fourth validation meeting in Kampala last week, Mr Emmanuel Mugole, the Uwezo assessment coordinator, told stakeholders that results from the pilot study showed that many children could not read and tell the right arithmetic. He said the duty to educate children should not be left to government alone which has invested a lot of money in Universal Primary Education if people are going to get value for money.
“We have been moving around the country subjecting Primary Two level questions to pupils at household level. The results are not any better from our first study,” Mr Mugole said at the NGO Forum meeting with the National Curriculum Development Centre members. “Some pupils from primary seven are failing to identify letters. Where is value for money spent?”
The research is targeting 30 districts as per the 2000’s 80 districts. About 10 to 15 households per district will be visited and questions administered to children in that family. Uwezo, is a Kiswahili word meaning capability. It’s an East African initiative, assessing and promoting learning outcomes for primary school children between ages six to 16. It seeks to involve the community especially the parent in a child’s learning.
Mr Joseph Ssemakula, the spokesperson, said the organisation is not pinpointing at particular parties for failing to deliver in the education sector but rather involve a parent who has been left out. “Some parents tell us these are Museveni children because of the free education so they are not ready to contribute anything. But if there are gaps, we need to combine efforts,” he added.
But Ms Gertrude Namubiru, the NCDC Mathematics specialist (primary), blamed the recruitment of students who have failed their Senior 4 to train as teachers in Primary Teachers’ Colleges as the beginning of pupils’ poor performance.