Government has selected at least 1,600 secondary school teachers across the country to roll out the new lower secondary school curriculum next month.
The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) will on Monday train selected teachers on how to deliver the new curriculum.
The new curriculum will be rolled out when this year’s school calendar begins on February 3.
NCDC will be responsible for the training of trainers before they implement the new curriculum.
The teachers will then train their colleagues.
The trainers will then take through an estimated 50,000 other teachers working both in private and government-aided schools, who will be handling Senior One students.
Ms Grace Baguma, the NCDC executive director, declined to share how many teachers they are training to roll out the curriculum but acknowledged that they will start training the selected ones on Monday.
“Contact my bosses at the Ministry of Education. I can’t speak for them. I can’t give you a figure when we are still in planning stage. We are planning to train trainers who will help us train other teachers because we are very few and can’t reach everywhere,” Ms Baguma said yesterday.
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Alex Kakooza, did not respond to this newspaper’s repeated calls and text message by press time, although sources close to NCDC told Daily Monitor that government will train 1,600 teachers.
Ms Baguma has told this newspaper previously that the new curriculum was created by getting rid of “obsolete knowledge and integrating related knowledge based on relevance, societal needs and national goals. This will go a long way in avoiding cramming of concepts which is the current practice.”
Other issues that have been integrated in the various subjects include HIV/Aids, climate change, gender, patriotism and human rights.
ICT is to be used both as a pedagogical tool for learning and also as a subject while special needs children will benefit from other learners through interaction and those whose abilities limit them to study science subjects will instead study general science.
Classroom teaching has been reduced to five hours a day with lessons starting at 8.30am and ending at 2.50pm. School will officially close at 4:30pm.
The students are encouraged to use the break time between 2:30pm and 4:30pm to participate in games and have a self-discovery through reflection on what they studied with support from their peers and teachers.
There will be two forms of assessment with the summative contributing 80 per cent of the students’ score and 20 per cent from the formative.
An earlier statement from NCDC shows that teachers will be expected to observe the learner for any signs of acquired values, skills and change in attitude and take record of this in addition to assessing knowledge, understanding and skills.
“All these will be considered by the teacher during the learning process and reflected at compilation of the total formative assessment scores. The marks will be captured throughout the four years averaged and computed into a score for each individual learner. Thereafter, the results will be submitted to Uganda National Examinations Board for the overall grading of the learner,” Ms Baguma said then.
Students interested in skills based subjects such as Nutrition and Food Technology, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, ICT, Technology and Design, Performing Arts, Art and Design and Physical Education will also be allowed to sit Directorate of Industrial Training examinations to allow them acquire a level 1 Uganda Vocational Qualification Framework competence certification for the world of work.
This will mean that such learners will exit Senior Four with two certificates.
Under the new curriculum, subjects have been reduced from 43 to 21. Schools will be expected to offer 11 compulsory subjects at S.1 and 2 in addition to one elective subject.
The students will then make a choice of seven compulsory subjects at Senior Three but must exit with a minimum of eight subjects and a maximum of nine if they are to be graded at Senior Four. Kiswahili, Physical Education and Entrepreneurship Education have been made compulsory for S.1 and 2 students.