Head teachers express unease about new curriculum

Saturday January 25 2020

Ms Grace Baguma, the National Curriculum

Ms Grace Baguma, the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC ) executive director. FILE PHOTO 

By Patience Ahimbisibwe, Damali Mukhaye, Irene Abalo Otto & Elizabeth Kamurungi

Despite assurances from Education ministry, several head teachers say they are not prepared to roll out the revised lower secondary school curriculum.
The head teachers , who had converged in Kampala during the Senior One selection in Kampala on Thursday, said they are not aware of what the new curriculum entails.
Those Saturday Monitor talked to say they will only comply because it is a government policy.

The majority, who were uncomfortable to share their views on camera, said they lack the facilities and teachers to implement the new policy.
They also questioned the credibility of the continuous assessment and how it will be conducted since it is an accumulation of the students’ scores over the years.
Mr Alban Arindu, the head teacher of Owaffa Secondary School in Arua, said: “We are ready but the government has come with the programme late. Up to now, they have not yet trained our teachers. They have only called some teachers.”

The Kakira High School, deputy head teacher, Mr Moses Kirabe, said they were still waiting to attend workshops which the Ministry of Education said it was organising to take them through on the expectations of the new curriculum.
In some schools such as St Stephen Secondary School, the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), picked some teachers for training last week. However, the schools said they have not yet received textbooks two weeks to the beginning of the new term.

“The curriculum presents optional subjects at entry level (Senior One). This will be tricky since the students are not well acquainted with the subjects in secondary to be able to choose what fits their desired careers or strengths. The curriculum still does not prioritise some of the subjects that are key in our locality, for example, Agriculture and ICT are optional subjects,” Mr Abubakhar Mwanja, the headmaster of Lukung Secondary School in Lamwo District, said.
Centres such as Nabisunsa Girls Secondary School where the training was conducted, were lucky to have all their teachers trained. This means they will have an advantage over the other schools in teaching the new curriculum.
But the State Minister for Primary Education, Ms Rosemary Seninde, said they are ready to implement the curriculum and asked the public not to be scared of the changes since they will be available to address any emerging issues in the course of the year.

“The government is committed to roll the curriculum out. As we progress, we will get the money. We must not think that things are going to be totally new. They are not too different. And it is not that teachers don’t know what they are going to do. It is how they are going to do it that we must take them through. Don’t worry much about the curriculum,” she said while addressing journalists during the Senior One selection.

Mr Sam Kuloba, the Ministry of Education commissioner for secondary education, said they have already secured another Shs10 billion to help them implement the new curriculum which he hopes will go through second term as they lobby for more money.
Ms Grace Baguma, the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC ) executive director, has previously said they need Shs143 billion to efficiently roll out the curriculum in the next five years.

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“We have done everything possible to make sure we roll it out. Another set of teachers have reported today for training. We expect others next week and training at district level will begin in the next two weeks. About 22,000 teachers are to be ready for this curriculum,” Mr Kuloba said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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