Makerere University is piloting a new curriculum aimed at abolishing end-of-semester examinations and assessing students more broadly based on competence.
University spokesperson Ritah Namisango said yesterday: “I can tell you that the strategic plan, which we finished designing this year, is purely based on changing the way of teaching and the content in class. We started on this in January and we are just widening the idea.”
A new teaching that emphasises what students can do with what they learn rather than what they have learned has been started for some 2,000 students, according to Prof Paul Muyinda of the College of Education and External Studies.
It is being executed under a partnership arrangement with the International Council for Distance Learning and the European Union.
“We have started the Eportfolio ecosystem (EPICA) to improve the quality and visibility of students’ skills,” Prof Muyinda told a stakeholders meeting yesterday. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, in an interview with this newspaper last week, alluded to a raft of imminent changes in the university’s studies, administration and policies.
The planned variations, he said, are to re-orient the institution to focus on research.
The proposal to change the curriculum has, however, elicited mixed reactions.
Addressing East African engineering scholars during a symposium at the university yesterday, Dr Betty Ezati, the principal of the School of Education, said the current system of administering end-of-semester examinations to students is outdated.
Besides, she said, it does not bring out what the student can do but what they know.
Officials said the new focus will require an overhaul of the teaching and assessment system.