Government condenses school curriculum

Wednesday September 15 2021
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Senior Four students attend class at St Noa Mawaggali S.S.S in Njeru, Buikwe District, last year. Government has completed the first phase of condensing the curriculum for both primary and secondary education PHOTO/ FILE

By Damali Mukhaye

Government has completed the first phase of condensing the curriculum for both primary and secondary education, which will be used by teachers when schools reopen, Daily Monitor has learnt.

It has also emerged that learners will be assessed and promoted automatically to the next class, when schools reopen.

 These will be given remedial lessons in two weeks to cover what they missed in their previous classes.

Sources in the Ministry of Education told this paper yesterday that the curriculum for Senior One and Two has been blended to ensure that this is all taught in Senior Two.

This means that Senior One students will now report to Senior Two.

The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) was assigned by the Ministry of Education to harmonise all topics in lower and upper primary, O and A ‘Level to come up with a condensed curriculum for the four levels.

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The executive director of NCDC, Dr Grace Baguma, when contacted yesterday said the new curriculum was at the first draft level, which exercise she said may be completed this week.

She added that in an effort to strengthen future learning trends and help learners recover lost time, there is need to adopt accelerated  interventions by exploring a variety of learning modalities.

“Among the strategies is the development of an abridged curriculum which emphasised key concepts and competencies. This will ensure that core content is not lost,” Dr Baguma said. 

She added: “A lot of time has been lost and given the curfew and available time, the focus should be on these concepts to ensure that once acquired, the learners will be able to cope with learning in the next level.”

Dr Baguma said after internal discussions, they are slated to invite teachers and educational experts from selected schools to make their input on the curriculum.

NCDC will then train teachers on how to deliver the curriculum. 

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Education, Mr Denis Mugimba, yesterday said NCDC was tasked to kick-start review of the curriculum last year.

Dr Mugimba said it is out of this curriculum that the new home study materials, which were distributed to learners in March 2020, were based on. 

“We are not developing a new curriculum, we are just creating content from what we already have. We need to drop some topics and remain with the core content,” Dr Mugimba said. 

He added: “The calendar we have is going to be short and the duration at school will also be short when schools reopen. We, thus, want to ensure that learners are taught only core content.”

Mr Mugimba said for lower primary, they have emphasised mostly numeracy (Math), literacy (reading and writing), and English.

Once the curriculum experts approve the condensed curriculum, it will be printed out in thousands of copies and distributed to all schools.

Curriculum changes

According to some of the content in the condensed curriculum, which Daily Monitor has seen, Primary Five pupils will cover various topics under integrated sciences abridged syllabus.

For instance, under the world of living things topic, pupils will describe bacteria, where they are found and where they breed under the fungi bacteria topic.

Learners will describe characteristics of bacteria, discuss ways of preventing, controlling and treating bacterial diseases, describe fungi as harmless and harmful organism, and identify dangers of fungi, and discuss ways of preventing and controlling bacterial and fungal diseases.

The NCDC also indicated areas of concentration in various topics where teachers should give emphasis when teaching learners. 

Under Primary One English, pupils will be taken through things found at school (people, things and activities in schools).

Pupils will also be taken through things in their homes including people at homes (mother, father, sister), roles and responsibilities of different family members, and things found in the homes and their uses, among others.

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