Janet wants science to be taught in local languages

The Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Museveni. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • In the 2020 Uganda Education Certificate results, science subjects were poorly done with nearly half of the candidates failing to achieve the minimum Pass 8 grade level for each academic subject taught O-Level.

The Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Museveni, has concurred with the recommendation from a section of educationalists that science be taught in local language at primary level.
“Teaching science in local language will make sense to us and we will become transformational when we really get involved in teaching science in mother tongue at primary level,” Ms Museveni said yesterday.

“When you bring it in mother tongue it becomes real and meaningful, and then perhaps we can have more scientists in our society,” she added.
An educationalist from Makerere University’s College of Education and External Studies made the suggestion. 

Ms Museveni also said the government is committed to support research and innovations in universities to provide high quality data to inform policy decisions.
“I urge educationalists to prioritise projects that are crucial to social and economic transformation,” she said.
The First Lady also encouraged educationalists to undertake research around issues that affect education.
“All education stakeholders are aware that in order to transform the sector, there is need to generate interventions focusing on teacher education,” she said. 

Ms Museveni also said since the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a new normal educationalists [should] extend the expertise in open distance and e-learning beyond Makerere University to benefit the other higher education institutions in need of this knowledge and expertise.
Mr Henry Busulwa, the Principal Investigator of the research findings on Inter-disciplinary Enhancement of Science Education in the Uganda Primary Thematic Curriculum, said more effort needs to be put in to promote STEM (Science, Technology,  Engierring, and Mathematics) subjects “since our scientists are still few.”

He added: “We investigated some concepts of learning in terms of local languages and how they can be used to instruct science with the use of folklore like telling stories ,songs, and poems to the lower level.”
Mr Busulwa also said the findings suggested that science should be taught from Primary One as a separate subject.  He said the delay to start teaching science impacts on the learner’s choice as they progress.