ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY I POSTED A JOKE ABOUT #UGANDAN KIDS BEING TOO EDUCATED AND THE SCHOOL TIME BEING CUT INTO HALF. I was a bit surprised when some people asked me if it was a joke. Last month, I had posted right away an article which said what was being done to education. People, you have to keep up. I am aware that I post a lot but this is the source of where everything gets posted and shared the minute it hits the news. Now here you go. BECAUSE THE KIDS WASTE TOO MUCH TIME IN THE CLASSROOM, WE CUT BACK THE HOURS NOW. Bona basilwale (borrowed). What is amazing is the fact that the kids can now hardly read or write (FB displays it all) and now we want to teach them less. Oh, the fury which will burn Uganda has no measure. Take this away people and have fun with it. Most of you all know that even our graduates from the Harvard of Africa cannot even articulate (many but some are awesome) and now you want less education. Have you lost your minds? I can no longer blame this on the contaminated water in Kampala. On the other hand, the policy advisers might like me who hates school with a passion and will try anything to skip out of it.
On the other hand, you have been advised to work as hard as Korea so that you can develop your country (my Uganda). A PhD degree holder in Uganda has nothing on an S6 kid in Korea. However, at least we got SLEEP. Let me go enjoy mine. you might want to remember that The New Vision is government owned and only prints what is good for the country.
I am not done yet. One of my friends posted an article by a gentleman whose name I dare not mention since I am in slumber land. Critical Thinking needs to be taught in our Universities (shortly after MUK / MAK kids murdered their colleague). I watched the graduates attack that man so badly I was having a party. One kawala said "MIT, Oxford and Harvard do not even teach Critical Thinking so why should Makerere do it?". Just imagine, a kid in Makerere thinks that the three top 20 universities in the world do not teach Critical Thinking? Well this is the problem. They do not need to teach it. You are supposed to learn it along the way. So is Problem Solving. Stop messing up with the education because that is how you will ensure that you impoverish and enslave the people. All insults intended.
By Innocent Anguyo
When the new O’Level curriculum comes to force in 2017, government will reduce the daily school time to just four hours and twenty minutes, from the current several which are largely determined by the various schools.
Under the new curriculum developed by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), classes will begin at 8: 00am and end at 2:30pm. Currently, in some schools, especially the private ones, classes start as early as 5:00am and end as late as 6:00pm.
The reduction in school time, Mathias Mulumba, the coordinator of the lower secondary reform programme said would give students enough time to reflect on their own learning, carryout self-assessment and experiment with the skills acquired in class.
The number of subjects will also be significantly reduced to shrink study burden on students.
“Currently, students are just packed with too much content and at the end of the day they end up cramming not learning. I also feel very angry when I see children going to school as early as 5:00am,” said Mulumba.
“Life is not only about books and that is why we need to give children more time to allow them develop into holistic people.”
Mulumba made the revelation on Saturday at this year’s national student business club competition held at Makerere University.
With support from Centenary Bank, the competition was organised by Educate, a non-governmental organisation working to transform secondary education in Africa to develop the leaders and entrepreneurs necessary to drive long-term sustainable development.
According to Mulumba, Uganda has one of the longest school times in the world- with secondary students having to study for up to 2,808 hours in a year- far above that for their colleagues in developed countries such as Japan where learners study for 800 hours annually.
NCDC finalised the new O’ level curriculum early last year.
The current curriculum was launched by colonialists in 1918- with many exports now describing it obsolete and irrelevant to the current needs of the job market.
The overhaul of the curriculum condenses the 43 subjects taught in lower secondary into eight core learning areas. The new curriculum has replaced the term ‘subjects’ with ‘learning areas’.
Learning areas include Creative Arts, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, Social Studies, Technology and Enterprise, Life education, and Languages. Kiswahili and English have been made compulsory.
NCDC says Kiswahili will make Ugandans competitive in the fast integrating East Africa.
Students will also choose an additional language out of the approved foreign and local dialects. The optional languages include Luganda, Lugbara, Acholi, Langi, Lusoga, Runyankole-Rukiga, Ateso, Latin, Arabic, French and German.
Henry Adramunguni, the language specialist at NCDC recently said the other local languages could not be brought on board due to lack of teaching material.
Since the new curriculum is intended to ensure that students acquire practical skills in order to make them productive for the dynamic market, computer studies has been included in all learning areas.
The new curriculum is intended to provide a holistic education which can promote critical thinking, creativity, numeracy, interpersonal skills, professional mannerism and innovation among students.
NCDC has further revealed that all the in-service teachers will be retooled in 2016 in a bid to prepare them for the implementation of the new curriculum.
The in-service teachers will be trained every holiday, until their colleagues schooled on the new curriculum are graduated by universities and teacher colleges.
Higher institutions of learning have been directed to restructure their curriculum to meet the reform.
Under the new curriculum, summative assessment often manifested in form of examinations has been downplayed in favour of continuous evaluation of learners’ performance.
“The reformed, outcomes-based curriculum requires a revised, competence based approach to assessment that will support learning and reward achievement at all levels,” said Mulumba.
The Directorate of Industrial Training will assess students in Technology and Enterprise while the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) will examine the remaining learning areas, according to Mulumba.
The overhaul of the curriculum results from a study by NCDC which indicated that the current O’level curriculum is over-loaded out-dated and does not adequately address contemporary demands of the job market.
Employers have supported the new curriculum. Immaculate Ngulumi, the marketing manager of Centenary Bank says the creation of a curriculum emphasising job creation instead of job seeking is long overdue.
She welcomes the new reforms, saying it could unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the country and prepare Ugandans for the ever globalising job market.
Teachers have equally backed the new curriculum. Wilberforce Egesa of MM College Wairaka in Jinja says students’ memory will be sharper when content is eventually reduced.
“Packing children with a lot of academic information makes them bored. By the time children leave secondary, they’re tired of academics. We must make education enjoyable,” said Egesa.
Students also welcome the reforms. “It does not matter if the time is reduced but the syllabus remains the same.
The content must be drastically cut, especially Biology which is extremely wide with several text books contradicting one another on some issues,” said Fred Wakubona, the president for all clubs at MM College Wairaka.
Solomon Kayiwa, the programme coordinator for Educate advised the 20,000 students in 250 schools across the country to pass on the skills of entrepreneurship acquired under the mentorship of the organisation to pass it onto the rest of their colleagues.
Benson Kule, the acting commissioner for secondary education at the ministry of education said the new curriculum will be very practical with students expected to produce a product at the study period.