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Friday, June 2, 2017

#Education - Thematic Curriculum in #Uganda



BACK GROUNG OF THEMATIC CURRUCULUM
Thematic curriculum is the type of curriculum taught in lower primary classes (P.1-P.3) It consists of disciplines such as mathematics, English, local language, Literacy one, Literacy two, Physical Education, Religious education, Library, Art and Craft, Music and oral Literature and it began in 2009.
The failure by a high proportion of children to attain acceptable levels of proficiency in reading and writing at primary three level is considered to be a barrier to the children’s full enjoyment of their right to education sector.  Wide reflection on this phenomenon has led to identification of challenges which need urgent attention to make school more beneficial and interesting to the children.
The ministry commissioned a study in 2008 which carried out a situational analysis which showed that one of the factors causing poor / learner performance in literacy, numeracy and life skills were the structure of the primary school curriculum.
The curriculum emphasis on the acquisition of facts in various subjects studied at primary schools influenced teaching to focus mainly on recall and other low order cognitive skills. This orientation was further reinforced by learner assessment techniques that aimed at grading learners rather than discovering variety in talents to be nurtured and weakness to be remedied.
KEY FEATURES OF THE THEMATIC CURRICULUM
Thematic curriculum has got mainly three characteristics and these are:
  1. The need to focus on rapid development of literacy, numeracy and life skills at lower primary.
  2. The treatment of concepts holistically, under terms of immediate meaning and relevance to the learner
  3. The presentation of learning experiences through the media, especially languages in which the learners were already proficient.
PURPOSE OF THEMATIC CURRICULUM
In the study that was made which resulted into thematic curriculum, the majority outlined five aims and these include.
  1. To enable the learners to have an early breakthrough to literacy.
  2. To make the learners have mastery of numeracy skills.
  • To help learners to have empowerment in the use of life skills.
  1. To provide learners a head start to acquisition of higher order thinking skills, and
  2. To make the learners have the development of basic language skills for lifelong learning.
BENEFITS OF THE THEMATIC CURRICULUM
The study went further to reveal the following benefits.
  1. Learners are equipped with lifelong skills at an early stage like numeracy, literacy etc.
  2. Learners have permanent mastery of language one depending on the locality.
  • Culture is promoted amongst the learners
  1. Makes learning process interesting becomes easier to go from complex or unknown to known.
  2. Thematic curriculum advocates for the the local environment and thus protecting it as well.
CHALLENGES OF THEMATIC CURRICULUM
  1. The government through its ministry of education is not funding the programme to the expectations.
  2. Center co-ordering tutors (CCTs) have not carried out seminars and refresher courses to equip the teachers with skills to teach thematic curriculum.
  3. Teachers are restricted to teach in their home area, because of language one to teach thematic curriculum.
  4. Thematic curriculum is not carried out in first world primary schools which tend to minimize it.
  5. Textbooks are not available in abundance.
  6. There is lack of enough connection between thematic curriculum and transitional curriculum of primary four.
AMPLICATIONS FOR THEMATIC CURRICULUM
  1. Learners are 60 per cent taught in language one so this smoothens understanding and acquisition of knowledge and skills.
  2. There is permanent mastery of skills.
  3. There is an awareness of the local environments and its implications.
CONCLUSION
Thematic curriculum is of much benefit in lower primary if well facilitated in order to prepare the learner for the transitional curriculum which is more complex. The ministry of education and sports should make a proper follow up like through training teachers so as to effect the curriculum.
KARIM NANYIRI IS AN ENGLISH AND LITERATURE TEACHER AT MBALE S.S.

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