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Mixed Feelings In Karamoja About New Curriculum

Fr. John Bosco Kutegana, the head teacher Moroto High School argues that the curriculum needs adequate funding from the Education and Sports if it is to be implemented successfully. He cited subjects like agriculture and woodwork, which he says need resources to establish a poultry farm or workshop for practical lessons.
05 Feb 2020 08:00

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There are mixed feelings among educationists in Karamoja on the new lower secondary school curriculum, whose implementation was suspended by parliament on Tuesday evening. The Education and Sports Ministry has announced plans to implement the curriculum starting with senior one effective this term.  

The new curriculum seeks to make education student centered and equip them with skills through practical work as opposed to being bombarded with theory aimed at passing examinations. However, on Tuesday evening parliament voted to stop the implementation of the curriculum, saying it was being rushed without adequate consultations with all stakeholders.  

Educationists in Karamoja have also weighed in on the debate on the curriculum with critics, saying it requires more resources for the acquisition of instructional material and practical work, which most schools and parents will not afford.

Fr. John Bosco Kutegana, the head teacher Moroto High School argues that the curriculum needs adequate funding from the Education and Sports if it is to be implemented successfully. He cited subjects like agriculture and woodwork, which he says need resources to establish a poultry farm or workshop for practical lessons.  

“Schools require more finances and more teachers for the new syllabus.  I don’t have capacity to maintain a woodwork facility as a school. Besides, I have 27 teachers but I don’t think they have miracles to do those subjects. We shall have to look for new teachers on small budgets we have,” said Fr. Kutegana.   He explained that schools are already struggling to pay teachers recruited to fill the gap caused by the few teachers on the government pay roll. Fr. Kutegana explained that their senior one intake lies between 250 and 300 students every academic year but their pleas to the Ministry for more teachers to the ministry for the last nine years have failed to yield results.

Paul Kenneth Ochola, the Deputy Head teacher Nadunget Secondary School, says they have sent five teachers for training on the new syllabus. He says they are currently looking for a Swahili teacher to handle Kiswahili, which has been made compulsory.

//Cue in:  “We have a staffing gap …………..................  

Cue out: ………………………………procure more computers.”//

Ochola also pointed out that some schools may have a challenge in teaching subjects such as ICT as they may not afford to purchase enough computers for instruction.

Moses Obura, the head teacher Moroto Parents School, said there is need for the National Curriculum and Development Center- NCDC and Education Ministry to support schools with the required materials to effectively implement the new curriculum.

“We are ready to teach the new syllabus but without support from the ministry inform of materials and other support, it may be difficult,” he said.

A senior one teacher from Nabilatuk Seed secondary school who requested for anonymity told URN at the sidelines of their training that the new syllabus is not easy and may need specialized teachers. “We don’t have a Kiswahili teacher,” he said.

However, Ignatius Okurut, a tutor at Gulu Core PTC and Mubendre National Teachers College told URN at the sidelines of the regional teacher’s training in preparation for the new syllabus last evening, that the syllabus is attainable.

//Cue in: “The senior one curriculum………….  

Cue out: ……………… to support- to provide.”//       The new curriculum eliminates termly examinations and replaces them with continuous assessment of leaners on practical work, which is aimed at equipping them with employable skills after the senior four cycle. Learners will engage in practical work for two hours each week day in a move to spur innovation and enterprise development.

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