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MP Asks Government to Scrap Thematic Curriculum

According to Anywarach, some government secondary schools are struggling to contain the huge of the Universal Primary Education graduates and cant do much in their academic life.
 Joshua Carter Anywarach, the Padyere County Member of Parliament wants government to scrap the thematic curriculum from lower primary school, saying it is responsible for the poor performance of learners. 

The thematic curriculum emphasizes learning in the mother tongue from primary one to primary three. It is aimed at helping learners to develop literacy, numeracy and life skills in lower primary.

Thematic curriculum consists of disciplines such as mathematics, English, vernacular, literacy one, literacy two and Religious education among others.  It was rolled out in 2009. However, Anywarach wants the implementation of the thematic curriculum scrapped, saying it isn't helping learners as expected.

"It's uncalled for to teach a child from primary one to three in the local language and expect the child to speak English at the end of the day when English is the foundation of our education. That's the reason why most secondary schools are also performing poorly because of the poor foundation in primary schools", Anywarach said.

He was speaking in a meeting with head teachers in Nebbi district on Thursday.  According to Anywarach, some government secondary schools are struggling to contain the huge of the Universal Primary Education graduates and can't do much in their academic life. “Those same students have little to offer to themselves because of the poor foundation in the lower primary school,” he said.

He warned that private primary schools across the country will continue to outshine government schools due to the strong foundation given to learners by such schools at an early age. Tom Thuambe, a parent and resident of Abindu division in Nebbi municipality blamed the problem on the poor attitude of parents towards the education of their children.

"It surprises many that some parents can't even buy exercise books for their children including uniforms and other scholastics materials,” he said. Peter Othoma, a primary school teacher in Nebbi, said much as the thematic curriculum seems to be helpful to teachers and pupils in lower primary, learners might find difficulties comprehending literacy in English in middle classes due to the continued use of vernacular.

Robert Ochieng Odok, the Director of Higher Education in the Education and Sports Ministry, says the thematic curriculum is an initiative by government to make sure that every child in lower primary school understands the concepts of what is being taught.

He however, agrees that the thematic curriculum is not achieving its intended target, adding that the curriculum is instead making learners in lower primary very lazy and dormant.