Experts Advise Gov’t on Gaps in New O-level Curriculum

Experts have noted that the training by master trainers as the new ‘O’ level curriculum was being introduced in Uganda was not effective.

The experts who were attending a brainstorming meeting organized by the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) on Tuesday said that teachers who were trained using a largely theoretical curriculum are the same supposed to implement a curriculum that is focusing on hands-on skills.

According to Gilbert Siima a Curriculum Specialist at the National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC), they have since established the teacher-to-teacher training also known as the cascade approach which was employed to train teachers on the new curriculum didn’t achieve its purpose when teachers got to the actual school environment.

Siima says as a new development, teachers are now being asked to develop an online module to move with the new trend of e-learning but a lot of teachers cannot do this if they are to rely on what they are taught in teacher training institutions.

The experts were generating recommendations under the Youth Employment and Skills (YES) PACT program where they will develop a policy brief with recommendations to the government on what needs to be done if the country is to nurture skills that are necessary for the fourth industrial revolution.

In attendance were officials from the National Planning Authority-NPA, teachers, NGOs, and principals of teacher training institutions who all agreed that while learning under the new curriculum is learner-centered, it is important that they are sure that teachers are delivering the right skill.

Currently, they say, the content that teachers are getting exposed to while in training is only important for academic progression to attain their master’s or PhDs.

Dr. Marios Obwona, an expert based at NPA, says the curriculum was launched prematurely with no reasonable piloting done even as a few link schools were identified for some bit of piloting.

“The country has to stress the issue of human capital. Physical infrastructure means nothing if the human capital isn’t developed”.

Siima however says that the feedback they are getting on the curriculum is that the curriculum is hands-on and makes the learners lead themselves. 

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