KAMPALA – Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Ministry of Education and Sports to carry out national wide consultations from all stakeholders on the new secondary school curriculum before enrolling it in schools.
Her directive followed support to a motion tabled by Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West MP) calling on Parliament to halt the system after MPs raised a number of questions to a statement tabled by Rosemary Seninde, Minister of State for Primary Education.
Minister Sseninde in her statement said there were no plans by Government to halt the implementation of the new education curriculum arguing that the curriculum has changed a little for better to shift education from working for grades as it has been.
Seninde added that the current curriculum was developed in the 1960s and that there is need to change it with subjects having been reduced from 43 to 21 because the current curriculum has too much content and that the new curriculum will be rolled out this year and will begin with students in senior one while the other classes are not affected.
However, MPs punched holes into Seninde’s statement like Michael Mawanda (Igara East) who asked, “How do you expect to train teachers for three days on how to teach a new curriculum for the next several years?”
Mathias Mpuuga, Shadow Minister for Education who also doubles as Masaka Municipality MP, told off the Minister that the new curriculum isn’t a policy reform but rather organised chaos.
Abbas Agaba (Kitagwenda County) raised three issues with the new curriculum saying it is illogical because the Ministry has made more subjects compulsory where out of 21 subjects, 11 are compulsory. He also faulted the Ministry of Education for doing away with practical subjects like agriculture and woodwork and also questioned the mode of assessment.
Nevertheless, Lt. Gen. Pecos Kuteesa (UPDF Representative defended the Minister and called on lawmakers to drop their colonialist mentality saying, “If this curriculum had been developed by whites, you would be clapping. But now that it is by the government of Uganda, you are questioning it. Let’s have a mindset shift. Don’t think what is written by Mr. White is better than what is by Hon. Seninde?”
Abdu Katuntu scoffed at the Ministry of Education saying the institution has broken the world record with Uganda being the only country able to train its teachers for three days to change the curriculum of the country.
He said, “The question is do we need to change? Yes. But what are our priorities? Let’s stop blaming the colonialists, they left 57 years ago. Let’s not blame the education system but rather how we do things.”
With the debate heating up, Speaker Kadaga told Minister Seninde, “Have you have seen how this issue has sparked debate in this House? And you were going to implement this program without our input and you only brought it here after Parliament insisted. What do you to say now?”
Minister asked for more time to reconsider questions raised by MPs, but before time was given Mafabi moved a motion calling for the implementation of the program to be halted, a motion that was upheld by MPs.