KAMPALA – The government has announced changes in the lower secondary education curriculum in which teaching subjects have been reduced from 43 to 21.
The Chinese language has been added to the menu of foreign languages while Kiswahili, Physical Education, and Entrepreneurship Education are compulsory for learners in Senior one an two.
Under the new curriculum, teachers will compile the learners’ achievements under the formative assessment in the four-year cycle, find an average score and submit it to the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) to contribute at least 20 percent in the final national examinations grading.
Fee full changes
The new curriculum is competence-based, emphasizing the learner to be at the center of learning. It focuses on learning outcomes and aims at producing a holistic learner equipped with skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes required for the 21st century. Generic skills emphasized are critical thinking, problem-solving, mathematical computation, ICT proficiency, and communication.
The number of subjects on the new curriculum at 21 compared to the 43 in the current one. A school is expected to offer 12 subjects at Senior 1and 2 out of which 11 are compulsory while one is an elective. At Senior 3 and 4, a learner is expected to exit with a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 9 subjects with 7 compulsory subjects.
The Chinese language has been added to the menu of foreign languages while Kiswahili, Physical Education, and Entrepreneurship Education are compulsory for learners in Senior 1 and 2.
This has been reduced by getting rid of obsolete knowledge and integrating related knowledge based on relevance, societal needs, and national goals. This will go a long way in avoiding cramming of concepts which is the current practice.
Cross-cutting issues such as climate change, patriotism, human rights, gender, HIV/AIDS among others have been integrated into the various subjects.
The new curriculum has also paid attention to learners with special needs.
Approach / Methodology
In the new curriculum, the teacher is the facilitator of learning to mean that learners are expected to contribute to their learning with guidance from the teachers.
Classroom teaching has been reduced to 5 hours a day. Lessons start at 8:30 am and end at 12:50 pm which allows learners to engage in research, project work, clubs, games and sports and have time for self-study/revision for 1 hour and 40 minutes. The school day will end at 4:30 pm.
The current teaching and assessment are examination driven focusing on acquiring a high-grade pass as opposed to reasoning critical analysis, understanding and acquisition of skills and knowledge.
In the new curriculum, both formative and summative assessments will be done. These have been agreed at 20% for formative or school-based assessment and 80% for the summative assessment of UNEB at the end of Senior 4 which will lead to the award of the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE).
The new curriculum also allows interested learners to be subjected to the DIT examinations which are skilled based for subjects like Nutrition and Food Technology, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, ICT, Technical and Design and Physical Education to allow them to acquire a competency certification of level 1 on the Uganda Vocational Qualification Framework (UVQF) for the world of work. Such learners will exist O level with two certificates.
Subjects of the New Lower Secondary (‘O’) Level Curriculum
S1- S2 ( 11 Compulsory plus 1 Elective )
Compulsory subjects: English, Mathematics, History & Political Education, Geography, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Education, Religious Education, Entrepreneurship, Kiswahili.
1 Elective from: Agriculture, Information Communication Technology, French / German/Latin / Arabic/Chinese, Local Language, Literature in English, Art, and Design, Performing Arts, Technology and Design, Nutrition and Food Technology.
S3 – S4 (7 compulsory plus 2 Electives)
Compulsory Subjects: English, Mathematics, History and Political Education, Geography, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry.
Practical (Pre-vocational elective) Subjects: Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, Art and Design, ICT, Nutrition and Food Technology, Performing Arts, Technology and Design and Physical Education.
Language Electives: Foreign Languages, Kiswahili, Literature, Local languages.
Religious Education Electives: Christian Religious Education and Islamic Religious Education.