The Directorate of Education Standards is going to start looking into how the new lower secondary curriculum is being used in schools.
The ministry of education introduced a new lower secondary curriculum in 2020, focusing on skills and competencies away from the old curriculum that was theory-oriented. A group called the National Curriculum Development Center taught teachers how to use it at that level.
However, the education standards department, which is in charge of making sure that all schools in the country follow this new curriculum, has heard from people who work in the field that some schools are still teaching lower secondary classes with the old curriculum.
People who work for the education standards are going to do a checkup to see if schools are following the curriculum that the government wants them to. Benson Kule Bitazare is the head of the checkup.
According to Kule, they are receiving reports that teachers are continuing with the practise of dictating notes for learners in senior one and two, which is contrary to the revised curriculum that emphasises that the learners should make their own notes through research.
Also, the new curriculum bans teachers from giving tests and exams, saying that a lot of time is wasted examining learners and they do not get enough time to study and understand but always rely on cram work to pass exams. However, some teachers are still stuck on the monthly tests. Here, the new curriculum instead encourages continuous assessment after every topic.
Kule says they want to monitor and ensure that teachers follow and implement the curriculum as it was intended. They say that heads of schools are the first people who will make sure that teachers use the new curriculum.
Meanwhile, the Manager of Secondary Department, National Curriculum Development Centre, John Okumu Emorut, says the ministry has not done enough to support the implementation of the revised curriculum and this has left some schools to continue with the old curriculum and some mixing.
According to Okumu, many schools are still struggling to get textbooks for seniors one and two, both the teachers’ and the learner’s guide.
He also says that for effective learning for learners with special education needs, the government needs to consider setting up specialized schools across the country.
Okumu says that the government should also speed up its policy on ICT because the new curriculum can be more effective if students can use ICT tools.
Currently, some still have many unanswered questions about the new lower secondary curriculum and its effective implementation. In the same way that some schools require textbooks, other schools are concerned about the resources needed for hands-on subjects, among other things.
At Nakasero senior secondary school, the management decided to allow students in grades one and two to use smartphones in class, though under strict guidelines. According to the manager, the new curriculum demands more from the learners (research, notes, and ideas), hence noting that blocking them from using such gadgets holds them back.