Ugandan secondary students to learn half day
Secondary school students in Uganda will study half-day instead of the routine seven hours daily once the new curriculum is rolled out countrywide, officials from the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) have said.
Under the new arrangement, schools will be expected to close at 2:30 p.m and not the official 5 p.m as has been the case, meaning that students would learn for four hours and 20 minutes daily.
Mr Mathias Mulumba, the curriculum specialist and coordinator for lower secondary at NCDC, said the move is to enable teachers conduct fewer subjects relevant to the job market.
He said students will also be relieved of the burden of spending more hours on theoretical lessons.
“Our students have been spending 2,808 hours in class per year. This is abnormal. We are teaching for seven hours and 30 minutes a day yet our neighbours in Kenya use five hours. Are we better than them?” Mr Mulumba asked.
“We have reduced the content in the syllabus. Four hours and 20 minutes a day should be enough for a child to get a skill,” he added.
Mr Mulumba was speaking to students from 18 districts at Makerere University last weekend during an exhibition of products they made after a skills training by Educate! Uganda, an NGO.
The programme will be implemented in 2017 to focus on promoting relevant subjects to spur development in the country in science, technology and innovation.
Mr Mulumba’s remarks were re-echoed by Mr Benson Kule, the ministry of Education commissioner, who said the students’ examination will focus on what one is able to do so that they use it to transform their society.
The new curriculum will see the subjects reduced from 32 to eight learning areas such as Creative Arts, Languages, Religious Education, Science and Mathematics.
Teachers welcomed the move, saying it will decongest the current curriculum.
“I have always wanted the time to reduce because we spend too much time on classroom teaching and leave out components of research and project work to concretise learning,” Ms Rose Izizinga, the head teacher of Kitante High School, said
Mr Dennis Muru, the director of studies Gulu Secondary School said: “It depends on the interest of the nation. We can adjust to the time if they reduce topics. As a double shift school, it is possible to study half day.”