A Rocky Start: Uganda's New Lower Secondary Curriculum Faces Hurdles

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A Rocky Start: Uganda's New Lower Secondary Curriculum Faces Hurdles
Primary Seven teachers in Nakaseke write the competency exams | Courtesy

Uganda's education system is navigating a bumpy road with the implementation of its new Lower Secondary School Curriculum. While the Teachers' Unions acknowledge the program's potential, they warn of significant challenges hindering its success.

Inadequate funding is a major roadblock. Teacher's unions argue that chronic underinvestment in education has left many schools, particularly rural ones, ill-equipped for the curriculum's demands. The lack of affordable learning materials further exacerbates the issue.

Adding to the woes is the reported delay in distributing sample exam papers by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB). This delay disproportionately affects under-resourced schools, creating an uneven playing field for their students in the crucial final exams.

The rushed implementation of the curriculum has also drawn criticism. Teacher's unions claim this haste has left many teachers inadequately trained, hindering their ability to effectively guide students through the new program. This lack of preparation disproportionately impacts students in rural and under-resourced schools, creating a gap between them and their better-equipped counterparts.

However, a glimmer of hope remains. Teacher's unions acknowledge the potential of the new curriculum but urge the government to step up its support. Increased investment in teacher training, readily available learning materials, and a focus on rural schools are crucial for its success.

Parental involvement is also seen as a key factor. Unions emphasize the importance of parents understanding their children's educational needs and offering financial support to schools when necessary.

Can Uganda overcome these challenges and ensure a smooth rollout of its new curriculum? Only time will tell, but one thing is clear: a well-resourced and well-supported educational system is vital for all students to thrive.

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