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Teacher in Uganda

Reforming lower secondary curriculum, Uganda

We helped Uganda's Ministry of Education and Sports to shift from an outdated model of secondary education, designed to prepare a minority of children for higher education and public service, to a broader, more inclusive curriculum designed to satisfy all abilities.

These reforms will address the social and economic needs of Uganda – helping it move towards a system where the needs of all learners are met and their full potential is realised.

Key facts

  • Enrolment at secondary level doubled for girls and boys between 2002 and 2012, but quality of education is falling. This is clearly shown through students’ achievement levels in Biology, English and Maths (National Assessment of Progress in Education).
  • To address challenges with education quality, the Ministry of Education and Sports, with financial support from the World Bank, is undertaking a thorough reform of its lower secondary education curriculum, assessment and examination system. This is part of its Universal Post-Primary Education and Training Programme.
  • Our specialist consultancy Cambridge Education managed the lower secondary curriculum, assessment and examination reform programme (CURASSE), which supported the ministry to develop a new curriculum.
  • We surveyed 141 employers to assess skills needed for Uganda’s future workforce.
  • The proposed reformed framework has eight learning areas: Creative Arts, Languages, Life Education, Maths, Religious Education, Social Studies, Science and Technology and Enterprise.

Challenges

Over the past 30 years, Uganda’s lower secondary curriculum has only been changed by adding content. In spite of new subjects and new content being added, important major areas remain excluded. For example earth sciences has no mention in the curriculum.

The re-conceptualised curriculum will develop the learning skills needed to ensure that all graduating students can think critically and study effectively, that they possess the range of generic skills to be successful in their personal and social lives, in making a living, and rendering them employable in the widest sense.

Solution

We undertook a labour market survey and situational analysis of the current curriculum to help guide the development of a curriculum framework. Consulted groups included head teachers, teacher trainers, political leaders, NGOs and learners, as well as the learning area teams involved in writing the curriculum. Eleven syllabuses were developed, along with sample examination papers, sample textbook units and teacher training materials. We also developed a comprehensive plan for teacher support and a monitoring framework and plan.

Our support to CURASSE concluded on 31 July 2014. A celebration event was held during which the Minister for Education and Sports committed to buying textbooks and training teachers before 2017.

Value and benefits

  • These reforms will address the social and economic needs of Uganda – helping it move towards a system where the needs of all learners are met and their full potential is realised.
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