In February 2020, Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports introduced a new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). After years of critique about Uganda’s education system, Pandora’s box was opened. The CBC focuses on enabling learners to graduate with the skills and competencies needed in today’s society. Furthermore, the CBC targeted aiding in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal number four: ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
WHAT ARE THE SHORTAGES IN THE COMPETENCE-BASED CURRICULUM?
Along the line, certain shortages have been noticed in implementing the CBC. One of the shortages is the inadequate workshops and training for teachers on CBC methodologies. The Government has tried its best; however, only a few people have been thoroughly trained. These people have also been tasked to train the rest, albeit in vain. This has left the CBC to face an uphill struggle toward implementation. Furthermore, there are also inadequate resources to achieve some of the outlined skills and competencies. A key area of the CBC is that it will inculcate 21st-century skills that will make learners critical thinkers and innovators. Moreover, the government schools that have received the books testify that they cannot cover their population.
WAYS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE CBC
- Full refresher courses should be put in place for all teachers because seminars and workshops are not enough to fully generate new ideologies in the vast number of teachers who are viewed as the key drivers of this vehicle of change.
- The provision of adequate resources in terms of ICT equipment and acceptable textbook materials not only to government-aided schools but also private schools because learners from both institutions will later have to serve the same society.
- Schools should respect the policies and guidelines of the CBC. For example, the curriculum states that teaching should end at 2:30 PM, and students should engage in self-discovery with teachers through project work and other extracurricular activities. However, several schools continue to teach learners past the stipulated time leaving only one or two days a week for project work.
- Teachers should use the ‘learner-centred method ‘ of teaching instead of the old teacher-centred method. This will enable learners to be at the helm of teaching and learning, giving them a platform to thrive and achieve the desired skills and competencies with the guidance of the teachers.
Uganda has made the right decision by taking the bold step of overhauling its old education system. However, for this decision to yield positive long-term results, there is a need to attend to the current and future gaps. This will set a solid foundation on which policymakers will base to make more concrete suggestions and changes to improve the quality of Uganda’s Education system.