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New Curriculum: Cost Of Instructional Materials Worry Private Schools

Administrators of private schools in the Masaka region are appealing to the government for direct support to procure instructional materials needed in conducting lessons and examinations under the new lower secondary curriculum.

The administrators under the umbrella of Southern Buganda Private Schools Association are decrying that the high cost of education instructional materials is impeding their ability to effectively implement the new secondary school curriculum.

Ali Kaggwa Ddamulira, the association’s General Secretary also Deputy Headteacher of St Jude Secondary School Kyabakuza in Masaka City, indicates that many Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE examination centers in private schools may fail to provide the required materials and experiment apparatus for their candidates over affordability challenges.

This year, the first batch of senior four candidates who studied under the new curriculum will sit their Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE final exams by the Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB.

The new curriculum as approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports advocates for Computer Aided Learning-CAL in many subjects, teaching of Computers as an independent lesson, and experiment-based learning to improve the students’ competence.

Ddamulira indicates that three years since its introduction, many private schools are still struggling to acquire the required materials and apparatus, something he says will affect candidates’ performance in their final exams.

He challenges the government to consider providing all private schools with UNEB centers with education materials and apparatus to enable their candidates to effectively prepare for their final exams.

According to him, many private schools cannot afford the required materials in addition to other highly competing demands in running the schools, saying it high government supported them by either subsidizing the materials or providing them in the form of school grants.

Besides, Ddamulira expresses concern over the ever-changing guidelines for conducting students’ skills development projects, arguing that many teachers are still stuck on the proper procedures yet the final examinations are fast approaching.

He says they have now considered petitioning the concerned agencies, which include the Ministry of Education and Sports, and UNEB to come out with a complete set of guidelines to save both the students and teachers of the confusion.

Daniel Isiko, the Headteacher of Notre-dame High School Kirinda, in Nyendo-Mukungwe Division, indicates that as a remedy, they resorted to hiring part-time teachers from schools with materials, who they plead with to transfer knowledge and skills.

Nevertheless, he indicates that the improvised approach is not sustainable, especially at a time when all schools are simultaneously preparing their candidates for final exams.

In the meantime, Uganda Radio Network has learned that some administrators of private secondary schools in the area are tasking the parents with senior four candidates to pay additional fees for scientific experiments and joint seminars, ahead of the final exams.


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