By Ronald Musoke
The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) plans to retain Luganda language onto the lower secondary curriculum contrary to what sections of the Ugandan public have been saying.
Early this week, officials in Buganda Kingdom were up in arms and threatened to petition Parliament should such a move go ahead and be implemented by the agency in charge of curriculum development.
But Grace Baguma, the deputy director of NCDC said Luganda and Arabic were not being scrapped off the new list of languages to be taught in lower secondary; rather the centre is consulting on how to teach all the constitutionally recognized indigenous languages when the new curriculum officially gets into use in 2015. According to the 1995 Constitution, there are up to 65 local languages in Uganda.
“We have not scrapped the teaching of local languages in Ugandan schools because NCDC serves all Ugandans,” Baguma said.
Baguma alongside other curriculum specialists were on Nov. 14 presenting the new curriculum framework for the lower secondary (O-Level) to a group of Ugandan journalists during a consultative meeting at the NCDC offices at Kyambogo, in Kampala.
The NCDC Director Connie Kateeba said NCDC was grappling with many misconceptions that have got into the public which needed redress.
“We have noted that information about the new curriculum has been full of errors (and yet) we want the right information to go out to the public. When we are misrepresented, it causes friction and undue attention,” Kateeba said.
The new curriculum for the lower secondary level seeks to shift from a strictly academic list of subjects, each with clearly defined knowledge content to a set of generic skills that are woven across and acquired through learning areas. It will aim to develop students who are able to benefit from the education system but also benefit their country.
According to NCDC, the ‘learning areas’ concept being adopted by the agency has effectively been used in countries like New Zealand, Australia, Finland and South Africa. The new curriculum puts more emphasis on the mode of delivery and the teaching aspect where practical things will be employed to understand concepts.