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NCDC suggests use of smartphones to deliver lower secondary curriculum

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Curriculum Development Centre-NCDC has asked the Ministry of Education to allow senior one and two learners to use smartphones.

Officials at the NCDC say they are receiving complaints from some schools about the delays to get textbooks to guide them to deliver the new lower secondary curriculum whose implementation started in 2020.

John Okumu, the Manager Secondary Department at NCDC says that with the challenges in the distribution of the textbooks, the ministry should consider allowing schools to use smartphones to deliver.

Lawrence Ssemujju, the Director of Studies City Secondary Wakiso says that the school was forced to drop the option of online learning and resorted to using the social media platform to give notes to the students.

“We wanted to deliver zoom classes during the second lockdown, but besides the issues of network, data, we also discovered that our teachers were not competent to teach via zoom’’ says Ssemujju.

While the NCDC has developed the content for the revised lower secondary curriculum, its delivery is still limited by the lack of textbooks. They argue that the use of smartphones can help to access and deliver content online.

With this learner-centered curriculum, where each student is expected to research and come up with their own notes, allowing smartphones use could be a solution to the problem.

Dr. Jane Egau, the Director of High Education and Training in the Ministry of Education and Sports says the government is in the process of completing the ICT policy in schools.

Okumu recommends that in the absence of the ICT policy to regulate the use of these smartphones, schools can be allowed to have temporary internal guidelines on the use of these gadgets by the learners.

Previously, carrying a mobile phone to school would be punishable and in some cases lead to expulsion. However last year, the ministry of education and sports allowed student teachers to carry phones.

Currently, Uganda lacks an approved ICT policy on education, which would have set standards for the formal education sector.

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