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NPA wants technical skills training for everyone joining University

Museveni talks to a beneficiary of the skills program for Kampala. There is a call for all who are going to University to be armed with an additional skills

 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Planning Authority (NPA) has recommended the establishment of a technical skilling course for students who complete their Advanced Level Education exams as they await joining university.

This came up at a meeting organized by the Centre for Advanced Strategic Leadership (CASTLE), a think tank established to provide research and consultancy towards approaches for addressing challenges to Africa’s advancement on Saturday.

During the meeting, Dr. Asuman Guloba, the Director Development Planning at the National Planning Authority (NPA), said they have just concluded a study as part of the implementation of the National Development Plan III, which found no problem with Uganda’s curriculum.

“The proposal is that instead of a long vacation that we usually have after S6, every person before he goes to the University, gets through a technical skilling course,” said Guloba.

He says when they unpacked the curriculum in their analysis, they found it very good at making people learn but when it came to the examining system, they realized the system only favours cram work because it tests how far one was able to remember.

“When you unpack the curriculum of Uganda, It is very good at makiing people learn, think, be innovators. The examining of this curriculum however  rewards people for cram work instead,” he added.

He says they realized that the curriculum has strands on soft skills, critical thinking and mobilization.

DR Gulobo wants reforms in Education sector

These revelations by NPA come at the time of the renewed debate on the curriculum review, which had been halted in March when the country went into the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the time, the government had started rolling out a new curriculum that seeks to address some of the issues singled in the old curriculum.

The new competence-based secondary curriculum, however, faced strong resistance from legislators, teachers and education analysts. To date, analysts see still view it as lacking in terms of addressing the country’s greatest needs, at least as of now.

Dr. Monica Musenero, a researcher and Presidential Advisor on Epidemics faulted the country for failing to harness the opportunities presented by the different problems it has encountered.

“I have not seen education that is geared towards producing researchers, people who will appreciate. I do not know why we do not have development studies from primary school. We need to re-evaluate. At one point we put a lot of effort on oil and gas, but we need to reevaluate in view of where we are growing, ” Musenero said.

She says in terms of diseases, the country still sees them as a problem yet China has made a lot of economic development just out of COVID-19.

The new curriculum being touted  comprises of among other things, conducting student-centered teaching, performing extensive practical and Information Communication Technology-ICT based lessons, a new teaching approach that aims at producing highly innovative and self-reliant students.

The curriculum also has a vocational and skills component looking at Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, ICT, Performing Arts, Art and Design, Physical Education, and Food and Nutrition among others.

On completion of the education level, a learner will get out with two certificates; the Uganda Certificate of Education and level one competency certificate from Uganda Vocational Qualification Framework –UVQF. For both certificates, the learner will have a chance of progressing to the next level of education.

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