'Teachers should be able to practically demonstrate and show how the skills they impact on pupils will be useful to them in the future'
Instead of changing the curriculum, more emphasis should be put on supporting teachers to improve their delivery mechanisms to pupils, James Tweheyo, the former General Secretary, Uganda National Teachers Union has said.
This, he said, will directly contribute to developing skills of the children.
“Teachers should be able to practically demonstrate and show how the skills they impact on pupils will be useful to them in the future,” Tweheyo said.
“We have all learnt the Pythagoras theory which is the study of triangles in Mathematics. But anybody who understands this theory should be able to relate it to the principle of construction so that when a child is building his or her heart, they will know that there is an angle of elevation in order for a house to be able to drop the water. But when you simply teach that theory and end up at that, it does not make any sense,” he noted.
Tweheyo made the above remarks while delivering a keynote address on social accountability in education and the role of citizens in improving the quality of Universal Primary Education in Uganda in Kampala yesterday.
PIC: Jacob Opolot (seated) chats with Tweheyo and others durng the workshop
The meeting was organised by Build Africa, a Non-Governmental Organisation that works towards improving access to quality primary education in rural Africa, with current projects focused in Uganda and other countries within East Africa.
Anselm Wandega, the country director of Build Africa, urged parents to participate in monitoring children’s performance in schools and to continue supporting school feeding, especially by provision of lunch.
Despite great progress of the UPE programme with some indicators such as increase in enrollment rate of pupils over the years, it has equally faced a number of challenges that have affected its operational efficiency.
(Left-right) Tweheyo, Wandega and Gawaya Tegule chats during the workshop
Frederick Mwesigye, the executive director of the Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda, decried the fact that the education ministry has failed to satisfactorily cater for children with special needs and that it has made such children drop out of school. He says People with Disabilities can be productive people in society if they rendered the necessary help and skills.
Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, the Mbale district Woman Member of Parliament and the former chairperson of the education committee at Parliament, said the education sector needs ample funding for it to sort out its challenges.
“As long as the Government does not prioritise education in its budget, the education system is still lagging behind. There are many activities in schools which need money to be run. The inspectors and teachers need facilitation to do their job,” she said.
On the other hand, Opolot Jacob, the current chairperson of the education committee of Parliament and also MP for Pallisa County, said reviewing the curriculum and coming up with a new one would only be useful if the Government found ways of using it to address development goals. He says any curriculum which build a holistic person is key to any society.