Government has reiterated its stand that Sub-Mathematics and Information Communication Technology subsidiary subjects will remain compulsory for all Senior Five (S.5) students starting Monday next week.
By Conan Businge
Government has reiterated its stand that Sub-Mathematics and Information Communication Technology (ICT) subsidiary subjects will remain compulsory for all Senior Five (S.5) students starting Monday next week.
Every student in S.5 must choose one of the subjects as their subsidiary, on top of one's three-subject combination and general paper (GP), the Commissioner for secondary education, John Agaba explained.
"Both private and Government-aided A ‘level schools must follow the new policy directive, because it will partly determine their admission to any given university in the country," he clarified.
Universities will be expected to use a new admissions criterion for all students who will join Senior Five this year.
In the near future, university students will be admitted on the basis of the maximum score of 20 points. That includes a maximum six points for each subject, one point for general paper and another for another subsidiary.
In the past, students were being admitted on the basis of the maximum of 25 points. Six points for each of the four subjects and one for general paper.
This follows the new guidelines which were approved by Cabinet recently and implemented by the education and sports ministry.
In the new guidelines, all students will offer a maximum of three principal subjects in their combinations and one subsidiary.
They will also be required to do General Paper, as always been in the past.
Students doing science combinations or combinations having Economics, must do Sub-Mathematics as a subsidiary. However, those doing Mathematics will be exempted from Sub-Mathematics.
If a student is to do any arts combination, he or she must do ICT.
According to the commissioner, there will be “no grace period for implementation” of ICT and Sub-Maths as subsidiary and compulsory subjects.
He revealed that majority of A ‘level Government schools have already got ICT laboratories.
"600 schools have ICT laboratories and we have been retooling teachers all over the country to teach ICT."
Agaba explained that the education ministry is working with Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to retool teachers and develop ICT laboratories in schools around the country.
Government has already retooled 400 of its teachers and has also sensitized 360 headteachers in regard to ICT teaching and equipment usage. Another 300 teachers will be retooled by the Government in April.
Asked about schools located in rural areas without computers, he clarified that the computers delivered are developed to use both solar and hydro-electric power. "We expect such schools to use solar energy to power the computers. We also supplied them with the required solar energy gadgets," he explained.
However, most head teachers in private schools are still raising complaints about the new policy. Some of them, who talked to New Vision say they are not happy with the new system and feel that it was “sporadic."
They argue that they were not given enough time to plan for procurement of equipment to efficiently teach ICT.
Maths, ICT compulsory for Senior Five students