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Education reforms: Why curriculum implementation may fail?

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Added 19th February 2020 02:25 PM

Therefore, the essential considerations in experiential education are; problem identification (what), characteristics and needs of learners (who), learner expected competences, the relevant content (what is taught), methods to accomplish intended outcomes (how), evaluation strategies for methods, content, and intended outcomes (What works?).

Education reforms: Why curriculum implementation may fail?

Abubakar Obilan

Therefore, the essential considerations in experiential education are; problem identification (what), characteristics and needs of learners (who), learner expected competences, the relevant content (what is taught), methods to accomplish intended outcomes (how), evaluation strategies for methods, content, and intended outcomes (What works?).

EDUCATION

Uganda is experiencing rapid and regular changes in the education sector. Early childhood development education was introduced as a measure to give a strong foundation for children to study pre-primary education.

Teacher training colleges were recently scrapped and now O' level curriculum is being rolled out for implementation in senior one amidst contestations from different stakeholders including parliament of Uganda.  

The quality of education is determined by the quality of its curriculum and the welfare of the curriculum is dependent on adequate funding in terms of retooling teachers, provision of teaching resources and facilities; and regular monitoring.

Teachers are central to whether the competence-based curriculum is delivered consistently, effectively, and with efficacy to enable the support of student desired progress and growth. Before the curriculum is determined for testing and eventual complete implementation, the direct and indirect stakeholders of the curriculum ought to be adequately involved.

The use of media and social media in creating awareness and sensitizing education stakeholders on the concept of the competence-based curriculum becomes logical in the contemporary times; Teachers, parents/guardians, students, religious leaders, scholars, higher institutions of learning, education promoters, employers and politicians ought to be given ample time to comprehend the competence-based curriculum and its expected outcome on the welfare of the economy.

This figure shows the process of curriculum development. The curriculum development process systematically organizes what will be taught, who will be taught, and how it will be taught. Each component affects and interacts with other components. For example, what will be taught is affected by who is being taught. Methods of how content is taught are affected by who is being taught, their characteristics, and the setting.

Therefore, the essential considerations in experiential education are; problem identification (what), characteristics and needs of learners (who), learner expected competences, the relevant content (what is taught), methods to accomplish intended outcomes (how), evaluation strategies for methods, content, and intended outcomes (What works?).

Translating curriculum designs into classroom activities and changing students' attitudes to accept and participate in these activities requires teachers to possess appropriate skills, knowledge and feel confident to implement the curriculum with fidelity.

Elsewhere in the world, the United States, Asia, European Union, Russia, and the Middle East embraced this new seismic shift. Zambia, Kenya, and Rwanda that shifted from knowledge-based to the competency-based curriculum have faced challenges that Uganda too should note among others; exclusion of teacher training institutions; Universities and colleges continued training teachers based on the old curriculum without realigning the training to the new curriculum. Teachers who implement the competence-based curriculum were trained in a knowledge-based system and served for many years in that setting, the mindset change became complex so the curriculum faced silent resistance.

Inadequate funding to finance the curriculum holistically; 80% of recurrent Uganda's education budget goes to salaries leaving very little for teaching materials, books, in-service training, monitoring and other things needed for the smooth implementation of the curriculum. In the absence of teaching-learning materials, the teaching-learning process will be hampered and if standard inspectors do not go out to evaluate, it might be hard to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum. Limited school facilities and equipment in terms of classrooms, libraries, resource centers, offices, desks, schools halls, sports facilities, computers, electricity etc impede the national development goal attainment.

For successful implementation of the new curriculum, Uganda's ministry of education and sports needs to allow education stakeholders to adequately internalize the competence-based curriculum and listen to their concerns for comprehensive inclusion. I vehemently believe that Ugandans have been yawning for this education overhaul and they want to be part of it.

Repositioning of some subjects, adequate teaching materials - textbooks, teaching aids and facilities that will enable teachers to develop students' competences in the co-curricular and self-study sessions, adequate teacher preparations for at least one year - Government should recruit fresh graduates and train them to implement the new curriculum.

Enhanced teacher welfare, effective evaluation, and inspection framework among other structural concerns are the critical determinants of an effective curriculum that will deliver the country to her dream otherwise the appropriate needs of students and job market may not be adequately realized.

The writer is an educationist from Bukedea District in Eastern Uganda

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