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The curriculum

The new curriculum for primary education is in place and about to be implemented, with Mathematics, Science, English Language and Social Studies forming its core. Each subject has set for itself indicators for minimum learning achievements and outcomes. The new curriculum for primary teacher education is already being implemented .

Primary teacher education and training

There is no doubt that improvement in learning achievement and the quality of education in the primary schools are a function of the quality of teachers therein. These teachers must have received sound education and training while at the teacher training institutions to make them competent and effective as well as professional. By 1990, nearly 60 per cent of the teachers in primary schools were untrained with serious implications for the quality of primary education. The situation has now improved and 75% of the teachers are trained (see table 28). The TDMS has introduced an in-service system of training teachers, in addition to the already existing system of pre-service training. Thus, in a few years, it is expected that all the primary school teachers will have been trained.

Now Government attaches great importance to teacher education and training. The PTCs have a new curriculum since (1996); and there is now distance education for them. ITEK in collaboration with SUPER and TDMS provides this mode of teacher education. The PTCs have been restructured and strengthened. The percentage of primary school teachers with the required academic qualifications (Indicator 9) or who are certified to teach according to national standards (Indicator 10) are shown in Tables 28 and 29. The teacher attrition rate is also shown; and efforts have been made to redeem attrition rates by, for example, improving teachers’ remunerations.

Table 23 Percentage of Qualified Teachers and Female Teachers

Year

% of Qualified

Teachers

% of Females

Teachers

1990

52

30

1991

53

31

1992

51

30

1993

60

31

1994

59

32

1995

66

32

1996

66

32

1997

70

35

1998

75

34

Table 24 Percentage of new teachers and teacher losses

 

% New Teachers

% Teachers Loss

Year

Trained

Untrained

Total

Trained

Untrained

Total

1986

11

20

31

10

15

25

1989

9

17

26

5

9

14

1991

8

13

21

3

6

9

1993

9

11

20

10

10

20

1995

7

4

11

2

4

6

1998

67

33

14

38

-

-

Examinations and Assessment.

The assessments have gained recognition as being integral to teaching and learning particularly for their formative functions. In Uganda, the examination system has been used to assess pupil’s performance for the purpose of examining, grading and selecting. The pupils take the terminal examinations at the end of P7, which is the last stage of the primary cycle. The examinations tested mainly factual knowledge in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and English Language at the expense of the higher cognitive abilities and practical skills were not measured as well as problem-solving skills. Also, pupils’ abilities in co-curricular activities were not measured.

The examination system has since 1990 been undergoing a review process to accommodate higher cognitive abilities and practical and problem solving skills. A comprehensive continuous assessment system in primary education is being appropriated to bring about improved learning achievement. The comprehensive continuous assessment system is used to measure a pupils’ achievement in learning against a set of well-defined performance criteria after learning has occurred (GWPE and NAPE).

National Assessment of Progress in Education.

NAPE is currently implementing the CA system using aptitude tests, assignments, course tests, oral expression, written and practical examinations to test various abilities (GWPE R28). The CA marks will contribute 20 percent to the PLE overall marks for a particular subject. Each subject will have equal weighting of 100% marks. The CA system is certainly very important in measuring improvement in learning achievement. It assesses all the processes and products which describe the nature and extent of pupils’ learning in relation to the aims and objectives of primary (basic) education within the given learning environment.

Surveys or Studies undertaken

In 1997, NAPE conducted a study to assess the performance of primary school pupils in Science and Social Studies (SST). One of the objectives of the study was to determine the levels of pupils' performance in Science and Social Studies (NAPE, 1998). The study was carried out in eight districts of Uganda strategically selected from the four regions; namely, Central Region, Eastern Region, Northern Region and Western Region. Two districts were involved per region. Various types and grades of schools participated in the study: urban, rural, boys-only, girls-only, mixed, day and boarding.

All together 4096 pupils in P3 and P6, 256 teachers and 64 headteachers took part in the study. Pupils in P3 used oral expression in their mother tongue language whereas those in P6 used written expression. Teachers of P3 and P6 Science and Social Studies were interviewed by means of questionnaire. The overall performance of the pupils is shown in Table 30.

Assessment Results

Assessment results are given in the table that follows and the accompanying sub-section.

Table 25. The overall performance in Science and Social studies.

Subject

Class

Average Mark (%)

Pupils that Passed (%)

Pupils with Distinctions (%)

Science

P3

69

92

55

P6

39

35

08

Social-

Studies

P3

83

98

93

P6

52

58

32

Source: National Assessment of Progress in education, 1998

Here the levels of pupils' achievement in both Science and Social Studies at P3 are very good with many of them obtaining distinction. However, the good results taper off in both subjects at P6. This is an indication that pupils' performance in Science and Social Studies becomes progressively worse as they ascend the primary schooling ladder. Analysis of pupils’ performance by variables reveals the following major points:

Primary 3

Pupils' performance in Science and SST were very good with 92% and 98% of pupils passing; more pupils obtained distinction in SST than in Science; there was no significant difference in pupils' performance in Science and SST between urban and rural schools; pupils' performance in Science was the best in Eastern Region; and the worst in Western Region., the levels of pupils' performance in SST were about the same in the four regions although pupils from the Northern Region obtained fewer distinctions, there was no significant difference in performance between boys and girls in SST; boys performed better in science than girls.

Primary 6

The performance of pupils in Science was very poor with 65% of them below the pass mark; for SST, nearly 40% of the pupils did not achieve the pass mark; the performance of pupils in urban schools in both Science and SST was better than of those pupils in rural Schools, pupils' performance in both Science and SST in Western Region was the worst of the four regions; boys performance in Science was better than girls' performance; and there was no significant difference in performance in SST in terms of gender.

Table 26 Overall Performance of Pupils in Science and Social studies by School Type.

Class

 

Science

Social Studies

Grade

Urban

Rural

Urban & Rural

Urban

Rural

Urban & Rural

 

P3

Distinction

148 (58%)

265 (53%)

413 (55%)

222 (93%)

474 (92%)

696 (93%)

Pass

86 (34%)

194 (39%)

280 (37%)

11 (5%)

29 (6%)

40 (5%)

Fail

20 (8%)

38 (8%)

58 (8%)

5 (2%)

11 (2%)

16 (2%)

 

P6

Distinction

47 (13%)

47 (6%)

94 (8%)

174 (47%)

195 (25%)

369 (32%)

Pass

146 (40%)

168 (21%)

314 (27%)

99 (27%)

196 (25%)

295 (26%)

Fail

172 (47%)

569 (73%)

741 (65%)

99 (27%)

383 (50%)

482 (42%)

Figure 7

Source: National Assessment of Progress in Education, 1998

Table 27 Overall Performance of Pupils in Science and Social studies by Region.

Class

 

Science

 

Grade

North

West

Central

East

All

 

P3

Distinction

110 (57%)

92 (48%)

78 (44%)

133 (70%)

413 (55%)

Pass

68 (35%)

77 (40%)

88 (50%)

47 (25%)

280 (37%)

Fail

15 (8%)

22 (12%)

10 (6%)

11 (6%)

58 (8%)

 

P6

Distinction

7 (2%)

25 (8%)

40 (15%)

22 (8%)

94 (8%)

Pass

66 (22%)

109 (36%)

57 (21%)

82 (30%)

314 (27%)

Fail

230 (76%)

171 (56%)

172 (64%)

168 (62%)

741 (65%)

Class

 

Social studies

 

Grade

North

West

Central

East

All

 

P3

Distinction

167 (88%)

180 (94%)

169 (93%)

180 (95%)

696 (93%)

Pass

20 (11%)

7 (4%)

9 (5%)

4 (2%)

40 (5%)

Fail

3 (2%)

5 (3%)

3 (2%)

5 (3%)

5 (2%)

 

P6

Distinction

46 (15%)

136 (45%)

99 (38%)

88 (32%)

369 (32%)

Pass

82 (27%)

86 (29%)

62 (23%)

66 (24%)

296 (26%)

Fail

173 (57%)

80 (27%)

109 (40%)

120 (44%)

482 (42%)

Table 28 Overall Performance of Pupils in Science and Social studies by Gender.

Class

 

Science

Social Studies

Grade

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

 

P3

Distinction

223 (59%)

190 (57%)

413 (55%)

340 (94%)

353 (91%)

693 (93%)

Pass

135 (36%)

145 (39%)

280 (37%)

17 (5%)

22 (6%)

49 (5%)

Fail

19 (5%)

39 (10%)

58 (8%)

4 (1%)

12 (3%)

16 (2%)

 

P6

Distinction

47 (8%)

47 (9%)

94 (8%)

184 (32%)

187 (33%)

369 (32%)

Pass

179 (32%)

132 (24%)

311 (28%)

158 (27%)

137 (24%)

295 (25%)

Fail

337 (60%)

371 (68%)

708 (64%)

239 (41%)

243 (43%)

482 (42%)

Source: National Assessment of Progress in Education, 1998

Table 29 Overall Performance of P6 Pupils in Science and Social studies by language spoken at home.

Subject

Language

Distinction

Pass

Fail

All

 

Science

English only

English & Mother toungue mother toungue

4 (4%)

22 (7%)

87 (12%)

113 (10%)

74 (79%)

16 (17%)

168 (54%)

120 (39%)

331 (46%)

297 (40%)

573 (51%)

433 (39%)

Social Studies

English only

English & Mother toungue

Mother toungue

18 (5%)

17 (6%)

65 (39%)

100 (9%)

243 (67%)

101 (28%)

149 (52%)

112 (42%)

217 (47%)

179 (39%)

609 (55%)

402 (36%)

This pioneer study of pupils' performance by NAPE is indeed an eye-opener to monitoring and assessing the processes and products of primary education.

6.4 Reduction of Adult Illiteracy Rates

Professional Training at Makerere University.

The Institute of Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) is the organ of Makerere University, which specialises in promoting adult and continuing education in Uganda and has the responsibility of taking the university to the people. The aims of the institute are: to provide university-based education through various approaches; to promote the discipline, profession and practice of adult education through research training and consultancy services and to make contacts and collaborate with other agencies in Uganda, Africa and elsewhere, engaged in similar tasks for the development of adult and continuing education.

The Institute consists of three departments: namely; Adult Education and Communication Studies (AECS), Community Education and Extra-Mural Studies (CEEMS), and Distance Education (DE). There are regional centres with offices in Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Lira, Gulu, Hoima, Fort Portal, Kabale, Arua and Apac.

The IACE currently offers the following programmes: an in-service course in Evaluation of Adult Education and Development, short courses in Labour Studies,

Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Commerce degree programmes by Distance Education, extra-mural community education seminars, evening classes and study circles, lectures, short course in Media and Information Support for Adult Education, special projects in Adult Literacy and Basic Education, Historical and Action Research, and a degree course in Adult and Continuing Education.

So far the I.A.C.E has produced a total of more than 200 Diploma graduates in Adult Education. The Diploma course on Adult Education was introduced in 1989 to supplement the training efforts of Nsamizi Institute of Social Development. Besides the Diploma on Adult Education, the Department of Adult Education started again a degree programme on Adult and Community Education. The first 50 graduates are expected to finish a course of three years in June 2000.

The Role of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the Eradication of Adult Literacy.

The NGOs offering literacy programmes supplement the efforts made by the government. Some of the NGOs which have been active, include Action-Aid which is very active offering literacy programmes in Mubende and Bundibugyo Districts, Uganda Community Association for Child Welfare (UCOBAC) which has functional literacy programmes in Kumi, Soroti and Katakwi Dstrict, National Adult Education Association which has 80 branches in 22 Districts in Uganda. This association offers functional literacy programmes along with programmes on Health and Childcare, Nutrition, Aids awareness, Agriculture and Environment. This organization is being financially supported by the German Adult Education Association (D.V.V). The German Development Service (D.E.D) also raises funds through membership fees. It has a total membership of over 10,000 people. This association trains literacy instructors all over Uganda. Since 1990 it has trained a total of 2050 instructors. A total of 180,000 people have been trained in literacy skills from 1990 to June 1999. Other organizations which are very active in literacy training include: Kuira Adult Education Association based in Iganga, Kamuli Adult Education Association based in Kamuli, Karamoja Adult Education Association based in Kotido and Moroto districts and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Rakai, Kamuli and Iganga.

The three most important achievements for eradication of literacy include: production of learning materials and curriculum, the training of literacy instructors and supervisors, and the introduction of professional courses in Adult Education at Makerere University, Kampala. The goals and targets have been achieved to a certain extent mainly by NGOs and also by government through the Department of Community Development under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The main focus of the literacy programmes is to reduce poverty and promote good health and improved living standards. Tables 35 and 36 show the status of literacy rates and their distribution by sex in Uganda respectively.

Table 30 Status of Literacy Rates in Urban and Rural areas

Rural

Urban

9,693,937 i.e. (50%)

1,309,923 i.e. (81%)

Source: 1991 Population and Housing census statistics department MFEP. (See appendix 2)

In 1991, the total number of literate people in Uganda who are 10 years and above was: 11,003,810, giving a percentage of 54%. As seen in table 35 and figure 8, most of the literate people are from urban areas.

Table 31 Population And Literacy By Sex Distribution 1991 in Uganda 10 years and above:

Male

Percent

Female

Percent

5,369,766

63%

5,634,094

45%

Table 36 and figure 9 show that by gender, more males are literate as opposed to females, where the percentage of literate females is only 45%.

Source: The 1991 Population and Housing Census, Statistics Departments. MFEP.

Table 32 Functional Literacy rates.

Indicators

1986

1989

1992

1995

1998

Illiteracy rates of % population 15+

58

52

49

40.0

38.2

Illiteracy rate, of % female group age 15+

73

66

63

53.0

52.0

Sources: (I) Human Development Report 1998.

(2) Vision 2025 P.20)

From Table 37 the illiteracy rates decreased for both male and females. This is reconfirmed by the downward trend in illiteracy rates as can be clearly seen in the figure below. In 1986,the percentage of illiterate people was 58% but this had significantly reduced to 38% by 1998.

Note: Illiteracy rates are on the Y-axis and years are on the X-axis.

6.4.1 Training

Social mobilisation and sensitisation on the importance of literacy and gender issues is a major activity under the Functional Literacy Programme. After sensitisation, sites and instructors are identified. When the instructors have been identified, they attend an initial training, which lasts for one week. A follow-up Training of Instructors is done after a period of about 8 months. This is usually done after training of literacy Supervisors. The purpose of training is usually to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the implementation of functional adult literacy. The training programme is divided into six units namely:

    1. Functional Literacy and its implications.
    2. Facilitating adult learning.
    3. Facilitating Functional adult Literacy classes.
    4. Organising and managing Functional Adult Literacy Programmes.
    5. Integrating Functional adult Literacy in other development programmes.
    6. Monitoring and evaluation of Functional Adult Literacy programmes.

6.4.2 Achievements since 1992

Sensitization of community leaders at various levels, needs assessment survey conducted formation of Functional Literacy Committees from village to national level, development of Functional Adult Literacy Curriculum, development and production of Functional Adult Literacy learning and teaching materials, development of the Functional Adult Literacy Training Manual, training of Trainers, training of Literacy Supervisors, training Literacy Instructors, and establishment of Functional Literacy classes. Gender awareness training of community leaders has been carried out in 17 districts, learning and teaching materials and equipment have been distributed to districts. hese include primers, follow-up readers, motorcycles, bicycles, blackboards, facts for Life Vol.1 and Vol.2, etc. Process Review of the Pilot Project has been carried out. A full time Technical Advisor is to be employed, a system of incentives for instructors should be worked out and the cost borne by the districts, and a large scale credit scheme should be put in place and actively linked to the literacy programme.

6.4.3 Expansion of the Functional Adult Literacy Programmes.

During 1996, most of the activities centred on the review and implementation of the recommendations made during the Functional Literacy Process Review. The programme has been extended to another 9 districts where 4 sub-counties have been selected in each district. The programme has gradually been extended to more sub-counties in the initial 8 districts. Learners also mentioned that there was need to continue learning at home where there could be environmental improvement, and where HIV/AIDS prevention within communities and dangers of alcoholism both to individuals, family and the community as a whole could be highlighted. Most interesting to find from the learners as well as instructors was gender roles; where they have learnt the importance of sharing responsibilities and tasks both within the household, family and community activities. In the area of numeracy, the learners were interested in handling figures beyond 10,000 since they were already involved in higher calculations.

6.5 Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults.

A successful completion of a seven-year cycle of primary education has continued to provide basic education leading to the award of Primary Leaving Certificate. Four subjects – English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are examined. Besides these subjects, the primary school curriculum emphasizes extra – curricular activities constituting general basic education and imparting more of the essential skills. These essential skills include agriculture where every primary school is required to have a school garden; Fine Art, Sketching and Modeling; Crafts, Music and Drama.

The effectiveness of imparting these skills to pupils in a more organized manner has always depended markedly on: the level of enrolment in the primary cycle; quality of teachers and their attitudes towards practical activities; essential inputs e.g. implements, materials etc, participation and enthusiasm of parents, and effective administration of the schools (proper management of inputs, rapport with parents etc.)

In the early 1990’s enrolment in primary schools varied between 10% in remote schools to 80% in urban areas. Parents in the rural areas were poor and unable to contribute favorably to acquisition of necessary inputs. Further these years were characterized by massive dropout rates. For example, of the children who began primary school in 1986, 70% dropped out by 1992; and only 30 reached primary seven.

Of those who passed primary seven only 25% were able to join the secondary school education cycle. The remaining 75% had to try their chances in technical schools, commercial and business schools, vocational training schools, the informal sector or work on land but with no identifiable skills. Essentially therefore it was very difficult to impart practical essential skills in formal primary schools. Table 38 shows the P7 leavers, S1 enrollments and the corresponding percentage attrition rate at the end of the primary cycle.

Table 33 Enrollment: P7 leavers and S1 Enrollment

 

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

P7

144,122

149,222

156,13

155,140

175,366

173,996

200,271

242,816

250,720

S1

 

60,443

61,294

62,000

77,000

68,333

79,131

93,684

110,000

% Attrition

 

58%

59%

60%

50%

61%

55%

53%

55%

Source. Education Planning Department

The demand for essential skills has continued to grow over the last ten years. A Uganda National Integrated Household survey 1992-93 done by the Ministry of

Finance and Economic Planning revealed that 28% of Uganda's population above 10 years had had no education and 52.1% of the population had not completed seven years of primary education. Indeed 80% of the labour force had had less than seven years of education and had no skills at all. There were significant gender disparities with 75% of male in this category while the percentage of females was 85%. 31% of rural population had had no education and no skills compared to 10% of the urban area. Table 39 illustrates this scenario:

Table 34 Distribution of household population (10 years and above) by gender and educational levels in Uganda (1992-93)

Education

level

Male

Female

Total

Female

As % of total

No.

%

No.

%

No.

 

%

 

No education

934,138

17,3

2,203,656

38,1

3,137,794

28.1

70.2

Some schooling, but not completed P7

3,108,718

57,7

2,715,543

47,0

5,824,261

52.1

46.6

Completed P7 but not S4/O- level

907,106

 

16,8

 

652,506

 

11.,2

 

1,559,612

 

14.0

 

41.8

Completed S4/O-level, but not A-level

217,955

 

4,0

99,393

1,7

317,348

2.8

31,3

Completed up to S6/A-level

39,615

0,7

16,190

0,3

55,805

0,5

29,0

Completed specialized training/certificate/diploma

165,121

3,1

88,529

1,5

 

253,850

2,3

34,9

Completed general degree and above

19,217

0,4

3,546

0,06

22,763

0,2

15,5

Total

5,391,870

100

5,77,563

100

11,171,433

100

51,7

Source: Uganda National Integrated Household Survey, 1992-93, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

By 1990, Uganda had 24 Government-aided technical schools with a small enrolment of only 3,255. The population of female students was a meagre 10 per cent. Moreover, their participation was mainly limited to tailoring and cutting. Because of the high demand for technical education at this level, there was a growing number of privately run technical schools mostly in rural areas.

The curriculum in technical schools included bricklaying and, concrete practice, carpentry and joinery, tailoring and cutting, leatherwork, shoe-making, ceramics and agriculture. The course was a full time course and lasted for a full three years before students qualified for Uganda Junior Technical Certificate (UJTC). Essentially such a course catered for a small number of primary school leavers. There are regional Uganda Technical Colleges. These offer 2 year full term programme with courses in carpentry and joinery, motor vehicle mechanics, electrical installation, bricklaying and concrete practice, painting and decorating, plumbing, leatherwork and agriculture.

In the early 1990s, opportunities for business and training education existed at various levels. Secondary schools offered a diversified curriculum, which included business and commercial subjects or technical education. At upper levels, economics was offered. Training of full-time students at Certificate and Diploma levels covered business studies, training of chartered secretaries and administrators, accounting, stenography, marketing and catering. The duration of training naturally depended on the specific requirements.

Government seeks to increase access to education and training and empower individuals to become productive members of societies. In particular this will be done through:

Uganda has reviewed/and revised the primary school curriculum and incorporated essential skills such as: integrated production skills (Agriculture, Business studies and Entrepreneurship Education, Art and Technology), Music, Dance and Drama, mother tongue.

· TVET Diversification

Technical and Vocational Education and Training programmes have been diversified in scope and depth. Curricula in technical schools and institutes have been revised to make them more practical. The number of technical schools and institutes have increased in number and their intake capacity improved; although still inadequate. Table 40 shows the general trend of expansion and enrolments in Technical and vocational education and training centres and the corresponding number of teachers/instructors.

Table 35 Technical Schools, Vocational Training Colleges and Vocational Institutes

 

 

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

No. of Technical and

Farm Schools

24

24

24

24

24

24

24

29

No. of Technical

Institutes

28

28

28

29

33

33

33

34

VTC (Government)

5

5

5

4

4

4

4

4

VTI & VTC

(Private)

42

42

42

 

78

94

102

102

Enrolment

M+F

M+F

M+F

M+F

M F

M + F F

M F

M F

Technical schools

3723

5008

5349

5371

4547 684

 

 

5914 758

5855 847

Technical Institutes

4371

5882

8108

7520

6971 608

 

 

5989 744

8434 678

No. of Teachers in

TS+TI

667

787

769

744

766 22

766

 

 

1282 66

Source: Ministry of Education and Sports.



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