The Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni has confirmed she will be facing parliament next week, where she was summoned over cabinet’s divergent decision on the new lower secondary curriculum.
Janet said yesterday that she intends to help MPs understand and embrace the new curriculum.
Parliament last week halted the implementation of the new curriculum, citing lack of preparation.
However, on Monday this week, Cabinet cleared implementation of the same, which angered some MPs.
This prompted speaker Rebecca Kadaga to summon Mrs Museveni to explain why cabinet defied parliament’s decision.
Speaking yesterday at the closing of the selection and placement exercise for senior five students in Kampala, Minister Janet said rolling out of the new lower secondary curriculum was long overdue.
“It is a duty for us as policy makers and Government because it has been held for too long. All of you know it’s been in the pipeline now for about 12 years and we didn’t want to let this pass again as we try to prepare better because starting any new thing may not have all the preparations done at the same stage,” she said.
“But nonetheless we will continue to do what we are doing in the Ministry of Education and we will try also to get the Members of Parliament as partners to understand the roll out so that we can then move at the same level.”
“I didn’t want to go into the roll out of the curriculum right now but when we finish with Parliament, I will address the press and the public will know,” she said.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the closing ceremony, the State Minister for Sports Hamson Obua said on Tuesday, the Minister will provide Parliament with elaborate responses regarding the matter.
“We hope that those issues raised by Parliament that we are still working on are resolved. Parliament together with Executive will be speaking one language because the review that has amounted to the roll out of curriculum is all for the betterment of our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters to ensure that there is a new curriculum that stands the test of time, that reflects the time because things have changed,” said Obua.
In the meantime, he said, schools should go ahead and teach the curriculum although Parliament halted it.
Meanwhile, Mrs Museveni cautioned head teachers and deputies of Universal Secondary Education (USE) schools against chasing fees defaulting students.
“As it is clearly spelt out in the Education Act 2008, no learner under universal program should miss education due to financial levies. There are these financial levies that we keep talking about and I am going to take another tour if it is necessary to discuss this problem of levies that continue to make some of the children drop out of education.”
On the other hand, Janet appealed to head teachers and deputies to encourage students to appreciate vocational skills for self-employment.
She also said that Government has invested more in this sub sector (vocational skilling) with a view to empowering more Ugandans to have technical skills adding that there is need to sensitise people to change their perception of vocational education.
“I want you (head teachers and deputies) to as much as possible try to explain to the community that technical education is not for those who have failed. That is not true. Technical education is now required in the world. You must try to encourage the communities to begin to consider technical education as very important and truly authentic,” she told head teachers and deputies.