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Parliament Finally Clears New O’ Level Syllabus; Chinese Language, Climate Change Studies Included

Parliament has Thursday reversed its earlier stance in which it had stayed implementation of the proposed Lower Secondary School Curriculum, after a thorough explanation of the plan to the MPs by First Lady and Minister of Education Mrs. Janet Kataaha Museveni.

About a week ago, parliament chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga halted the syllabus implementation process after concerns emerged about lack of adequate preparation.

Kadaga proceeded to summon Minister Janet to appear before the house on Tuesday, which she didn’t.

On Monday this week, National Resistance Movement (NRM) legislators were summoned to a meeting at State House Entebbe by President Yoweri Museveni, aimed at breaking the deadlock.

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Today, the minister finally appeared and revealed that she had missed the first summons out of miscommunication.

She explained to the MPs that the new syllabus has been in the making for several years and that a number of studies and benchmarking trips were undertaken to put it together.

Ugandan experts, she said travelled to Ghana, Singapore, Turkey, Kenya, Botswana, Malaysia South Africa and Finland, and also benchmarked locally with international schools such as Kabira International School and Rainbow International School.

Regarding the preparation concerns, the minister said so far, distributing this framework to all schools countrywide has been completed and that 20,000 teachers have been trained by 1711 experts.

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“The training of teachers will be continuous. The first examination of the end of cycle will be conducted in 2023,” she explained.

What is in the curriculum?

The 21 subject syllabus has undergone some changes with History being merged with Political Science to form one subject while Music, Dance and Drama have been merged to form performing arts.

Fine Art has been redesigned to include elements of design and it is now called Art and Design; Technical Drawing has been integrated with wood work and metal work and is now called technology and design.

Meanwhile, Accounts and Commerce have been grouped under one name, Entrepreneurship Education and Climate Change studies have been introduced.

Also, Chinese language has been made optional to schools that have trained personnel or facilities while Kiswahili has been made compulsory at senior one and two.

In the same vein, Physical Education, Religious Education and Entrepreneurship Education have been made compulsory at those levels.

The learner achievements will be captured on the record card for all terms. This will be averaged and submitted to UNEB for use at the end of the cycle and will contribute 20% of total score.

Late attempts by legislators who included Kiira Municipality Member of Parliament (MP) Ibrahim Semujju Nganda and Masaka Municipality’s Mathias Mpuuga to challenge the minister on steps taken were turned down by Speaker Kadaga.

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