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Kadaga, MPs Disagree on Minister's Statement on New Curriculum

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Mrs Museveni explained that following consultations with Cabinet, the Education Ministry was guided not to halt the rollout because it was too late to change the plan. She also said it was Cabinet’s view to continue discussing the curriculum with Parliament until an agreement is reached.
Education Minister Janet Museveni presenting a statement in Parliament.

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The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has disagreed with legislators mainly from the opposition over a statement presented by the Education and Sports Minister Janet Museveni on the revised lower secondary curriculum.

The Minister delivered a statement in parliament on Thursday explaining why the Ministry of Education went ahead to roll out the new curriculum in disregard of the parliamentary resolution halting its implementation. Parliament halted implementation of the curriculum this year on grounds that it was rushed and required more consultation of stakeholders.

Developed by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), the curriculum replaces termly exams with projects that students will undertake every end of a topic.  Teachers will then be required to note the student’s progress before any other topic is introduced and administer end of year exams.

In her statement, Mrs Museveni noted that the Ministry couldn’t change the plan to roll-out the curriculum without a Cabinet decision, which is the policy-making organ of the government.      

She explained that following consultations with Cabinet, the Education Ministry was guided not to halt the rollout because it was too late to change the plan. She also said it was Cabinet’s view to continue discussing the curriculum with Parliament until an agreement is reached.

“Honorable members, the current curriculum for lower secondary education has been in existence since colonial times. It is largely knowledge-based with little emphasis on skills and values and therefore, it is inadequate to address the issues faced by the learners of today and the social-economic needs of our country,” she said.

She said that the revised lower secondary curriculum will promote effective learning and acquisition of skills, reduce subject and content overload and address the needs of all students.

Janet Museveni told MPs that an effective curricular is supposed to prepare a learner to be a global citizen and that adequate consultations were made on the new lower Secondary Curriculum between 2016 and 2018 and earlier before it was approved.

 

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The consultations involved Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the education committee of parliament, regional Chairpersons of Secondary Schools, the Head teachers’ Association, Vice-Chancellors from both public and private universities, National Teachers’ Colleges, schools of Education from both public and private universities, some Parents and learners, religious institutions and cultural institutions, among others.

But her statement irked a cross-section of Opposition legislators. Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that the parliament had demanded a statement on why the Minister defied its resolution and not a statement briefing them on steps taken to defy the parliamentary resolution.  

He argued that the Minister’s statement was not provided for under the Rules of Procedure because the content presented had earlier been provided by the State Minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Sseninde.    

However, Speaker requested that the Statement is received as is.

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Amid applause from the ruling government side, Kadaga insisted that the Minister’s statement had responded to issues earlier raised by Parliament.

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However, the Shadow Attorney General, Wilfred Niwagaba said that the earlier decision of parliament to halt the implementation of the curriculum had not been addressed by the Minister’s statement.  He suggested that the statement be expunged from the record of parliament since its details had earlier been provided. 

But Kadaga said that the decision of Parliament was not being reconsidered.          

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Shadow Education Minister Mathias Mpuuga said the statement gives highlights of some of the issues raised by parliament but falls short of explaining the details of why parliament decided to halt its rollout.   

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Erute South MP, Jonathan Odur also wondered what would happen to an earlier resolution of parliament to halt the curriculum, to which Kadaga maintained that the issues that led to the resolution had been covered in the statement.

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The Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda explained that Cabinet decided to roll out the curriculum since there was readiness by the Minister to start.   

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Kadaga cut the debate short saying parliament had requested for information which had been given. The fresh disagreement follows an earlier meeting between President, Yoweri Museveni and Speaker Rebecca, ahead of the discussion on the curriculum.    

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