The issue: Curriculum.
Our view: Our curriculum is bloated, with so many learning areas, many times irrelevant modules, subjects and topics are taught.
Last week, the World Bank urged government to reduce the proposed 15 subjects under the revised lower secondary curriculum taught in schools to 10 in order to achieve efficiency, warning that teaching of more than 10 subjects will not encourage skills development which the new approach should address.
In the recently revised curriculum, National Curriculum Development Centre reduced the earlier 40 subjects taught at O-Level to 20 and schools will be allowed to choose up to 15 subjects. The World Bank also proposed that the official teaching load should be clearly stated and consistently adhered to in all schools to enable school managers to redistribute work more efficiently to the teachers who have less than the minimum expected load.
At this point, government needs to study the recommendations of the World Bank in regard to our syllabi and curriculum to see where to improve on the skills development of the learners.
In March, the former National Council for Higher Education executive director, Prof A.B.K. Kasozi, urged government to scrap the two-year Advanced Level secondary education, calling it a waste of resources. He proposed that the current seven-year primary education be adjusted to eight years, and students transition to university after completing the four-year Ordinary Level secondary education.
This, therefore, calls for fresh discourse on our education system that we inherited from the British to suit our needs today. Our curriculum is bloated, with so many learning areas, many times irrelevant modules, subjects and topics are taught.
Narrowing the study areas will help in early specialisation. The broad learning which is taking place today in our schools does not enable the learners to anchor they study on a particular specialty until one joins university. Yet still at university, there are modules under study courses that do not add skills to the graduates.
If students concentrated on, say, the 10 subjects, and practical aspects of learning are introduced for a comprehensive study, it would create an all-round student in a particular field of learning. When key subjects such as English and Mathematics are joined by eight other learning areas that emphasise skills, by the time the students join university, it will be more beneficial to develop them further and enhance the skills at a more advanced level.
The omnibus teaching which is currently taking place, burdening students with too much learning areas, could be partly reason why the unemployment is rising in the country. So, let’s try early specialisation and redirect the acquisition of skills.