Learning in the new Uganda National Curriculum

Uganda has introduced an impressive new Secondary Curriculum.  Memorisation and regurgitation of dictated notes have gone. Researching and evaluating information and other life skills are at the fore. Schools have been sent free sample copies of attractive new course books and teacher guidance. Each topic begins with a group activity, such as reading text extracts or conducting a task or experiment. Students learn relevant subject knowledge from the teacher, from books and on-line resources. Topics end with plenary tasks, questions and discussion which help students and teachers to assess what has been learnt. Observing lessons we have been impressed by the high level of children’s engagement and by how much more they seem to be learning in each lesson.

If it is to succeed, competency-based learning requires access to plentiful supplies of books, computers and a full-range of other learning resources, not least for science and other practical subjects such as agriculture, art and design and performing arts.

New curriculum History class of 100 at Mustard Seed Humanist Secondary School discussing strategies employed by British colonialists to take over Uganda

UHST is doing its best to help the Humanist High Schools to gear up for the new curriculum. We have doubled what we spend each year on books and science materials. We are trying to improve library and computer facilities and create spaces outside normal classrooms where students can read, research and perform group tasks. We found additional resources to upgrade the science and computer labs at Mustard Seed School, which no longer met requirements. Facilities of the Library and Information Centre at Isaac Newton, opened 2 years ago, are already proving to be inadequate. We have helped Kasese Humanist Municipal High School to enlarge and refurbish its science lab. Much more needs to be done across all the schools if they are to cope well with the new curriculum.