Parliament of Uganda last week was a hive of eyebrow- raising moments and some calculated gaffes; two intruders crashed into parliament proceeding in acts erstwhile enthusiasts of ‘Taichi Movies’ will fondly reminisce!
While, what appeared an unending O-Level curriculum hurricane was skillfully settled by the markswoman- The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who with every passing day is proving adept at allowing her will succeed.
For the curriculum, the wishful objections were shrewdly sucked away. So, what was the Fuss; Are we ready? Is the Curriculum workable? Questions and objections that earlier came out. Yet, as we speak, Senior One Students from Nyakasura Boarding Secondary School in Fort Portal, Kabarole district are producing Coffee Yoghurt! and shops in and around Fort Portal Town are stockpiling, the ‘desired fruits of education’. Shouldn’t that have been the real discussion? Says educationist Frank Manyindo, who argues; The Curriculum should address a complete learner. Having been part of the initial flock that mooted the layers of the curriculum in the mid 1990’s, Manyindo calls the New Curriculum- God sent! He is irritated by misconceptions in the education system, reasoning contrary to the norm “Education is not teaching people what they don’t know, but rather discovering the inner skill learners are unaware of” He envisages his complete learner as a product exposed to practical skills: Practical Agriculture; a learner should be in position to feed cows, go into the bush and cut grass and not theorize the bush in class he says. Frank Manyindo speaks fondly of students who are able to apply themselves to entrepreneurial work and appreciate art for instance; Ball Room Dance. Is the Fuss on the curriculum a result of a change-phobia? Our society is bedridden with, I asked. Frank Manyindo agrees; Ten years ago when he assumed the Head teacher role at Nyakasura Secondary School, he recalls how a school gang threatened death on his household, with relentless leaflets pushed under the door of his residence, being opposed to structural changes aimed at resurrecting the institutions education fortunes. Manyindo stubbornly stuck to his conviction and the annexation of his change by rogue students collapsed. He says “Now, students disagree in peace not vile; “writing conciliatory notes directed to his attention, to intervene in occasional bad food or any other unwelcome situation” Perhaps evident marks of a Learner with a mature cognitive sense, and intellectual interrogation, a pale feature in the old curriculum. The desire to overhaul the education backyard has harvested; his students now turn Human Waste into Gas, a project auspiced by The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and anchoring efforts in piggery and solar energy. He argues poetically: “I do not teach for the university; I teach for the universe’ It is an admission the curriculum should pronounce when her products come out. A rethink was long overdue says educationist Kahuka Gideon. He says the behavior of ‘hurrying the syllabus’ prominent in many schools is dated; he lauds the teaching methodology from: 8:30am to 2:00pm (lessons), 2:40pm to 4:40pm (teacher supervision) as ideal to enmesh the much sought after ‘learner centered curriculum’ is confident will solve social needs. He Says “curriculum’s should be relevant to societies that absorb them” Will the new O-Level Curriculum assert a good measure of that? The Jury is out.