The Ministry of Education and Sports has started implementing a strategy for recovery of lost time, to ensure adequate and effective coverage of the curriculum for progression of the learners to the next class in the shortest time available.
Ministry of Education and Sports issued a revised school calendar for academic year 2020 on 9th February 2021 that provides for staggered reopening for different classes, leading to completion of the academic year by 24th July 2021.
According to Vincent Kakooza the Education Ministry Permanent Secretary, the strategy is based on the guiding principles that; all essential curriculum content shall be covered over the period of the education cycles i.e lower primary, upper primary, lower secondary and upper secondary
“That, curriculum delivery is cumulative and concentric, therefore, content coverage may not be restricted to a particular class in a cycle, learning happens in both the classroom and beyond, Teachers and schools are capable of innovative ways of interpreting and implementing the curriculum to recover time if appropriately guided” Kakooza says.
Now, to ensure that reasonable curriculum content is covered to allow progression to the next level, Kakooza added that the Ministry is implementing a hybrid approach that entails supplementing classroom teaching with distribution of printed self-study materials to learners.
He noted that these materials have been designed to give learners an opportunity to engage with curriculum content outside the classroom but in an interactive way. In addition, Kakooza says text, audio and audiovisual materials have been uploaded on the Ministry websites for learners to access whenever possible.
Kakooza added that lessons will also continue to be broadcast on radio and television at scheduled times so that learners can continuously engage with the curriculum beyond the classroom. The Ministry has further guided schools to revise the daily and term programmes to focus on core curriculum coverage.
“This implies that time usually spent on administering various examination as well as events like inter-house/class and inter-school, district, regional and national sports or music competitions shall be used to cover the curriculum during this emergency period” Kakooza said.
He added that for effective utilization of the available time, the Ministry is strengthening Supervision of the teaching and learning processes through the headteachers, as the first school inspectors; and inspectors and supervisors from the national and local government authorities.
“Continuous inspection and support supervision mechanisms are being implemented so that there is adequate and effective time on task by teachers. Teachers are also to be supported through orientation and refresher manuals on the appropriate methodologies for accelerated learning during this emergency period.”
He says that since learners are likely to be at different levels of learning after the prolonged period of school closure, teachers are being sensitized on effective ways of ensuring that no learner is left behind.
The emphasis during the orientation of teachers is on appropriate interventions to support learners with special needs.
A special term has also been introduced for classes that are slated to complete their education cycles and sit national examinations in 2021 academic year. These classes (P6, S3 and $5) do not have enough time left to recover lost time through the other strategies provided above.
“Ministry of Education and Sports is confident that effective implementation of these strategies will lead to adequate learning achievements by learners that will lead to progression to the next class within the time of the revised school calendar. This is therefore to allay any fears that the curriculum will not be covered effectively and some content may be left out” he said.