BY EDWIN MUHUMUZA
The Parliamentary Committee on Education and Sports has proposed that the National Curriculum Development Center [Amendment] Bill, 2020 be passed into law, subject to the proposed amendments.
This following the legal, institutional and global challenges that emerged since the enactment of the Principal Act in 1973.
Since then, the law had never been amended and as such it was not in conformity with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act 2015 in as far as the budget process is concerned.
The committee observed that there was a need to include the employers, professional bodies and the Private Sector in the membership of the Center’s Governing Council since they are now key players in the Education Sector.
Additionally, there is a need for the National Curriculum Development Center to vet and review alternative curricula to ensure that it is in line with the traditions, norms and beliefs of Uganda as a nation.
This amid concerns that education institutions offering Diploma and Certificate courses except universities were developing curricular without approval from the National Curriculum Development Center, existence of role conflicts between National Curriculum Development Center and National Council for Higher Education in as far as curricula development for certificate and Diploma courses is concerned.
The committee chaired by Pallisa County MP, Jacob Opolot has therefore recommended that the NCDC should be the lead government agency in curriculum development and review, and all activities related to curriculum development.
Relatedly, there were calls from members that the Universities and tertiary institutions should only develop courses for undergraduate and post graduate courses of study following an amendment to the University ad Tertiary institutions Act 2001.
The National Curriculum Development Center [Amendment] Bill, 2020 was tabled for first reading on 24th June, 2020 by the Minister of State for Education in charge of Higher Education, Hon. Muyingo John Chrysostom, and was referred to the Committee on Education and Sports in accordance with Rule 128 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament.
Stakeholders included the Ministry of Education and Sports, The National Curriculum Development Center [NCDC], Uganda National Examinations Board [UNEB],Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board [UBTEB] Uganda National Council for Higher Education [NCH],The Vice Chancellors’ Forum, Association of Uganda Secondary School Head Teachers, Federation of Uganda Employers [FUE] and Education Accelerators Limited [EAL] , a Consortium of schools that use alternative curricula – the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) Curriculum, used in over 100 countries the world over