EDUCATION

UNEB exams for October

The phased reopening plan had been proposed to manage the multiple cohorts of classes as well as ensure that COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) are observed in schools.

The phased reopening plan had been proposed to manage the multiple cohorts of classes as well as ensure that COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) are observed in schools.

If all goes according to plan, the education ministry will adopt the normal examinations calendar, authorities have revealed.

Impeccable sources in government who are part of the team reviewing the planned reopening of schools, have indicated the examinations calendar will start in October 2022 with the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE).

As the norm, one of the sources said, it will then be followed by the Primary Leaving Examinations and the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) in that order

Earlier, the ministry had proposed May 2022 for commencement of the examinations calendar administered by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).

“We proposed the normal school calendar which includes the normal examinations calendar,” a source said.

“We are proposing October for the exams to start. If you may recall, this is the exact month when the examinations start,” the source added.

Another source explained that the would-be candidates, currently Primary Six, Senior Three and Senior Five, will study a normal full academic year with the rest of the students.

Under normal school calendar, a school term covers about 86 days, and learners have approximately a one-month holiday after term one, a month-and-a-half holiday for term two and break off in November after term three.

According to the sources, this is due to the fact that the ministry is likely to adopt full reopening of all academic institutions, as opposed to a phased reopening which had been proposed.

The phased reopening plan had been proposed to manage the multiple cohorts of classes as well as ensure that COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) are observed in schools.

The sources indicate that the ministry has also adopted normal school terms of 86 days, but with special consideration for current semi-candidates, who will eventually become candidates.

The abridged curriculum

The source also indicated that the ministry is likely to adopt the normal school syllabus as opposed to the abridged one.

The sources revealed that they had held a final meeting on Tuesday to conclude the revised school calendar.

However, they declined to divulge details, saying they will be announced by Mrs Janet Museveni, the First Lady and education minister.

Ministry, NCDC explanation

Dr Denis Mugimba, the education ministry spokesperson, declined to comment on the proposed examinations calendar.

Regarding the abridged curriculum, he said: “What I can say is that the ministry is preparing for reopening and we shall communicate when that time comes.”

When contacted, Grace Baguma, the NCDC director, said the draft abridged curriculum is ready for implementation, but was delayed by funding.

What has changed?

Under the draft abridged curriculum, the ministry, through the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) had reduced content of all subjects focusing on core topics and outcomes.

This had been done to minimise wastage as well as enabling progression to another class.

For instance, the mathematics syllabus for Senior One, three of the 14 topics had been dropped under the abridged curriculum.

The business arithmetic taught at Senior One has been merged with business mathematics taught at Senior Three. These two are similar topics, according to curriculum experts employed at the NCDC.

Instead of learners having it at Senior One, they will find it at Senior Three.

In addition, under the maintained 11 topics, few learning outcomes will be taught to learners.

Algebra at Senior One has been scrapped.

At Senior Two, mathematics syllabus has been reduced from 17 topics to 11.

The merged topics at Senior Two include numerical concepts 1 and 2, algebra 1 and 2, as well as geometry 1 and 2. The left out topics include inequalities and regions, circle and rotation.

At Senior Three, learners will be taught 12 of the 16 topics of mathematics. The left out topics include data collection/display, proportions, probability, bearing and further transformation.

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