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Curriculum Planning History Essay Example

This means that new teachers must develop the ability to “understand in a pedagogically reflective way; they must not only know their own way around a discipline, but must know the ‘conceptual barriers’ likely to hinder others” (McDonald and Naso, 1986:8). These conceptual barriers differ from discipline to discipline.

An emphasis on interactions between disciplinary knowledge and pedagogical knowledge directly contradicts common misconceptions about what teachers need to know in order to design effective learning environments for their students. The misconceptions are that teaching consists only of a set of general methods, that a good teacher can teach any subject, or that content knowledge alone is sufficient.

Some teachers are able to teach in ways that involve a variety of disciplines. However, their ability to do so requires more than a set of general teaching skills. Consider the case of Barb Johnson, who has been a sixth-grade teacher for 12 years at Monroe Middle School. By conventional standards Monroe is a good school. Standardized test scores are about average, class size is small, the building facilities are well maintained, the administrator is a strong instructional leader, and there is little faculty and staff turnover. However, every year parents sending their fifth-grade students from the local elementary schools to Monroe jockey to get their children assigned to Barb Johnson’s classes. What happens in her classroom that gives it the reputation of being the best of the best?

During the first week of school Barb Johnson asks her sixth graders two questions: “What questions do you have about yourself?” and “What questions do you have about the world?” The students begin enumerating their questions, “Can they be about silly, little things?” asks one student. “If they’re your questions that you really want answered, they’re neither silly nor little,” replies the teacher. After the students list their individual questions, Barb organizes the students into small groups where they share lists and search for questions they have in common. After much discussion each group comes up with a priority list of questions, rank-ordering the questions about themselves and those about the world.

Back together in a whole group session, Barb Johnson solicits the groups’ priorities and works toward consensus for the class’s combined lists of questions. These questions become the basis for guiding the curriculum in Barb’s class. One question, “Will I live to be 100 years old?” spawned educational investigations into genetics, family and oral history, actuarial science, statistics and probability, heart disease, cancer, and hypertension. The students had the opportunity to seek out information from family members, friends, experts in various fields, on-line computer services, and books, as well as from the teacher. She describes what they had to do as becoming part of a “learning community.” According to Barb Johnson, “We decide what are the most compelling intellectual issues, devise ways to investigate those issues

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This book presents the brief explanation of planning and management during curriculum planning and program implementation, resources necessary, curriculum reform and innovations, counseling and guidance and education for all in Uganda. It examines the role of various partners in the school environment. Curriculum implementation in schools through policy formulation through planned activities is the core and essential element that creates school business upon which schools’ stakeholders interact for the purpose of achieving a common goal of educating the people of any society. There is need to catch up with the changing needs of institutions as well as coping with meeting the challenge of individual reforms that looks a daunting task, all of them to be achieved within a limited time frame presents a management challenge that thus requires planning.


I want to thank my work colleagues at various stations for their contributions towards this book. Great thanks towards my wife Kate Akampurira and children Agatha, Daisy and Esther for their support. Special thanks to my parents Mr. and Mrs. Kururagire Fred for they did what they could to support my education. May the almighty God reward you abundantly.

My siblings Benjamin, Gregory, Stanley, Deborah, Salome and my late brother Gordon have contributed a great deal towards my endeavors in all ways.


This book is dedicated to all my teachers at all levels.


Adesina ( 1990) defines planning as a way of projecting our intentions, that is, a method of deciding what we want to accomplish. Ejiogu (1990) holds that to plan, means to project, to forecast, design or make or chart our course. From these views it can be emphasized that planning refers to the act of deciding in advance what will be done, how and when it will be done. It therefore involves setting objectives and determining what should be done to achieve the set objectives within any organisation. Therefore planning aims at establishing goals and objectives of the school in the educational system.

Educational Planning. This can be defined as the process of setting out in advance, procedures, strategies, policies, programs and standards through which the organizational goals can be achieved.

School development planning is an important approach in primary and secondary schools that is aimed at that explains and maintains the students welfare, management structures and approaches, resources and finances of the school, monitoring and evaluation for proper accountability, so as to develop a clear and coherent manner for effective and efficient systems.

The purpose of this book on School- based management systems is to equip all the stakeholders and School Management organs to have good practice and quality service delivery within whole school development in an efficient manner.

This course also shares with the staff members on some of the management issues which need to be addressed so as to provide care and support in the teaching and learning process where teachers and leaners interact for a mutual benefit.

It is important to note that quality education is supported by sound management practices through a school system. All planning and management within the school should be a collaborative effort. This shows that it should involve all stakeholders in a context in which the curriculum plays a central role. The focus of this document is to earmark the management issues which need to be addressed so that they support what happens in the entire school system. The core issues at school level such as integration of better approaches, increased learner performance, quality teaching and learning and a healthy school environment and fulfilling overall school aims and objectives rely strongly on good management plans and practices. The system to achieve all the above mentioned will depend on the following.

1 -Planning and managing curriculum development and delivery
2 -Planning quality monitoring processes and procedures
3 -Why do we need to plan for and manage curriculum development and delivery?
4 -Who is involved in the planning and management process in a school?
5 -What are the different levels at which management and planning take place?

In the managerial process, planning is deciding what is to be done and how it will be done. It entails a broad process of determining the school’s direction as translated by the school aims and objectives upon which educational activities are dependent.

Planning occupies an important position that may involve short, medium or long term approaches that should be reflected in the school development plan. It bears in mind the available resources for effectiveness, efficiency and to answer all practical questions that harmonize school life.

Planning utilizes all the information available and also gathered through reviewing what has been experienced and this helps to make a forecast for the whole development process.

Planning can be examined under the following aspects;

- The problems encountered in planning.
- Different types and levels of planning.
- The sequence of planning.
- Criteria for effective planning.

Henri Fayol defines management as “ to forecast and to plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control. Brech defines management as a social process which constitutes planning, controlling, coordination and motivation. Koontz and O’ Donnel define management as an operational process initially dissected and approached by analyzing the management functions. Management refers to a set of activities directed with an organization’s resources with the aim of achieving organizational objectives in an efficient and effective manner (Griffin, 2000). The activities set include planning and decision making, leading and controlling all the activities within an organization. The resources in this case include human, financial, physical and information resources.

Ministry of Education, Science Technology, and Sports through its departments and agencies plays a very important role in the planning and management process of a school. It issues out policies and guidelines that directs the planning process in the school. National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) is one of the agencies under the Ministry of education which is charged with the responsibility of planning, designing and managing curriculum in Uganda. It is also responsible for curriculum reform at primary and secondary levels. There is also the Instructional Materials unit; and the Guidance and Counseling departments, which also contribute a lot in planning and management. The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) is another agency that is responsible for the assessment and evaluation for the school or any other school’s achievement. It also plays an advisory role on the methods of delivery and instructional materials to be used.

1.1.Problems of planning in education.

Many of the problems encountered are political, social and economic depending on the dynamics of society in which the school is located. Political problems arise mainly when interests of individuals in the organization takes precedence over the organizational goals. The objectives of the organization must be very clear to avoid haphazard plans that normally meet a lot of difficulties in implementation. A more rational approach would be to integrate both the individual and organizational objectives through diverse reviews in formal planning.

Criteria for effective planning.

- Planners at the institutional level should bear in mind the following while planning.
- The necessary information from the reliable sources.
- There should be clear and precise channels of communication
- Staff of the organization. This should be reviewed at all levels and these should be well familiarized to the vision, mission, aims and objectives of the organization.
- The level of planning should be clear to all stakeholders especially those in top management positions.
- Monitoring and evaluation should be catered for right away from the planning stage.

1.2. The nature and purpose of the school development plans.

A school development plan provides a basis through which the mission, aims and objectives of an organization through reviews and prioritization of the school’s activities in the context of national and local context. This provides strategic opportunities for efficient and effective management of the school. A development plan helps managers of he school to achieve realistic results in regard to the aims and objectives of the school.

A development plan helps allows stakeholders to have a better reflection of the school activities and functions in a coherent manner. This helps to prioritize on how to utilize the scarce resources. The core elements that are planned for include;

- Curriculum and curriculum development.
- Pupil welfare and pastoral care.
- Human resources.
- Physical resources.
- Financial resources.
- Management structures and approaches.

The school development plan is a coherent document that provides direction to the school through which proper decision making as a matter of priority. It is equally important to have the policy effectively implemented so that school aims and objectives can be translated into an effective education.

Why do we need to plan for and manage curriculum development and delivery?

It is important to do the planning as well as doing proper management of curriculum development so as to realize curriculum goals because of the following reasons:

- There is need to have proper enhancement between teachers and learners in the classroom.
- It helps to cope with new technology changes.
- It makes the teacher to be systematic in delivery.
- It helps to make the curriculum relevant to the needs of the learner and the society as a whole.
- There is need to ensure effective use of curriculum resources so as to enhance maximum productivity in school.
- Helps to give learners the appropriate/ relevant content with the application of the learner’s environment in order to make learning real.
- It helps to ensure that the set goals and objectives are achieved.
- It enables effective/ proper assessment and evaluation of the curriculum.


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Case study.


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Kabale Pentagon school is a private day and boarding secondary school. It educates both boys and girls. It is an O’ (ordinary) Level and A’ (advanced) level school located along Kabale- Kisoro road in Kabale Municipality in Western Uganda.

It was started by a group of teachers under an association Kabale United Association (KAUTA) in 2012 with 49 students. It was later licensed and registered by the Ministry of Education in 2013. It was given a UNEB (Uganda National Examinations Board) in 2015. The school today has an enrollment of 325 students and 34 workers.

The school’s core values are

1 We strive to value each student and look for the best in them.
2 We strive to respect each member of the school, community and everyone is encouraged to take responsibility and achieve their potential.
3 We strive to be an open, welcoming and responsible school with clear lines of communication.
4 We strive to ensure that the values of integrity, courtesy, trust and care to every aspect of school life and treat others as they wish to be treated.
5 We strive to make the school an extension of the homes and local community.

Institutional Tennet.

Vision: To provide affordable, holistic Education for community Development.

Mission: To develop positive morals, academic excellence, and patriotism in young generation for future sustainability.

Moto. See Far Act Now.


1 To provide affordable but quality education.
2 To provide employment to the community.
3 To instill discipline among the students.
4 To tap and develop students’ individual talents.

School activities.

1 Teaching and learning.

2 Co- curricular activities.

- Games.
- Debates.
- Drama.
- Clubs.


1 Construction of a 6 stance latrine.
2 Construction of a main Hall.
3 Improvement in Academics.
4 Introduction of information Technology by William Sixth Form in UK.
5 Improved discipline among staff and students.


1 Students.
2 Teachers.
3 Parents.
4 Government of the Republic of Uganda.
5 Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).
6 National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC).
7 Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU).
8 Uganda National Students Association (UNSA).


1 High cost of renting the premises on which the school operates.
2 Inadequate infrastructure like classrooms, laboratories and libraries.
3 Little income, students pay little money for maintenance costs.
4 Parents inability to meet their obligations and full participation in school programs.
5 Water shortage due intermittent nature of Uganda National Water supply.
6 Unreliable hydro- electric power.
7 Low student enrolment that leads to a high unit cost.

Future plans.

- Acquiring land on which to construct the school.
- Renovation of the classrooms.
- Creating and gazetting green belts and pathways.
- Construction of a six stance toilet.
- Making more furniture for students.
- Buying more computers.
- Buying more text books.
- Improving discipline.
- Improving academic performance.



- Located at the centre of Kabale Town.
- Enough books for O’ Level.
- Supportive community.
- Enough and experienced teachers.
- Both hydro electricity and standby generator.
- Equipped science rooms.
- External link with William Sixth form and Warriner School in UK.


- School still on rented premises.
- Inadequate A’ Level text books.
- No funding from government.
- Low staff salaries.
- Inadequate staff accommodation.


- A big growing population which is a source of students.
- Upgrading Kabale- Kisoro road into a tarmac road.
- Many up- coming primary schools which are a source of students.


- Upcoming private secondary schools in the Municipality.
- High rate of poverty among the people around the school.
- A growing slum near the school.


1 To improve academic performance.
2 To inculcate a sense of discipline and self- respect among students.
3 To create a good teaching and learning environment.

Goal one: To improve academic performance at Uganda Certificate of Education.

Objective one: To reduce percentage of students passing in Division U (Ungraded).


- Remedial teaching.
- Extra lessons.
- Discussions and seminars.
- Recruitment of more science teachers.
- Promoting clubs such as debates and scouts clubs.

Indicators: Reduced percentages of students passing in division U.

Goal Two. To provide boarding facilities for boys at school.

Objective : To accommodate at least 250 boys by the year 2021.


- Construction of two dormitories.
- Fencing the school with strong materials.
- Purchase of beds.
- Recruitment of patron.

Indicator: To accommodate at least 250 boys accommodated at school.

Goal Three: To promote games and sports.

Objective. To involve and train students in different games and sports.


- Volley ball.
- Foot ball.
- Net ball.
- Athletics.
- Badminton.

Indicators: Sports equipment and facilities in school, internal and external competitions.

Goal Four: Introducing teaching of ICT.

Objective. To have ICT taught from Senior one.


- Procuring computers.
- Recruitment of teachers for ICT.
- Constructing ICT laboratory.

Indicators. ICT laboratory in place, Teachers for ICT.

Goal five. To improve discipline in school.

Objective. To promote discipline in school

To promote morals, ethics and general discipline.


- Guidance and counseling.

- Corrective punishments.

- Caution.

Indicator. A well disciplined school.

Goal six. Library Development.

Objective. To acquire enough and essential textbooks.

- Purchase of more books.

- Construction of a library.

- Recruitment of a librarian.

Goal seven. Increasing school furniture.

Objective. To have increased stock of school furniture.


§ Purchase of desks, seats, chairs, tables and beds.

Indicators. School furniture in place.

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BOG=Board of Governors; PDU=Procurement and disposal unit;

PTA=Parents Teachers Association. DOS=Director of Studies.

Planning is a continuous and on- going process of reviewing, forecasting budgeting and implementation. The school development plan constitutes new developments as well as maintaining what was being worked upon and was not brought to completion. This makes planning to be a continuous cycle that integrates the new and existing activities as the majority of the existing activities need to be maintained.

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The school governors ensures that the school plan is effectively drawn and implemented.

When you consider the role of stakeholders while constructing and operating school development plans, one has to put in mind who is responsible for what in terms of;

- Policy generation.
- Policy approval.
- Policy implementation.
- Policy administration.

It important to consider the way in which the role of development partners can be determined in the development process with the alternative courses of action and the decision making process is made on the basis of prioritization both in the short run and long- run.

Proper policy implementation requires efficient administration for a smooth development planning process.

1.3. Weaknesses of Uganda’s current curriculum at secondary and primary school level.

Curriculum is the total sum of experiences learners undergo when they are at school. In other words, the curriculum is the vehicle that education uses for vital instrument for social education mobility at personal level and as an instrument for transformation of society. Education has therefore become one of the most powerful weapons for reducing poverty and inequality in modern societies (Abdul Kareem,1997). It is also used for laying the foundation for sustainable growth and development of any nation. Primary and secondary education is the core of development and progress in modern societies. They are the levels of education that develop the individual capacity to read, write and examine issues that concerns man’s survival. In other words, it helps to eradicate illiteracy, which is one of the causes of poverty. Thus secondary and primary education is available almost in all systems of education around the world though different approaches are used. This explains why primary and secondary education is the largest sub- sector of any education system and offers the unique opportunity to contribute to the transformation of societies through the education of young ones (Onah, 1998).

According to (Oghuvbu, 2011) curriculum is the summation of systematically planned process of teaching and learning based on the aims and objectives of the educational policy of any country. It is made up of academic or subject based curriculum and non- academic or extra curricular programs. The primary and secondary schools’ curriculum module is an academic curriculum based on all subjects designed for the primary school level.

The structure of education in Uganda has a structure of 7 years of primary education, 6 years of secondary education (composed of 4 years of ordinary level and 2 years of advanced level), and 3- 5 years of tertiary education. The new era in the history of primary and secondary education in Uganda was opened in 1997 and 2007 with the establishment of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education respectively. This made primary education the sole responsibility of government and parents in educating children. Primary school became the base of Uganda’s educational system when the national policy on education system is built upon it.

Curriculum is a human educational enterprise in which people attempt to do something in a purposeful and thoughtful way.

(Oghubu, 2011), opined that the current primary school curriculum is the result of many reforms that are trying to make education relevant to the people of Uganda. Therefore the government of Uganda has good intention to fulfill the primary and secondary education purpose as stated in the education White Paper 1992. But there is evidence that to some extent education system has failed in achieving the intended objectives due to weaknesses that exist in curriculum implementation.

The management of primary and secondary curriculum in Uganda has experienced serious problems due to the existing weaknesses in the curriculum. The introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) nationwide in 1997 and Universal Secondary Education in 2007 experienced problems of under- estimation of about 30% of the turn up number of the children enrolment, acute shortage of classroom space, shortage of teachers and equipment. It has indicated that primary and secondary education are under- funded and therefore most of the schools funded by government are in poor state. This may not be divorced from neglect and lack of maintenance as a result of economic depression.

In most parts of the country, especially primary schools in rural areas, pupils still attend their classes either under the trees or in ramshackle classrooms. The inability of government to effectively run primary schools has made teachers to completely fail to implement the curriculum.

In line with the above, (Nwaogu, 1990) teaching and learning go on smoothly, factors other than teachers and pupil play a very important role. The ecology of the classroom cannot therefore be overemphasized. Ecology of the classroom according to Nwaogu refers to the environment of people, that is, the curriculum, actual teaching, classroom management, classroom climate (noisy or quiet) and the physical condition of the classroom (dark or ventilated, hard floor, arrangement of seats) and other related factors.

It is important to note that many primary and secondary schools are experiencing acute shortage of infrastructure, non- payment of teachers’ salaries and security problems. Some primary schools have not enough classrooms and furniture to the extent that classes are held under shades of trees in the compound. Some pupils carry home their seats to and from to school on a daily basis. The materials needed to facilitate the teaching process are at times not enough or not available. The teachers are no longer committed to their jobs because they are not well paid. It is obvious that unless these teachers are provided with the drive that would energize them or the tools needed, that is proper inputs, their best could not be tapped or attained and the accomplishment of educational goals would be difficult.

More to this, (Nwaogu,1990) postulated that many primary and secondary schools especially those located in rural areas have no access to health facilities. Hospitals and health centres are not within walking distances. Within the school themselves, there are no first aid boxes and trained personnel to offer pupils emergency relief in cases of minor problems. Therefore teachers and students get sick and seek medical care by travelling long distances.

Moreover it is a truism that in the realization of the fact that unequal access to educational opportunity is one of the strongest correlates to social inequality, government has embarked on massive expansion of access to primary and secondary education. UPE and USE programs were aimed at making basic education accessible to all children of school age irrespective of their social, economic, culture or geographical backgrounds. As one would expect, there has been a corresponding expansion of secondary and tertiary education.

However the quality of primary education has not kept abreast of the expansion in enrolments across the country. Although this, according to UNESCO (2001) continues to be a global concern, yet it is the general belief that the competence of the teacher is central to the education of children. In a way therefore, what constitutes competence in teaching is intimately connected with the type of teacher education programs available for preparing primary and secondary curriculum. In addition, the current curriculum does not adequately address the emerging advancement in technology. There is however some attempt made by government to equip rural secondary schools with some computers though this has again hit the scenario of power sources.

More so it is worthy to note that the national policy on education prescribes that the teacher- pupil ratio is high. In Uganda, the classrooms are overcrowded and in some instances schools have operated with teacher pupil ratio that is not manageable. A program of classroom building, to support the implementation of a scheme for Universal Primary and Secondary education was either never developed or if it was, it was not successfully implemented which leads to challenges in curriculum implementation.

The funding has also bedeviled the implementation of the primary and secondary school curriculum in Uganda. There is no gainsaying that despite the increase in the number of primary and secondary schools government in funding this level of education. When UPE was introduced by the government, there has been inadequate funding and poor management.

The system emphasizes memorial learning rather than thinking, imitation originally and conformity than initiative. This is detrimental to a developing country. The primary and secondary school system should foster Ugandan language, dresses, songs, dances and cultural heritage. Any educational system that undermines the significance and importance of the traditional background is not good enough for Uganda. Education in Japan is Japanese, education in Russia is Russian, and education in America is American. But one tempted to ask what education in Uganda. The answer of course is not far- fetched British or American oriented. In other words our curriculum is alien.

In addition both secondary and primary education is curriculum oriented and qualification fixed. It is more examination oriented and therefore academic centred other than skills, values and attitudes. This causes the Uganda curriculum to be more theoretical than practical as the results it produces are job seekers than creators.

One of the weaknesses of primary education is that it caters for a small percentage of the population who have the opportunity to continue with the secondary education. The biggest percentage drop out and the content attained at school is not out rightly applied in society

Both primary and secondary school curriculum are theoretical. They are overloaded with many academic areas that do not seem very relevant to society. It shows that the curriculum lacks curriculum philosophy and therefore no designed goals to reflect the educational philosophy. . Curriculum content is not necessarily relevant to the society needs and therefore do not match with the learners’ real life situations.

In the current primary and secondary curriculum, have some thematic areas that do not have reference materials. Even those that are provided by government do not come in time. Therefore the entire education system has failed to develop practical skills and teachers have resorted to training students to pass academic examinations and society has synonymously welcomed embraced it. Implementation of curriculum at these levels is faced with challenges of transition from primary to secondary level. The curricular of both primary and secondary are to a large extent different and therefore it is a bit difficult to switch to the new curricular at secondary. There are four major core subjects taught at primary level compared to sixteen disciplines handled at secondary level.

The curriculum has failed to enable students to acquire permanent functional and developmental literacy, numeracy and communication skills in Kiswahili, and local languages as well as English. In addition it does not it does not cater for pupils and students with special needs. Most of the activities done do not cater for children with learning impairment in most schools and in most parts of the country.

There is a tendency to ignore co- curricular activities in favor of academics at both secondary and primary levels. As curriculum calls for total development (holistic development), this is not being done whereby schools aim at getting super grades in academic disciplines. Such tendencies has always led to “ killing” of the learners talents which would otherwise be exploited when co- curricular activities are emphasized during the teaching process. It is within the goals of education that co- curricular activities be planned for while planning for school resources.

In the implementation of the school curriculum in Uganda today, there is limited inspection by the concerned parties. This is worse with secondary schools. As it always said “ If you do not inspect, do not expect” , failure to do effective inspection has cost a lot the curriculum implementation strategy. There is need by government to do a little more in facilitating the supervisory bodies to do the monitoring and inspection.


Primary Education.

- English.
- Social Studies.
- Mathematics.

- Science.

Secondary Education

Group 1 (Knowledge Extension).

- English Language.
- Mathematics.
- Chemistry.
- Physics.
- Biology.
- Geography.
- History.

These seven subjects are compulsory from S.1- S.4.

Group 2 (Languages).

- Kiswahili.
- Luganda.
- Luo.
- Runyakitara.
- Any other language.

Group 3 (Value and Culture).

- Religious Education.
- Literature in English.
- Art and Craft.

Group 4 (Practical Subjects).

- Agriculture.
- Business studies ( shorthand, accounts, office practice, commerce, entrepreneurship skills)
- Home Economics.

Group 5 ( Technical Subjects).

- Technical drawing.
- Wood Work/Metal Work
- Electricity and Electronics.


A policy can be taken to be a statement of aims and objectives that can be implemented as procedure by any institution and therefore represents an ideal behavior in any society. It is a deliberate system of principles to guide activities and programs in society so as to achieve rational outcomes. Policies are made at individual, instructional, organizational and national levels.

At school level, policies are generally adopted by the Board of Governors or School Management Committee within an organization whereas procedures would be designed and adopted by senior executive officers. Policies can assist in both objective and subjective decision making to achieve rational outcomes.

A school is a place where there is a composition of learners and instructors through which learning and teaching take place. School policies and their significance in educational management include the following;

Human Resource Management Policy. Human resource is a crucial component of any organization. It is therefore important for every school to take care of the following aspects of human resource: recruitment, induction, appraisal, job rotation, promotions, benefits, and rewards and disciplinary measures. If this policy is properly institutionalized, then it will improve on the efficiency and productivity of human resource.

Safety and Security Policy. This is meant to keep people and property in school out of danger. The school managers put in place a number of measures that promote safety and security of the whole environment. Some of these measures include; fencing the institution and provision of one entry, fire extinguishers, installation of lightening conductors, and employment of security guards among other measures. This is a very important sensitive policy in school.

Health and Sanitation Policy. This entails guidelines concerning maintaining a clean and habitable environment to ensure safer life for all the people in the organization. These include; routine classroom cleaning, compound clearing, separation of latrines boys from girls, provision of first aid box, routine medical check- ups of students, proper placement of sanitary towels, provision of safe water for drinking among others.

Co- curricular Policy. This policy makes a provision of games, clubs and societies. At the institution level every student should belong to at least one of the clubs in school. These clubs have activities which include; music, dance and drama, Physical Education, debate, Scripture Union, patriotism. These activities break the monotony of class work and this is where the talents of learners are exploited.

Child Protection Policy. This is where children irrespective tribe, race, home background, nationality, color, are protected against any form threat or physical violence such as kidnapping, burning, rape and defilement, denial of food or medicine. All children

Food Policy. Apparently in schools this refers to the right of every child to feed on adequate and well balanced diet at the right moment. This brings good health to children who are mentally ready to perform well academically.

Dressing Code Policy. Every institution designs the way in which its children should appear in terms of school uniform. All schools make students clad in school uniform that is properly worn at the right time and in the right place. School uniform is a sign of identity and it carries with it certain positive traits that are inherent from time to time.

Religious Policy. This policy entails religious values and religious tolerance. The policy should be so accommodative and this will promote peaceful co- existence and harmonious relationships amongst members of the institution and the surrounding community. It is a common practice of conducting morning prayers every morning and this helps to instill moral values in both pupils and staff.

Environment conservation Policy. Under this policy staff and children collectively support environment conservation through participating in tree planting around the school and other environment conservation campaigns. This is meant to harness nature around school.

Mode of assessment Policy. Most schools have adopted three sets of examinations in a term. These are beginning of term, middle of the term and end of the term examinations. Others go ahead to give holiday package. The major purpose is to avoid redundancy and idleness. This helps learners to go over the learnt material again and again which encourages mastery of content.

General Assemblies Policy. Assemblies are important in school setting. They are used as platforms for disseminating weekly programs, and any other policy issues in regard to teaching and learning. This is done by staff and administration, prefects and external experts in different fields of knowledge. It encourages clear communication and learners are able to exercise leadership skills. There is maintenance of values, culture, masterly of school anthem, school anthem East African anthem which improves on sense of belonging and identity.

Time management Policy. Timekeeping is one of cherished virtues world over. Schools insist on time keeping for both learners teachers and other members of staff. Most schools begin at 8.00 am with morning assembly prayers and general cleaning. The significance of this is to allow teachers finish syllabus in time as well as keeping the environment clean.

Students/ Pupils leaders’ Policy. All schools are supposed to have prefectural body and school council. This is in line with promoting democracy and good governance where students/pupils participate in electing their leaders. These leaders acts as a bridge between the students body and the school administration. They act as a voice of the students to the school administration and take feedback to the learners and this promotes school stability and good performance.

School attendance Policy. This is where schools should ensure a high daily attendance, possibly 100% because class attendance increases chances of academic success. Schools use daily attendance registers and noticeboard attendance displays as a means to improve daily attendance.

School Visitation days Policy. This mostly applies to schools with boarding facilities. It involves parents visiting their children and take the advantage of interacting with teachers for the purpose of improving discipline and academic performance of the learners.

Corporal punishment, teasing and bullying Policy. In this case teachers and prefects are notified to use friendly and alternative punishments instead of corporal punishments. Students are also sensitized not to tease or bully their friends as these may lead to torture in schools.

Admissions Policy. Schools set promotional pass mark so as to maintain good academic performance standards and this encourages learners to work hard and pass.

Schedule of meetings Policy. Schools are supposed to convene various meetings at the start of every term such as staff meetings, prefects meetings, management meetings such as board of governors meetings, and Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings. These meetings are meant to lay out strategies for a new term, identify school needs and new developments, detect and predict the likely challenges in the new term and incorporate them in a school plan. This policy improves problem solving since ideas of all stakeholders are adopted.

Home work and holiday package Policy. This demands teachers to assign homework that is meaningful, reasonable and purposeful in nature. It also compels learners to do a given set of assignments and this encourages hard work through private study. This helps to reduce student redundancy during holidays as they try to do academic packages to present at school at the beginning of the ter.

School Tenate Policy. This is concerned with establishment of school vision, mission, school anthem and core values. These should be in line with the institutional goals and national goals of education.

Cell Phone Policy. Much as communication is very important in society, schools have come up with policies regulating phone possessions in school by the students as phones may distract them in their daily activities.

Special needs and inclusive education Policy. This policy encourages the participation and competition of schooling by persons with disabilities or special learning needs. It allows participation and competition of people with physical and mental disabilities. This calls for participation and management of Special Needs Education program.

Gender Policy. The policy of gender in education guides all education stakeholders in planning, resource allocation and implementation with a gender consideration. It encourages gender equity in planning, budgeting, resource allocation and specifying roles and responsibilities of key education stakeholders. It enforces gender equity in all mainstreaming and eliminates gender disparities in education sector in terms of enrolment, performance, achievement, transition, retention, completion and learning outcomes.

Government policies in Primary Education in Uganda.

The government has put a number of policies to guide Universal Primary Education. These include the following;

UPE policy (2007). This policy targets all school going children to attain free primary education in Uganda. It aims at addressing challenges of human resource such as high illiteracy and skill development in the country. Since its inception in 1997, more than eight million children are in schools under UPE of which the majority of the learners are from families that are low income social economic status. The policy is guided by a number of objectives some of which include;

To establish, provide and maintain quality education as a basis for promoting the necessary human resource development.

To transform society in a fundamental and positive way and to provide the minimum necessary facilities and resources to enable every child to enter and remain in school until the primary cycle of education is completed among others.

The policy puts further emphasis on schools management with aspects on various areas, for example official school days and hours in primary schools as 8.00am- 4.30pmm and Monday to Friday respectively.

Coaching is prohibited while remedial teaching is highly encouraged.

Corporal punishment is prohibited as it threatens and leads to drop outs thus frustrating the efforts of the program.

No head teacher is expected to levy any charges unless the charges are approved by the Ministry of Education.

Repetition of classes is discouraged and therefore pupils should not be discontinued from schooling or forced to repeat classes purely on grounds of poor academic performance.

The policy defines the roles of key players in the implementation of UPE ranging from the mother Ministry of education, that is charged with training deployment and professional development of teachers to the legislative arm of governance, district leaders, sub county chiefs, District or Municipality Education department and inspectorate, centre coordinating tutors, head teachers, teachers, pupils, parents/community, the Civic society, Non- Governmental organisations and mass media. All these have a role to play for the success of the program.

Equitable Access Policy. This is a key educational sector policy that is meant for both the rural and urban in Uganda. It entails providing equitable access to affordable and quality education to all Ugandans, propelling the nation towards achieving the goals of Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). This is meant towards commitment to achieve Education For All (EFA) and Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, providing relevant education and enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.

In order to strengthen partnership in the Education sector, more resources have been allocated through the UPE program to lower educational public so as to enhance quality of access between boys and girls.

Local Language Policy (2007). This policy is meant to have thematic curriculum implemented in lower primary. The curriculum is delivered using mother tongues as languages of instruction. Teachers’ resource books have been developed in nine local languages to help teachers to handle thematic curriculum at this level. Teachers have also undergone professional training and workshops to implement this new policy. There has also been training like in Early Grade Reading and Arithmetic (EGRA) to help the acquire skills to implement the policy.

Gender in Education Policy (2010). This policy encourages gender equity in all aspects and eliminates gender disparities in the education sector. It guides all the education stakeholders in planning, resource allocation and implementation to address some of the gender bottlenecks at all levels. It emphasizes gender mainstreaming in planning, resource allocation and budgeting so as to promote the provision of relevant knowledge and skills equally to males and females for harmonious national development. It is therefore imperative to eliminate gender disparities by all stakeholders in order to ensure gender responsiveness in all activities of management.

It also calls for special facilities for the girl child such as wash rooms ( child friendly school), banning undesirable cultural practices of forced and early marriages for girls to increase chances of girls going and keeping in school.

Basic Education Policy for Educationally Disadvantaged Children (2006). This is meant to address the rights of the educationally disadvantaged children. It was introduced in 2006 to cater for children who drop out of school because of the rigidity nature of the formal schooling system. This policy is a good policy but has unfortunately remained on paper.

The Special Needs and Inclusive Education Policy. (2011). This policy enhances the participation and competition of children with learning difficulties and special needs. This was specifically meant to increase enrolment, participation and completion of schooling by persons with learning difficulties and special needs. It was also meant to strengthen and systematize initiatives and programs on Special Needs Education as well as enhancing participation of stakeholders in the management and implementation Special Needs Education programs in Uganda.

The Education Sector HIV and AIDS work place Policy (2006). This policy provides procedure and framework for dealing with HIV/AIDS in the Education sector. The policy mainly promotes a consequent and equitable approach to the prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission among employees. This is meant to ensure increased access to quality HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care services, support and elimination of all forms of stigma and discrimination in the education sector.

Physical Education and Sports Policy (2005). This helps to identify talents in games and sports among children and youth. It aims at improving planning, management and coordination of education and sports at school, district and national level. The policy has enhanced retention and completion rates where positive values and skills have been acquired through further training and specialization. Most schools have to participate in Music, dance and drama, essay writing competition and sports activities every year and this improves talent development and promotion of inclusion of the marginalized groups of children in the education system.

Primary Education Reform Program. In 1991 Government designed the Primary Education Reform Program (PERP) to address issues of declining quality of basic education. It focused on three major aspects of increasing access to improving school management and instructional quality, quality learning opportunities, strengthening planning and improving management and implementation.

The policy of liberalization of education. Following the recommendations of Prof. Kajubi in the Government White Paper, there was need for opening space for private- public partnership in the provision of education at all levels. Initiatives by the public and private sector, civil society and cross partnerships among and between sectors have led to better education service provision.

Curriculum reform policy. The government has instituted National Curriculum Development Centre

and this organ has regularized the curriculum reform policy. It has implemented the policy of Africanisation of Educational content to get rid of Colonial Education and in response to Mazrui (1978), regards neo- colonial cultural dependency as a threat to Africans. Psychological autonomy and and sovereignty and reports that “ Very few educated Africans are even aware that they are also in cultural bondage. All educated Africans are ….. are still cultural captives of the West.


Education reforms are actions or recommendations by those in authorities that are intended to make education better or put right ant faults or errors in the provision of education.

Brasvasky a(2003) defines change as an essential characteristic of life in the co- temporally world. The changes affecting the various spheres of social life are increasingly rapid and intertwined.

Curriculum change id deemed necessary when existing content, methods and structures of school education do not seem to be responding to new social demand resulting from cultural, political, economic and technological changes.

Suffice to note that a curriculum may be partly or entirely by external authoritative body. In Uganda, the task of curriculum development and review is vested in the hands of the Ministry of Education Science Technology and Sports (MOEST) through the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC). However at higher education, curriculum development lies in the autonomy powers of the individual university majorly basing on the social needs and labor market demand.

Curriculum innovations and development in Uganda have experienced a number of challenges. These include;

Inadequate funds that has always been an impediment since curriculum reform requires financial support to put up classrooms, laboratories and libraries as has been in the implementation of Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE). Most parents could not cope with the simple costs and this resulted into gender disparities, declining enrolment and high failure rates.

Inadequate skilled man power to plan and draw the relevant reforms. For instance the expertriates involved in the forthcoming schools’ new curriculum include ; Andrew Clegg (Sr Education advisor, Namibia –NK), Jacob Bregman (World Bank), Wout Ottevanger (Sr Education Consultant, Vrije University of Amsterdam). All the mentioned are non- Ugandans who may draw irrelevant reforms that may to some extent address the intended purpose.

Bhola (2004), suggests that policy implementation is the process of actualizing, applying and utilizing a policy. In the relation to the above, the new curriculum ends up being vulnerable to community resistence as a result of lack of community participation in the curriculum reforms. Community must thus be involved for it to fully participate and identify with the curriculum reforms.

Lack of clarity and awareness about change of stakeholders at lower levels. Users are not involved in initial reform development of the new curriculum. This attracts many critics because many people are always resistant to change. For instance the new to be curriculum of 2018 is not publicized to all the stakeholders such as the teachers, the students and the parents.

Syomwene (2003), commenting on curriculum reforms in Kenya noted that implementation was also done in a hurry without allowing adequate time for planning. This has been a common phenomenon in Uganda during the implementation of Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE). In addition THEMATIC curriculum in primary schools has met a lot of challenges due to ill –preparation at the implementation level. It has faced a lot of resistance and above all it has been interpreted differently from teacher to teacher and from school to school.

Education policy making and implementation is a political process especially in Kenya ( Elimu Yetu Coalition, 2003). Educational planners and administrators rarely carry out policy formulation and implementation without interference from politicians. The UPE program in Uganda for instance was implemented in 1997 after 1996 presidential elections yet the recommendation had been made way back in 1989 Education Policy Review Commission Report, therefore the program was politicized.

This has been followed by sentiments such as; do not away students for some voluntary contributions yet government resources to support this program are so meager to pay school staff and construct classrooms for increased enrolment in schools.

Another notable challenge was the introduction of computer Studies in A ‘Level in 2013 which were made compulsory to students as an alternative to Sub- sidiary mathematics. It was done haphazardly in a sense that many rural schools had no computers and even those that had received government support in this area either had no computer teachers or had no source of power. It all reached the examination period when schools and examination board was confused how to resolve the empathy. The end result was to cancel computer examination that year.

In addition, lack of skilled manpower to plan the curriculum and also to implement the new curriculum reforms. For instance the introduction of UPE in 1997 saw an acute man power gap of teachers and the teacher pupil ratio was at 1:100 and some of the teachers were untrained. The introduction of science policy in secondary in secondary schools also did not plan for the trained and creative teachers of science and the gap is still felt.

Curriculum reforms in Uganda has further faced a challenge of shortage of scholastic and instructional materials such as computers, inadequate science apparatus and reagents after making science subjects compulsory to all. There is also lack of sufficient text books following the introduction of UPE and USE that saw student text book so high.

Rural- urban disparities is also a challenge to curriculum reforms in Uganda. For instance much as ICT Studies was embraced and implemented by most schools in urban areas, rural schools have always ignored important programs thus causing disparity in service delivery. This situation has worsened rural urban shifts since the population is ever moving for better education services.

There is also a challenge of lack of motivation to the curriculum implementers such as the teachers and the school managers. For instance a primary teacher earns a consolidated allowance of Ug sh.350.000= ($ 100) subjected to taxation. This very teacher does not afford a decent living in his/her own country. What is amazing are the salary gaps that exist across the board leaving a teacher getting a discouraging low salary despite the vital services rendered.

There is also lack of political will in Uganda to implement curriculum reforms. UNESCO (2004) affirms that education curriculum reforms requires a strong political will. For instance we realize that although the curriculum recommendations of Senteza Kajubi report in 1989 were attractive, they have partially been implemented and some not implemented at all, for instance the vocationalisation of primary education, secondary education and Primary Teachers’ Colleges.

There is insufficient physical infrastructure in form of classrooms, laboratories, libraries for instance making sciences compulsory even for rural schools left many un answered questions, such as such a school did not even have a science store. This explains the alarming failure rates in sciences especially in disadvantaged schools.

School leadership and some educationalists disrupt proposal from outside since there is limited needs assessment carried out through them. UNESCO (2004) agrees with the above that educational or curriculum reforms require an effective management. Managers thus need to conduct effective supervision and support in the implementation of curriculum reforms.

Fear for change, has been another challenging factor of curriculum factor in Uganda. It is a natural weakness for man to fear change however much positive the change might be to the system. Some teachers for example fear that they may be re- tooled or their services terminated. A case in point is a curriculum reform that saw a resizing of the secondary school curriculum.

There is a possibility of inability to evaluate. Evaluation of educational reforms also deals with such questions as who benefits from curriculum reforms? And who implements them? There is lack of continuous evaluation of curriculum reforms and this makes implementers of curriculum losing truck and therefore failing to live to the expectations of the curriculum objectives.

Ignorance and backwardness also hinder curriculum reforms. Comparably urban communities benefit from curriculum reforms whereas ignorant and backward communities are reluctant to take them up. For instance ICT (Information and Computer Technology) and SESEMAT (Secondary School Science and Math Teacher program) programs have been well embraced in urban areas as compared to rural societies.

3.1 The situation in which Uganda’s Curriculum is being Implemented in Schools.

According to National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC), the term curriculum consists of all aspects of learning and teaching, both formal and informal, which takes place in schools. Curriculum implementation refers to dissemination of a selected set of learning experiences. It is the act of translating curriculum documents into action in the classroom by the teacher. It involves putting the curriculum into practice. The NCDC issues statements for learning and teaching for all schools to follow. These statements explain how teaching should be done in terms of objectives, outcomes and assessment standards. The National Curriculum Statement (NCS) comprises subject statements, each containing definition, purpose, scope, educational and career links, learning outcomes, assessment standards, subject competence descriptions per grade, content and contexts for attaining the assessment standards, and a generic section on assessment. The NCS is used by teachers in schools for guidance on what they must teach.

Several studies have investigated the quality of education and the success of curriculum implementation in Uganda. Developing new curricula has been a popular undertaking in many countries including Uganda and generally, these curricular are well designed and possess praiseworthy aims.

Nevertheless the policy makers involved with developing these curricular are engaged with creating the policies, but “seldom look down the track to the implementation stage” (Rogan and Grayson, 2003). Moreover, it is argued that large- scale changes often neglect the process of implementation and, likewise, low outcomes of educational changes are mainly the result of “ poor implementation of what was essentially a good idea” (Verspoor, 1989).

Overall Uganda has witnessed many examples of well- intentioned and well- designed curriculum programs that have failed to take root on the ground. An example is the THEMATIC curriculum in primary schools. One of the principal reasons, thereto, appears to be a lack of clearly worked out implementation strategy that takes the national and local context into account ( Rogan and Grayson 2003). There is now a common understanding that policy makers need to consider a plan for the implementation stage for reforms to be successful (Altinyelken 2010).

The curriculum implementation process in Uganda has not really met the expectations of the designers. Often, the general way of thinking about the curriculum implementation has been rather top- down and according to Chisholm and Leyendecker (2008), there is a critical link between the big idea and changing actual classroom practice that must be recognized.

The situation has left the country in a blame game situation especially after every release if national results. Parents blame teachers for not teaching, teachers blame government and parents for failing to play their roles while government blames teachers. It is important to note at the start that every stakeholder has a role to play in the curriculum implementation process. It is lack of such a team work that limits curriculum implementation in Uganda.

One of the striking features of curriculum change and implementation is the perceived mismatch between intended curriculum and the classroom reality, i.e, the disparity between policy and practice ( Rogan, 2007; Chisholm and Leyendecker 2008; Bantwini 2010). While there is agreement on the aims of design, there is evidence of divergence in practice. In practice ideas are often decontextualized and displaced and, therefore, they are often unable to meet the social development goals demanded of them. In other words, curriculum implementation process does not follow a designed plan.

Further more, Verspoor (1989) claims that the diversity in schools needs to be taken into account to implement large- scale changes. Therefore, Sergiovanni (1998) proposes a continuum of forces of educational change. These changes consist of, on the one side, top- down (external) end of continuum and on the other side, bottom- up (community based) end of continuum. In contrast to the superficial top- down changes, the community- based changes are likely to be deep and enduring (Rogan and Grayson 2003). Therefore it is important for curriculum implementation process that sufficient attention is paid to the bottom- up changes that are needed for curriculum change to take root on the ground. Ugandan situation does not take this into account.

Curriculum planners at the Ugandan school level are not allowed to take into account the context and capacity of their school, and they are not encouraged to select a route in working towards a meaningful implementation of the curriculum. According to Fullan (2001), it is not just a question of selecting top- down or bottom- up approaches, one to the exclusion of the other, but it is about carefully selecting those forces that are likely to be most effective in the situation at hand.

Some factors are under control of schools and teachers. For example more time is devoted to particular topics in the curriculum, more careful attention to analyzing students’ homework, and more emphasis on providing feedback. On the other hand other factors under control of parents. For example encouraging better attendance or ensuring that home work is completed. However most parents in UPE and USE schools do not mind about checking their children books after school.

In order to allow an education quality improvement intervention to be successful, many influential factors have to be taken into account. Therefore, not only education outcomes are important but also pupil, household and regional characteristics need to be addressed. For example, poor curriculum implementation may be due to the low quality of inputs of schooling system- teachers, learners, teaching methods, learning materials- to underfunding or to factors beyond the education policy. Consequently, an unbiased assessment of the effects of an intervention on, for instance, enrolment must take into account the effects of class size, remoteness, and poverty status of households, as these factors may also affect enrolment rates. This intervention has not been catered for in Uganda.

In Uganda, the neglect of these unobserved selection effects has led to unrealistically high expectations and subsequent disappointment about implementation and wrong policy conclusions. Thus, curriculum implementation is not a straight forward top- down or bottom- up strategy. For this reason a broader model of implementation needs to be considered and, therefore Rogan and Grayson (2003) have developed a theory of implementation which emphasizes a broad analysis of the implementation process that takes contextual factors into account.

The most influential and holistic attempt to categorize curriculum implementation in Uganda was undertaken by Rogan and Grayson (2003). They argued that there is need to acknowledge the existing classroom reality and then build on strength of teachers, pupils and the school’s environment. Subsequently, their profile of implementation allows strengths to be identified and progress to be made by building on these strengths, in comparison with only identified weaknesses. They state that “ since different schools may begin with different strengths, and wish to develop different directions, the profile is neither remedial nor linear in nature” (Rogan and Grayson 2003).

Curriculum changes have not worked best since curriculum developers have not acknowledged the existing realities, classroom cultures and implementation requirements. This requires understanding and sharing the meaning of educational change, providing for adaptations to cultural circumstances, local context and capacity building throughout the system. In most cases, changes have ushered in without consideration of such issues.

Many aspects of implementation processes are not well understood by the curriculum designers during curriculum design process. Consequently there is limited information available where policy makers can draw upon.

With global urbanization, the rural areas of Uganda tend to be somewhat left behind. Considering the UPE and policies which have been adopted and implemented by Uganda, not all children were able to attend school. Therefore, children in remote areas also have a right to attending basic education, but it has been argued that the quality of education in remote areas has become challenging.

Rural- urban disparities are found in effects of UPE, USE and other investments in education. The study by Grogan (2009) analyzed the effects of school fee elimination under UPE. She claims that the positive effects that are found are particularly pronounced for girls in general and also for children living in rural areas; these groups were already named as the most educationally marginalized (Winthrop 2011).

The reason that rural education and rural development in general is an important issue is that over 85% of Uganda’s population still lives in rural; out of 33 million people in 2010 is expected to double in 20 years’ time given that it is growing at a rate of 3.2% per annum.

Uganda has done well on access- related targets since the introduction of UPE in 1997 and USE ten years later, but this has had effects on quality of education. The enormous increase of enrolment did not only have a severe impact on the education system and infrastructure, but it changed the school- going population as well. Uganda offered poor, uneducated parents from remote areas the opportunity to send their children to school (IOB 2008). Furthermore, the low literacy levels in both English and local language, were particularly low outside and in rural areas (Read and Enyutu 2005). This greatly limits curriculum implementation in rural areas mainly due to lack of qualified teachers, which are critical especially in rural areas.

Another factor affecting curriculum implementation and attendance in Uganda schools is poverty. According to the GMR 2012 globally, poverty is particularly concentrated in rural areas. Acham et al (2012) suggest that rural poverty leads to underachievement of children at school. Moreover poverty combined with lack of commitment makes parents unable to provide meals and scholastic materials for their children, which causes irregular attendance thus limiting curriculum implementation. The lack of nutrition influences the school attendance especially in rural areas. Several other factors that influence curriculum implementation include food security, poverty and distances between home and school.

There has been a trade- off between increasing access to education and the quality of education. The global push for access to education by means of the MDGs- followed by a UPE and USE policies has led to the doubling of enrolment in primary schools and consequently the increased pressure on the quality of education in Uganda. In response, the government of Uganda has attempted to increase the quality of education through implementing new curricular.

At the central level, Ministry of Education, Science, Technology & Sports is responsible for redefining policy and ensuring quality and achievement in primary and secondary education. The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) is responsible for designing the curriculum at this level. This has been successfully done.

The Chief Administrative Officer is the Head of the district and is the representative of the government at the local level. He ensures that national policies are implemented. The district council is an elected body that develops policies at the district level. The management of the district staff, including teachers is the responsibility of the district service commission. All these stakeholders help to monitor curriculum implementation.

The education department is in charge monitoring the quality of education, the use of received funds by schools and the implementation of the curriculum and education policies. It reports to the local authorities in the district; this is under the decentralization program. Support supervision and monitoring by inspectors of schools at this level is mainly done in primary schools. However supervision is irregular due to limited facilitation.

Uganda’s policy of decentralization of government entails that in the education sector the District Education Officers are not functioning as extensions of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports but are part of district authorities and they report to the district administration, not to the Ministry.

At the school level, the Board of Governors and the school management committees are composed of representatives of the foundation bodies of the schools, teachers, parents and local authorities in the area and the education department in the district. These are statutory organs that govern schools on behalf of the government. They make policies at the school level and supervise the implementation of these policies and the curriculum at school level. It is common to find that most members of these bodies are ignorant about education policies and therefore do not easily play their role. Most of them are concerned with the finances and mind less about curriculum.

Parents Teachers Associations also participate in daily management and implementation of the school curriculum. They play a vital role in promoting discipline among students. Most rural parents do not mind about the syllabus coverage. It is left at the mercy of the teacher.

The teacher’s role in curriculum implementation is so crucial. It starts with planning. This involves preparation of schemes of work and lesson plans. Most primary teachers try to fulfill this role. Most secondary school teachers just hurry to classrooms to read lesson notes to students without thorough planning. This causes a great difference between what was designed and what is finally delivered. Poor methods of delivery affects the teaching- learning process and therefore the quality of teaching in most schools is observed to be poor.

There is insufficient instructional leadership in the implementation of the National curriculum. The head teacher as an instructional leader should lead the implementation of the curriculum in school. According to Hoy and Miskel (2008), instructional leadership encompasses those actions the head teacher takes and delegates to others to promote growth in student learning. The instructional leadership of a head teacher has a positive and direct effect on student achievement. It is clear that the purpose of the head teacher’s instructional leadership role is to facilitate effective teaching and learning. The head teacher should organize effective instructional programs, create a positive climate, exercise effective management behavior and overcome constraints of the community or handle inputs from the community effectively.

Furthermore, an instructional leader provides the right curriculum direction for the team, inspires and energizes the team, mentors and supports the team, motivates educational policy to the team, and monitors their progress. The head teacher also oversees the curriculum planning in school; develops and manages assessment strategies; ensures that the teaching and learning time is used effectively, develops and uses team planning; and develops and manages learning resources.

According to (Spaddy and Marshall 1991), the head teacher should acknowledge teachers for exemplary teaching and encourage them to share their expertise with others. He/she should identify quality teaching and provide timely feedback that promotes professional growth. He should ensure that guidance and counseling is carried out. The career guidance done on school assemblies as well as having guidance sessions in presence of parents is essential to children growth.

According to Cunningham and Cordeiro (2000) monitoring and support in the context of class visits create the opportunity for the head teachers to observe teachers’ work, provide motivation and exercise influence. During supervisory discussion teachers get the opportunity of talking to the head teacher on the problems encountered in the teaching- learning process.

In some schools monitoring and support activities are not practiced. The proper implementation of the curriculum by educators requires intensive monitoring strategies. Monitoring strongly determines how the achievement of the set goals is achieved and also determines deficiencies and challenges which teachers and learners meet. When monitoring is done, challenges are forecast, diagnosed so that proper intervention measures are put in place to assist all the concerned parties in the teaching- learning process.

In Uganda most teachers are still using traditional methods of teaching, where a teacher is regarded as the source of information and the learners as the vessels that need to be pumped with knowledge or learning material. The NCDC’s (2012) research on competence- based teaching and learning has been theoretical, aiming at academic performance with little or no effect given to knowledge development and application. NCDC’s (2012) report further indicates that little emphasis is put on student- centered.

According to (Arbeiter & Harley, 2002) it could be seen that in primary schools the predominant method of instruction is the teacher led exercise or lecture, with the pupils filling in answers individually. The teacher writes on the chalkboard while students are busy copying the work as the lesson is going on. The teacher supervises and marks the work of big numbers of students up to 50 or even above, and in most cases picks randomly few books to mark. The teacher generally gives very little or no attention to individuals learners. This has left the learner to take the individual responsibility of his or her learning and this has created a big gap of what is expected. Arbeiter and Hartley, (2002), asserts that there is need to introduce participatory child- centered teaching methods that are practical with big classes involving large number of students (e.g. activity based learning, problem- solving approach, child- to- child activities and group work). Child- centered teaching methods of teaching may not easily fit into the traditional relationship between teacher and pupil in Uganda and may require a new definition of the roles of the teacher and the learner.

In addition to the above, there is a problem of absenteeism by the teachers in schools. For example, the teacher absentee rate in primary schools run at 27%. The 2009 UNESCO Global Monitoring Report said that research suggest that teacher absenteeism is more pronounced in public sector schools, in schools with poorer infrastructure, in rural areas, in schools serving children with from lower socio- economic background, and it goes on to say that high levels of absenteeism of teachers directly affect learning time and outcomes as well as national education costs and spending (UNESCO, 2009).

Apart from teachers, using poor methods of teaching in implementing the curriculum, in schools, there are other problems associated with students for example, frequent student absenteeism and high drop- out rates. In 1997, only 22% of the P1 cohort was progressing through P7 in 2003 (ESA, 2004). These mentioned practices have greatly affected the quality of curriculum implementation in Uganda. For example, according to Uganda National Examinations Board, (UNEB, 2005), annual tests have identified alarmingly low levels of achievement in literacy and mathematics. The 2005 UNEB report revealed that only 38 % of the P3 students and 30% of the P6 students reached the minimum competency level in literacy. Results for numeracy were equally depressing since only 14% of P3 students and 33% of P6 students could attain minimum competence level (Altinyelken 2010).

After establishing that enrolment has increased drastically after implementing UPE and USE, it became very clear that in Uganda a lot of children do not complete primary school. For example, the drop- out rate in Uganda has increased from 61.8% to 70.2% in 2013. Children dropping out do so increasingly in the last two years of primary school. This is reflected by the survival rate: the survival rate to grade five remained at 57% between 1999 and 2010, but the survival rate to primary seven decreased from 38% (1999) to 32% (2009) (UNESCO 2012).

With regards to drop out rates, there are important differences between urban children and rural living children. Grogan (2009) points out that 11% of the attendees are far more likely to reside in rural areas; 96% of non- attendees live in rural areas, against 98% of school- going children.

The policy of compulsory sciences in secondary schools leaves a lot to be desired. Though the policy has increased the number of scientists, the teaching of science has remained theoretical in most schools. This is mainly due to many part- time teachers, lack of facilities and overloaded curriculum.

Another consequence of vulnerability through poverty that hurts curriculum implementation is child labor. A recent report by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE 2012) gives insight in the reasons why children in Uganda missed school. To miss school due because of work accounts for 11%; but when divided into income categories differences increase: work accounts for 25% of missed days in the lowest quartile; compared to only 9% in the highest quartile. Overall children missed about 14% of all school days. The GPE report concludes that, on the basis of household survey in Uganda, the most important reason for children to miss school was illness. These numbers indicate factors that could be more likely to hinder rural and poor areas in teaching and learning.

The pupil/teacher ratio has a great impact on curriculum implementation in Uganda. The previously ascertained access shock has put pressure on the pupil/teacher ratio. The amount of teachers and primary schools increased by 41% between 1997 and 2004, while the enrolment increased by 171% (Nishimura et al 2008). However, later on the national average pupil/teacher ratio can conceal large regional disparities. A recent review showed that, in Uganda the northern regions had pupil ratio larger than 90:1 , almost double of the national average ratio (UNESCO 2010). Uganda’s northern regions are affected by conflict in recent years, which might be an explanation for the higher pupil/teacher ratio. The above data therefore shows how difficult it is to use relevant teaching/learning materials and methods of delivery.

Absenteeism is a serious problem for curriculum implementation, because it not only affects the quantity and quality of schooling, but also pupils’ attendance and drop- out rates (IOB 2008). This is stressed by the GMR 2010 as an example of large pockets of regional marginalization in Uganda. High rates of teacher absenteeism reflect underlying problems. Many schools lack teacher housing, so teachers have to commute long distances sometimes along insecure routes. Teachers’ income also tends to be far lower than what teachers need in terms of basics like food, clothing shelter and paying tuition for their biological children at school. Unfortunately there is no reliable data on the rate of teacher absenteeism. However, the Directorate of Education Standards’ Annual Report (DES 2012) indicates that 74% of teachers were absent on the day inspections took place. This is a major concern, as only around 55% of the districts showed evidence of follow- up on teacher absenteeism. This is still a limitation to curriculum implementation.

Curriculum implementation in Uganda is also limited by the level of teachers’ performance. The NAPE report 2011 tested the teachers’ performance as well and this indicates a challenging situation, find out teachers’ achievement of secondary school teachers in Biology, English, and Mathematics gave related results. To sum up, a teacher in rural schools performed better than teachers in urban schools when it comes to numeracy, though the difference was not significant.

The introduction of local language as a medium of instruction in lower primary education also greatly influences curriculum implementation in Uganda. This could be an explanation for the better performance in numeracy in P.3. Pupils’ weak performance in literacy (in both P.3 and P.6) could have been caused by the insufficient level of teachers, skills to teach, particularly reading among other factors. This is reflected by the teachers’ weak performance in oral reading; implying that they might not have been taught reading skills themselves. Another likely drawback for the performance of pupils is insufficient instructional materials (UNEB 2011).

Furthermore, there is lack of financial support from the department of education. Schools need financial support from the government, private sector or parents in order to effectively implement the curriculum. The government takes a lead in supporting public schools because it is concerned with accessing of basic education to all. Financial assistance from the private sector is not guaranteed. Similarly some parents do not have money to pay for the education of their children. Funds are required for the purchase of learning and teaching support materials, organizing human resource to facilitate the workshops for staff development at school level, constructing classrooms, libraries for reading and research, laboratories for experiments, and sports facilities.


Curriculum implementation involves the dissemination of the structured set of learning experiences, provision of resources to effectively execute the plan, and the actual execution in the classroom setting where teacher- learner interactions take place (Mkapa 1987).

Therefore curriculum implementation is that stage of the curriculum process where the learner through the guidance of a teacher interacts with a variety of learning experiences so as to make learning process fruitful may be noticed in the learners’ new behavior or new approaches. Hence, both the learner and the teacher bear a reasonable amount of responsibility during curriculum implementation and program management.

The learners are critical element in the entire process of curriculum implementation since learners hold the key to what is actually translated and adopted from the official designed curriculum that is meant for them.

Learners influence the teacher in the selection of learning experiences because the school consists of many levels and class grades calling upon the teacher to prepare for the disparities among the learners for instance individual differences between the slow learners and the quick learners. Therefore a teacher selects the suitable learning methods and teaching aids to suit each category of learners.

The learner plays the role of exhibiting desirable discipline both in and outside the classroom through maximum obedience to the school rules and regulation and attending to the classwork and the entire school program. For example doing all assignments, tests and examinations yield into some level of desirable learning.

For the implementation of curriculum to be effectively done, the learner should be physically, mentally and emotionally available to the teacher for instruction so that the planned program in implemented.

The teacher’s role in curriculum implementation is very important because the teacher with his or her knowledge, experiences and competencies translates the structures curriculum into learning experiences, for instance through the teacher, learners are able to acquire knowledge, skills, values and attitudes.

A teacher enriches and modifies the curriculum to suit the learners’ characteristics. The teacher beaks down the curriculum into small units which can be grasped by the learners. Appropriate methodology is adopted by the teacher such as teaching from the simple to abstract, from the known to the unknown and not forgetting the many kinds of individuals’ differences that appear in the classroom.

It is the teacher’s role to search for the relevant teaching and learning materials in the implementation process such that the goals of the structured curriculum are achieved. Therefore the process calls for the teacher’s innovativeness and creativity while using the available resources to process the best output out of these resources.

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