In a bid to boost teaching of science subjects in Ugandans schools, government has laid down plans to construct 117 science laboratories in 115 districts.
This follows the public outcry about the poor performance in science subjects in the 2018 recently released National Examinations.
Patrick Muyinda, Ministry of Education and Sports spokesperson says the proposed laboratories state of the Art laboratories will be fully equipped with all the necessary equipment’s and also improve the remuneration of science teachers as well as providing them with adequate classroom materials.
Uganda National Examination Board released the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education Exams result on Thursday, indicating poor performances in science subjects.
UNEB chairperson Prof Mary Okwakol, expressed her concern over the continued poor performance in Science subjects especially Biology.
“This is a call for worry, because many science programmes at Universities and many tertiary institutions require Biology as an essential subject.”
Dan Odong, the Executive Secretary UNEB attributed this poor performance to absence of practical classes to science students.
“Where you have a teacher that’s moving from one school to another, it’s perhaps very difficult for such a teacher to really prepare to teach a subject practically.”
Julius Atuhurra, education experts outlined some factors leading to poor performances in science subjects and that includes; failure by government to avail teaching materials and equipment in schools to engage students in practical applications.
“Sciences unlike Arts are practical subjects. You can talk about it but you must also practice it, so you cannot be a good doctor by just knowing, you must also be able to do.”
“But you know we also have this perspective where some teachers think that some students are just not meant for sciences, they are just going to be good in Arts, so things like that. Those attitudes unless we change them and retrain teachers,” Atuhurra added.
According to Atuhurra, there’s need to over hold the education system especially in terms of providing Continuous Assessment for children in schools, instead of using exams to evaluate one’s brain power and his or her next level of education.
“If the drive is to pass exams or a test then we are going to lose it. In that students, parents, teachers, schools learn now to optimise how to pass the exam. Not really to learn.
Ministry of Education also indicated that they have already taken measures to address poor performance in science subjects in Ugandan schools.
As regards to this matter Muyinda said, government has already secured funds to construct 117 fully equipped science laboratories in 115 districts of Uganda.
“This is going to be a construction that is absolutely comprehensive that includes detailed fittings and equipment’s being installed in laboratories in the schools.”
Muyinda adds that ministry is considering enrolment of more science teachers and retraining them to make sure that they meet maximum teaching standards.
“3800 teachers are going to be recruited of which 1900 are science teachers. So, the measures that have been put in place is to retool each teacher and to retrain them especially those that are teaching sciences.”
Muyinda says, before government adopts the new proposed Education policy and that’s Continuous Assessments in schools, there’s need to address some of the challenges it carries.
“There’s no standardised assessment at a moment, Continuous Assessment separately in schools is not a thing that we are looking at as something that’s visible.”
Today the Government of Uganda is basing the country’s growth and development on the teaching sciences in schools to boost the science and technology sector in Uganda.