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New Curriculum Will Solve Unemployment Problem – MP Balimwezo

Some of the officials who attended the event, including MP Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga and Victoria University VC Dr Muganga. Photos: Franko Olong
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“Without education I wouldn’t be what I am today,” Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga, the Nakawa East MP, said as he lifted his left leg showing it to participants at a planning meeting for a mass sensitization of parents concerning the new lower secondary curriculum at Progressive Secondary School Kitintale held on March 01.

The meeting was organised to design a mass sensitization campaign for parents about the new curriculum in schools in Balimwezo’s Nakawa East constituency. It brought together different partners like Victoria University, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and National Curriculum Development Centre. Other partners included Balimwezo Community Foundation, National Private Education Institutes Association Uganda (NPEIAU) and other civil society organisations.

New Curriculum Will Solve Unemployment Problem – MP Balimwezo
Top officials with students

Balimwezo stressed that the new lower secondary curriculum was the long awaited solution to Uganda’s unemployment problem. He explained that the new curriculum offers learners life skills, preparing them to become problem solvers in their respective communities.

“The new curriculum is one of the best tools in this era. It is learner centred equipping them with life skills that will solve the unemployment woes amongst our children,” Balimwezo, the vocal first-time National Unity Platform (NUP) MP, noted.

“Skilling the learners is the way to go. So much value is added to the learner. When we equip them with vocational skills and financial literacy, they will be successful. They will make a life out of themselves and contribute to the development of their own communities.”

Uganda has one of the world’s youngest populations but the unemployment rate is as high as 64-70 per cent among the youth, according to an ACODE report.

Balimwezo also noted the lack of skills was responsible for the increasing crime rate, especially among the youth.

“Who are the people hitting us with iron bars and stealing our properties,” he asked “the young people who have dropped out of school and are unskilled,” the MP said.

New Curriculum Will Solve Unemployment Problem – MP Balimwezo
MP Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga

The new curriculum was lauded as ‘practical’, ‘learner centred’, ‘most remarkable initiative of the country’ among other praises.

“The new curriculum is the most remarkable initiative this country has ever had. It is our only hope,” said Dr Lawrence Muganga, one of the keynote speakers.

Dr Muganga praised the new curriculum of its competence based against the old curriculum. He referred to the old curriculum as ‘dead’.

“The old curriculum is dead. The new one at least is in a coma. We have the hope it will resurrect. The old had so many unneeded aspects in our daily life. However, with the new curriculum, it is no longer about what you know but what you can do with what you know: the skills and competences.”

He further noted that learners’ struggles would reduce under the new curriculum compared to those of the previous one.

“With the new curriculum, your child is able to do something at every stage of their life. If the child can do something, they are successful.”

But Muganga called for more efforts in the development of new curriculums for all levels of education in the country.

Describing the old curriculum as “a container of useless knowledge,” Mathias Mutema Mulumba, a curriculum specialist from National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) who represented his executive director, also praised the new curriculum as ‘practical’.

“The new curriculum empowers the learner to turn the knowledge acquired into useful products. It challenges them to do something with what they have learnt,” said Mulumba. “Your child can make money.”

New Curriculum Will Solve Unemployment Problem – MP Balimwezo
Godfrey Luyombya, an official from Nakawa Division and KCCA’s Charles Maginot

On his part, Charles Maginot, KCCA director of education and social services who represented the city authority’s executive director, said: “The new curriculum is a big solution to some of the national challenges.it is one way to address the skills gap in our country helping to tackle unemployment.”

Among other issues that arose in the meeting was the challenge in implementing the curriculum, which stakeholders agreed requires more resources and the active participation of well-informed as well as empowered parents.

The representative from National Private Education Institutes Association Uganda (NPEIAU) expressed concern over the high taxes levied on them, noting that these affect their contribution toward the implementation of the curriculum.

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