The National Curriculum Development Centre proposed that the Ministry of Education allow learners to use smartphones so as to access the new curriculum that wasn't available by textbooks.
However, less than 24 hours after the development, the State Minister for Education Chrysostom Muyingo reversed the decision so as to formulate a policy that will be presented to cabinet in directing how technology will be safely accessed by students.
The policy, according to the Ministry, will regulate internet access safeguarding learners from age inappropriate content and equal access to study material.
RX Radio Presenter Daniel Omara, commenting on the policy reversal, applauded the Ministry for rethinking the move of smartphone usage in the classroom.
“How does the Government expect to view and review textbooks when they haven’t even been provided physically? It sounds ironic because a lot of you think that since they are online, you don’t need to deliver them physically and I get it. But if the Ministry has failed to get textbooks to schools, what are the odds that content will be uploaded online and easily be accessed?” Omara questioned.
He faulted the National Curriculum Development Center that had made the appeal for failing to carry out its tasks and wanting to transfer their burden to parents by asking them to buy smartphones for their children, in addition to other school dues.
Furthermore, the Presenter explained that since the curriculum is for lower secondary, as a former teacher he knew how distractive smartphones would be to the learners, considering that they are in the stage of adolescence.
“Everybody remembers senior twos, they are rowdy people. My God, I taught senior twos, the devil lives in those children. So you’re giving a 14-year-old a smartphone in school with internet bundles? How far do you think porn sites are from access?”
He continued, “Let me tell you an interesting secret. You don’t find porn, porn finds you. You could google ‘The Smurf’s’ who are led by this villain called Gagamel and if you go anywhere beyond the fourth page, it turns pornographic. And we know how teenagers and their sexuality are undiscovered and unstable. Are these really the people you want to hand smartphones to?”
“I’m glad that Minister Muyingo withdrew the policy because it didn’t make sense from the get go. My problem is why they came up with it in the first place before discussing it in depth. It's like someone thought of a way to give the impression that they are working and decided to bring up smartphones as a policy, then the Ministry in less than a day refutes it. If decisions are made and rebounded almost at the same time, it makes us question not just your intellect but also your competence,” he reasoned.
He suggested that the NCDC and Ministry of Education work together in making sustainable, practical decisions.
Hear Me Out is hosted by Daniel Omara every Saturday from 10am to Midday on RX Radio.
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