Over the years, complaints have been raised regarding the inefficiency in Uganda's national educational curriculum, and often blamed for producing incompetent graduates unfit for the job market.
Due to the inadequate practical skills it avails, most Ugandans believed that the national curriculum should be done away with. But, Racheal Kalembe, a seasoned educationist with experience of working in both national and international schools, says the national curriculum has a few cracks that need to be fixed.
On The Brunch Talk show with Olive Najjuma, Racheal said International schools under the Cambridge curriculum, deliberately impact children in academics, talents, and skills.
“The national curriculum is beautiful in its layout, but the challenge is with the implementation. It was designed to have the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains. In practice, the cognitive domain is superiorized and local schools focus on examination grades but does not acknowledge or celebrate the skills of children,” she said.
“The international curriculum is deliberate in nurturing different skills in children allowing them to own their learning. In an international school setting, the teacher becomes more of a facilitator than a fountain of knowledge,” Ms. Kalembe added.
Ms. Kalembe says the research helps develop a child’s cognitive mind enabling them in critical thinking, unlike the national curriculum that tends to spoonfeed children that even in adulthood, at workplaces, they fail to make independent decisions.
According to research by Jean Piaget, an educational psychologist, education is hinged on three pillars, the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. The psychomotor domain caters to the emotions, attitudes, and feelings of children.
“It is important for teachers to work on children's attitudes before teaching them. Children come to school with a preconceived mind about particular subjects, which affects their performance. That is why the affective domain is important,” Ms. Kalembe explained.
The sentiments children grow up to have been affected by the education they receive, according to Kalembe. This is reflected in their performances at places of work.
Additionally, the teacher said the psychomotor domain, which necessitates innovation and skills development, is one of the areas she is advocating for such that schools can have innovation hubs for children to create and think beyond their classrooms. Kalembe said this is necessary for school clubs such as debating, science, and arts and during the promotion of sports.
She further relayed that this happens when one domain is focused and the others undermined because they work together to produce dependent learners that can think creatively and critically about situations.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1 pm on RX Radio.