Kalungu West County Member of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Ssewungu, wants the Ministry of Education and Sports to provide schools with learning materials in line with the new curriculum, saying that several learners are still using old materials.
The government introduced the new lower secondary school curriculum in February 2020.
Ssewungu said during the plenary sitting on Thursday, 29 June 2023 that several secondary schools are teaching the new curriculum using materials of the old curriculum.
“We had a long debate on the issue of the new curriculum in this House and at one time we had even stated that this new curriculum be halted until we fund it,” Ssewungu said.
“Some people are selling these books at their own prices which is very expensive but the government has refused to provide books to be used in the new curriculum,” he said.
He added, “Can the Ministry of Education and Sports come out directly and tell us how a new curriculum can be taught using the old books? Can we know why the ministry has refused to buy these books; and is the government proceeding well by failing to provide schools with necessary books?”
Ssewungu pointed out that failure to provide the learning materials will affect the performance of learners, especially those under the Universal Secondary School (USE).
“The National Curriculum Development Centre or the National Examination Boards will set exams based on the curriculum, that is why you will find USE schools failing because they do not have books while those in urban areas can afford to buy the books,” he said.
The Minister of State for Education and Sports (Sports), Hon. Peter Ogwang, said that the ministry requested for but was denied funds to support the purchase of learning materials.
“These are the challenges we have. We have the entire curriculum ready but our challenge is resources. Permit me to formally bring a statement which will be debated,” he said.
Speaker Anita Among questioned how government introduced a new curriculum without providing the required learning materials.
“You need to tell us how many schools you have given books because I cannot believe that you can introduce a curriculum without books,” said Among.
Hon. Laura Kanushu (NRM, PWD) also asked the minster to present a report on why learners with disabilities have continuously performed poorly.
“A few months ago, the Deputy Speaker asked the Minister of Education for a report as to why learners with disabilities fail across the board and to this date, we have not got that report,” she said.
She also asked the minister to give a report on the alleged eviction of learners from the school of the deaf in Mbale District.