New Secondary School Curriculum infused with climate change issues set for 2016 says NCDC
A revised Lower Secondary School Curriculum infused with climate change issues is in the offing. Sekandwa Ronald from the Social Studies Learning Area disclosed this while representing the coordinator of Climate Change Education in National Curriculum Development Centre(NCDC) during the seminar on Integrating Climate Change Issues into Education held on February 27,2013 at Makerere university School of Food Science.
“2016 is when we hope to begin rolling it out but our senior one that year will begin with a new curriculum if all goes well as planned such that by the year 2019, we shall have our first graduands of the new curriculum passing out senior four” , he said
NCDC is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Education mandated with activities like developing the curricula, implementing the national educational goals like promoting morals, values and ethics among learners, training and retraining teachers and developing teaching materials for pre and primary lower secondary, teacher training institutions and other tertiary institutions.
Sekandwa said climate change issues came after the body had successfully reformed the primary school curriculum and written text books for use from primary four to seven in areas of Social Studies, Religious Education, Kiswahili, Music and Science.
He also said, the body’s task was to reform the lower secondary curriculum from senior one to senior four following a memorandum signed by the Ministry of Water Lands and Energy Resources and a meeting with officials from the climate change unit Ministry of Education went through it and catered for certain things to do with climate that fitted in NCDC scope and sequence.
“We looked at the real aspects of climate change because our aim is reducing the teaching load and we are not going to take all issues pertaining climate change but basics we think an ordinary senior one student can take so that even when she /he drops out of school, he already has attitude as far as climate change is concerned and can care for the environment where he is living”. He added.
He said NCDC looked at areas like languages, Life education, Science and Social studies as best considered area for infusion but climate change being a cross cutting issue, the NCDC decided to fix it in two learning areas, in Social studies and Science.
In social studies he said, climate change will be a sub - strand under the strand “People and Environment” . In science, there will be a theme on Climate Change and strands to do with Factors influencing climate change in senior two and three and then Mitigating climate change in senior four. NCDC will then open up after writing the syllabus, come up with teaching materials to help even teachers in rural areas to cope with issues on climate change.
A senior Climate Change officer, from the Ministry of Water and Environment Bob Natif said, the survey that was conducted by the ministry indicated that there was still increasingly lack of knowledge and skills to address climate change issues and that the different sectors and institutions had specific roles they needed to play.
He added the National Development Plan (NDP) recognises the threat of climate change and the issue of capacity development.
“So if we are to attain a green and free green emission environment as envisaged in the NDP we need to undertake capacity development at all levels by strengthening the human, institutional and individual capacity in order to attain the objectives as outlined in the NDP”, he said
Antony Kagoro, a Senior Lecturer from Kyambogo University expressed the urgent need for the education system to address climate change as cross cutting issue that should be handle at interdisciplinary and multi sectoral level as well as skilling the work force and universities to address the challenge.
Kagoro observed that the current curriculum is overloaded with subjects at secondary schools and university addressing climate change issues but people have not related them to climate change issues.
He expressed the need to focus on people who are delivering the curriculum to appreciate that there we already have areas in the curriculum and also focus on short courses that will empower people in the field to come up with new ideas.
“But of course the main challenges is that our curriculum is still theoretical we need to see how we can come and have a project base learning curriculum where students have an opportunity to do hands on”, the lecturer said.