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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.

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