The Uganda Science Education Programme (USEP) has launched an academic progressive score card to monitor the quality of science learning and teaching in secondary schools.
The score card, a school based monitoring tool, is aimed at improving science education in the country. It seeks to answer questions of whether teaching is taking place, how good it is and how to improve teaching to boost learning.
It works through participative school based monitoring system, where head teachers, directors of studies and heads of department are involved in planning, evaluating the teaching and learning of science subjects.
Speaking during the launch at Kampala Serena Hotel on Thursday, the ministry of education commissioner in charge of private schools, Robnison Lyazi Nsumba said the rate of failure in science subjects in secondary schools is worrying.
“There is a real problem in our hands, 50% of the students are performing poorly in science subjects. If the schools were hospitals then you would see the impact of failure by a number of patients dying,” Nsumba said.
According to the 2012 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) results, Mathematics and other science subjects were the most poorly done, whereby 42.5% of the candidates failed Biology and only 1% got distinctions while 23.9% got credits in the subjects.
In Mathematics, only 2.1% got distinctions and 23.9% got credits while in physics, 52.7% of the candidates failed and only 0.7% got distinctions and 18.1% got credits. In chemistry, 0.9% candidates passed with distinctions and 11.2 % got credits.
Nsumba was optimistic that the academic progressive score card would help monitor progress.
“There are many textbooks and boxes of chemicals that have never been used in schools. The score card will monitor the use of equipment, delivery by teachers and consequently improve performance.
The USEP chairman, Bro. Brian Francis Matsiko said the score card has been tried out in 15 schools across the country in the last four years and have received feedback on how it has improved performance.
USEP is a non-profit making organisation under Kisubi Brothers University College established in 2009 to compliment government efforts in the prioritization policy of science education in a bid to improve the quality of teaching and learning of science subjects in Secondary schools in Uganda.
Commissioner Secondary Education Standards, Kedrace Turyagyenda said one cause of poor performance in science subjects is inadequate supervision of the learning and teaching process.
“The card is providing data which is evidence of performance. This will enable schools become accountable to themselves and improve planning and learning outcomes in secondary school,” Turyagyenda said.
Nsumba said the score card was supervised by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) and the directorate of standards in the ministry of education. It will be rolled out to other schools once the ministry is satisfied with its use.
He however cited financial implications in rolling it out.
Source: Education News