Up to 1,860 private schools is going to benefit from this new programme of the Federal Government of Uganda.
It was said that the Government will distribute up to 3.4 million textbooks to all secondary schools to promote the new O’level curriculum in the Country.
Of the 3,126 schools to benefit from this program, there are only 1,266 public schools and the rest are privately-owned.
The State Minister for Higher Education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, explained that the aim is to ensure that all children get to benefit from the new curriculum.
“We know that some private schools will not be able to get these books if we leave them out,” Muyingo said.
He made the remarks on the sidelines of the 27th Education Sector Review virtual workshop, which took place in Kampala last week.
Muyingo noted that some schools ask parents to bring textbooks, which is unfortunate. He said schools should be stocked with all scholastic materials before they admit students.
“We have resolved to use the opportunity of the new curriculum to ensure that every child in this country has access to textbooks from the Government,” he said.
The minister warned that the textbooks will be labelled and should not end up in bookshops.
The education ministry’s permanent secretary, Alex Kakooza, said the textbooks will cover the core subjects.
These are mathematics, English, biology, chemistry, physics, history/ political education and geography.
He also said textbooks will also be printed for non-core subjects such as Kiswahili, Christian religious education, Islamic religious education, local languages, agriculture, food and nutrition, perfuming arts, art and design as well as foreign languages.
The content in the books was prepared by the National Curriculum Development Centre.
WHAT IS THE NEW CURRICULUM?
A student is expected to study a maximum of 12 subjects in both Senior One and Two, of which 11 are compulsory.
In Senior Three and Four, a student is expected to study a minimum of eight and a maximum of nine subjects, with only seven compulsory ones.
The remaining time will be used by students for hands-on projects, research, project work, clubs, games and sports. Students will have time for revision lasting one hour and 40 minutes. The school day will end at 4:30pm.
On assessment, all classroom works, games and sports will account for 20% of the marks at the end of the O’level cycle.
The Uganda Certificate of Education will account for 80% of marks a student gets at O’level.
School headteachers and parents have welcomed the move to print textbooks for schools, including privatelyowned ones.
Most parents with students in private schools say the cost of education has partly been high, as they argued in the People’s Manifesto, which New Vision did this year arising from costs like textbooks and other scholastic materials.
Parents would buy textbooks in some schools.
“Schools have been troubling me with buying books. By the way, even some of the government schools would ask us to buy textbooks. I hope this will end with the Government sending them books,” Josephine Namulindwa, a mother of four sons in different secondary schools in Kampala city, said.