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Getting Rid Of Era Where O’Level Students Carry Big Books: National Curriculum Development Centre Launches Virtual Learning Tablets

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As a way of embracing technology especially in the education system in the country, the National Curriculum Centre has launched virtual learning tablets that students from Senior one up to senior six across the country will use to study while they are being monitored.

The head of secondary school curriculum who is also a Chemistry specialist, Droti Asile James said that in the 21st Century era of technology, Ugandan students need to embrace technology like other East African countries.

“It’s only in Uganda where we are currently not using the modern learning systems, Kenyan, Rwandan and Tanzanian students are learning using tablets. If we can also embrace it, it is going to help learners understand better and improve the education system in the country as well as harmonise the learning systems in the region,” Droti said.

Droti however noted that the parents and students will have to pay some money to obtain the tablets with each tablet costing about five hundred thousand shillings (500,000) only. More than one hundred schools have already registered and enrolled to join the system and training is going to start with the teachers.

Priscilla Ekirya the chief of staff at the National Curriculum Centre said that they are beginning with schools in Kampala to see how the new innovation will work. She added that the apps that are installed are only for educational purposes and all O-level subjects are being catered for.

 

By Mboowa Nathan

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EDUCATION

UNEB Carries Out Late Registration Of Over 100 Students

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Students sitting for an exam, inset is Dan Odong the UNEB executive secretary

The executive secretary Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB), Dan Odong has revealed that they have registered over 100 students who had not been registered for exams by their schools after their head teachers went missing with their money.

According to Odong, most of the affected candidates were from up country schools and one school in Kawempe, a Kampala suburb.

Addressing the media at the UNEB offices in Ntinda, Odong revealed that, registered schools with UNEB center numbers have sympathized with these candidates and have accepted to take them one to enable them sit for their final exams.

The examination board also confirmed reports that there unscrupulous people trading fake examination papers to schools at a cost of UGX.2M and so far, one person has been arrested and five are on the run.

The group has been trading mostly science papers (Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Math).

However, the assistant commissioner of police, Maate Godfrey says, no one will be allowed to enter the examination storage facility during this time to avoid any form of malpractices. He assured the public that police will give extra support to UNEB to see to it that all exams get to the schools in time.

A total of 336,740 candidates are expected to write their exams and among these, 169,984 are males and 116,756 are females.

Briefing of students is to be carried out tomorrow and then students will start writing their physics paper on Monday.

 

By Mboowa Nathan

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EDUCATION

Janet Museveni Ministry Faulted For Not Taking Actions Against Sexual Violence Offenders In Schools

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Led by their boss the Minister and First Lady Janet Museveni, Officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports have been faulted for not taking Actions against Sexual violence offenders in Schools.

This was during an interface with Legislators sitting on the select Committee of Parliament chaired by Gomba West MP, Robinah Rwakojo that is investigating the rampant sexual violence in institutions of learning.

The issue was raised by Western Youth MP, Mwine Mpaka who noted that despite a number of cases of sexual violence being cited in schools, there is no record that the perpetrators have had their certificates and licenses revoked.

“Why is it that the Education Service Commission has failed to fire Head Teachers and Teachers who have been found guilty of involving in sexual violence against students and pupils but instead transferred them to different institutions,” Mwine inquired.

He gave an example of Lugazi SS and Kibuli SS where the school heads despite being sighted in sexual violence practice have never been fired.

In response, the Minister noted that there is need for all stakeholders to join hands in the fight against sexual violence noting that this is a vice that stems from our society and later at Higher Institutions of Learning.

“This issue cannot be handled by the Ministry alone, we can do what we are able to do but this involves all of us as members of the society in fighting the vice,” Janet Museveni noted.

On taking actions against the suspected perpetrators of sexual violence against students, Kataha noted that several reported cases end up being resolved out of court which gives the Ministry hard time to take actions against a suspect who has been set free by Court.

“Because of lack of evidence against suspects, we are forced to keep them or sometimes transfer them; some of these suspects are so powerful and can buy off whoever is involved in the case including parents to the victims.”

The Ministry however noted that there has been a notable reduction in the number of sexual violence cases registered in institutions of learning.

According to the statistics provided by the Ministry officials, 25% of girl children who drop out of schools is due to sexual violence and pregnancies.

On this note, Minister Janet Museveni explained that the Ministry is coming up with a number of measures to fight sexual violence in schools including empowering children to report the offenders. She revealed that they are going to roll out a sexuality education frame work where students will be sensitized on how to protect themselves.

 

By Stella Mugoya

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People Who Pass Pre-Entry Exams At LDC Fail In Practice – Otafiire

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The debate on scrapping Pre-entry examinations for the law –coarse at the Law Development Centre (LDC) is yet to come to its logical conclusion.

Parliament last year during the budget process passed a resolution to have the examinations discontinued following recommendations by the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

However, this has never been implemented by government and students have since sat for the same examinations and resulted were out last month. The developments have prompted the committee chaired by West Budama South Constituency MP, Jacob Oboth Oboth to recall the discussion in the matter and yesterday, they interfaced with a number of stake holders.

These were led by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, the Chairman Law Council, Justice Remmy Kasule, National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), the Law Schools and officials from the Law Development Centre (LDC) among others.

During the meeting, Oboth apologized that the committee rushed the recommendation of the suspension of the Pre-entry Exams without making meaningful consultations with Stakeholders.

“We took the decision as the committee since we had no justification of the said exams and we advised Parliament to empower LDC with enough resources and do away with the pre-entry exams,” Oboth said.

He added, “This recommendation was approved by Parliament but has since not been implemented given the fact that Parliament resolutions are advisory to government; we are now hear to respond to whether the LDC Pre-entry exams are still serving the purpose with the liberalized legal education in the country.”

In his address to the committee, the Minister, Gen. Otafiire said that he is open minded on the subject but in dilemma because the reasoning for maintaining pre – entry exams are also strong for its removal.

“I’m in dilemma because pre-entry exams have helped in improving quality at LDC but still people who pass it fail in practice.  The best academic lawyers are not the best practitioners therefore academic excellence doesn’t mean best lawyers,” Otafiire said. Otafiire however revealed that there is need to allow all Ugandans that have gone through law school to practice law.

“At the same time I must say that pre-entry has helped to improve quality at LDC but people who have passed it still fail LDC; I then say of what value is pre-entry. There are inbuilt checks and balances within the LDC training programs that screen out students but as a measure to reduce congestion at LDC, we had agreed with the LDC that we should decongest the centre which has since now being implemented,” the minister said.

He added, “we are setting up 5 LDC centres, maybe if we decongest the classrooms at LDC, we will allow the children of Uganda who have studied from different universities to actualize their training.

In any case, the best academic performers are not the best lawyers; until we have the method for controlling the quality of teaching of law in our Universities, may be allow everyone an opportunity to practice law.” However, the Chairman Law Council, Justice Remmy Kasule noted that the issue should no longer be looked at as just a matter of decongesting LDC but a question of quality assurance.

“Pre-entry exams were not put in place to block people from practicing law; let’s look at a broader picture on the question of quality and not have a consideration that one of us or a friend didn’t pass the exams and then we should do away with it.”

Professor Sempebwa also noted that the pre-entry exams were introduced to prove that the candidates have spent time to learn the law and have real value.

He sighted an example of students who are asked why they would want to join law course and their major reason is to make money instead of helping the nation, these are disqualified at once.

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