KAMPALA – Ugandan Members of Parliament have called for review of the learner’s programme developed by the Ministry of Education, in a bid to keep learners engaged during the COVID19 lock down.
In her communication during the plenary sitting on May 6, 2020, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said that the programme currently being broadcast on UBC radio and television is not benefiting all learners.
“Broadcast hours are awkward. It is done early in the mornings and yet some learners in rural areas go to the garden; this means they are left out,” Kadaga said.
She said that the self-study materials currently being distributed are insufficient. The speaker made reference to Kamuli district which she said has over 17,000 learners and yet only 2,000 packs of learning materials were distributed.
In support, Bunyole West MP, James Waluswaka called for suspension of the learning programming, saying it is discriminative in its current state.
On his part, Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa said that continuing with the programme without review will divide the country.
“Why would we want to divide the nation because those that have access will benefit while those who don’t have access wont. Every home does not have a capability to acquire a radio,” Okupa said.
In response, the Minister of State for Education, Hon John Chrysostom Muyingo said all the gaps will be addressed. He revealed that the ministry of Education was already engaging all owners of radios so that they can adjust the hours and broadcast the programmes to the benefit all.
“By end of the week, all the radio stations will be able to broadcast the learning programmes,” he said.
To ensure all learners receive the materials, the minister said that the learning materials will be distributed through the district and local leaders.
However, Kitagwenda County MP, Abbas Agaba sought clarification on whether the learners’ materials are a continuation of the syllabus or “they are intended for revision and to keep the minds of the students fresh”.
Muyingo clarified that the materials are intended to help learners with revision, adding that any new topics will be handled when the term re-opens.
According to Muyingo, the Ministry of Education and Sports in partnership with several media houses started the learners programme where students and pupils are engaged in revision during the COVID19 lockdown. This is aimed at keeping the learners’ busy and occupied while at home.
He revealed that the ministry is also printing materials and distributing them online and through newspapers, while others have been sent to the different parts of the country through courier.