Should the government adopt the new A-Level curriculum in the works, students across the nation who will be eligible to enroll in A-Level schooling would now be required to study for up to five years.
Prior to entering universities, students initially completed Senior Five and Six in two years.
To improve diversity, the proposed changes to the A-Level curriculum call for a minimum term of two years and a maximum tenure of five years.
All students used to be entitled to take General Paper, but it will now be replaced by more modern courses, including generic, ICT, and research skills; financial literacy, fundamental nutrition, climate change, functional statistics, and peacebuilding.
The only subject that students who fail the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) tests must repeat is that subject. Initially, a student would have to retake the entire test if they failed to receive two principle passes.
This is evident at institutions where failing a paper does not prevent a student from moving on to the following semester and taking the failed paper again.
Similar to the new lower secondary curriculum, school-based evaluation has also been implemented at this level and is expected to make up 20% of the final grade.
This means that students who take UACE exams administered by the Uganda National Examinations Board will aim for an 80 percent score (Uneb).
The National Curriculum Development Centre’s (NCDC) deputy director of curriculum review and instructional materials development, Ms. Bernadette Nambi, stated in an interview with Saturday Monitor yesterday that the five-year component allows a student who will not be able to complete A-Level in two years to retake all the papers they will fail.
“You know some students are not very bright. These learners will be given a chance to finish all the papers they might fail in a period of five years. Since there is a high dropout rate under this level, we want to make it more flexible so that students are given an opportunity to finish all their papers in five years,” Ms Nambi said.
In order to identify the gaps in the current A-Level curriculum, NCDC conducted a needs assessment study between 2021 and 2022. The results showed that the curriculum is out of sync with the new lower secondary curriculum, does not provide graduates with the functional skills necessary to adequately address the social and economic needs of the nation, and does not allow students to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills once they enter the workforce.
The results also showed that the current curriculum was not in line with the international curriculum and was not addressing new problems like digital literacy, climate change, sustainable development objectives, globalization, and infectious diseases that affect the entire world.
In light of the aforementioned context, the Ministry of Education is attempting to reform the A-Level curriculum through the NCDC so that students transitioning from the new lower secondary curriculum to A-Level will encounter a unified curriculum.
So, the information across disciplines will be streamlined and reduced in the new curriculum to eliminate duplications and outdated material while incorporating current challenges.
Also, ICT will be used as a tool for learning in all topics, and practical, general skills, values, and attitudes will be emphasized in all disciplines.