By Dennis Kasule Ssebunya
Aggrey David Kibenge, a renowned educationist and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development has stressed the importance of narrowing the disparity between national and international curricula to enhance education standards in the country. Speaking at the release of Vienna College’s Cambridge May/June exam results, the former Undersecretary at the Ministry of Education highlighted that while the national curriculum has served its purpose, it fails to address certain aspects that lead to a holistic and fulfilled learner.
He emphasized that, in contrast to the Cambridge curriculum, the national system predominantly focuses on knowledge transfer to the learner, disregarding other essential life aspects. This is where the international system surpasses the national one, offering a more comprehensive approach.
Kibenge, who is also a parent at Vienna College and whose daughter’s results were released, outlined four key learning outcomes: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to coexist. “With the Cambridge system, there is a balance between all of these aspects, therefore a learner gets out when they are more complete, more accomplished, and capable of fitting in any society. Irrespective of their financial ability, these learners can adapt and excel in any environment all over the world” he explained.
Kibenge expressed optimism about Uganda’s ongoing educational review process, noting the increasing presence of schools offering international curricula in the country. In May 2021, the Education Minister established a 12-member Education Review Commission to investigate various dimensions of education and sports. These aspects encompass access, policy planning, management, quality, funding, legislation, institutions, staff capacity, and emerging sector issues. The commission is expected to present its findings to the appointing authority after its extended period of work expired in May.
Ugandan interest in the Cambridge curriculum has grown considerably, with over 10 schools adopting this system. Vienna College, which recently received its results, is among them. The head of the Cambridge system at Vienna College, George William Musiime, reported that 116 candidates participated in the May/June sitting, with 100 taking their finals and 16 continuing.
Over 95% of them achieved satisfactory results. Musiime emphasized that the Cambridge system benefits both students and teachers, providing consistent performance assessments for educators and keeping them updated on educational innovations and developments. Former student leader Kugonza Melvil, one of the candidates receiving results, highlighted how the Cambridge system fosters innovation due to its unique teaching approach.