Uganda: Report Pokes Holes Into Impact of Govt Home Study Materials

At least 56 per cent of learners did not understand the self-study learning materials distributed by the Ministry of Education during the Covid -19 induced lockdown, a survey shows.

Following the closure of schools on March 20, 2020, due to Covid-19, the Education ministry through the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) distributed the first batch of self-study materials to learners, most especially in rural areas, to ensure continuity of learning.

However, a study conducted by Makerere University’s College of Education between May and June last year indicates that only 44 per cent of learners understood the content they received.

Releasing the research findings in Kampala yesterday, Dr Paul Kitooke, one of the principal investigators, said most learners said the language that was used in the content was difficult and explanations were not clear.

The learners also said they did not understand lessons that were delivered on radio and television, arguing that the teachers were very fast while the majority of them missed the lessons because they were doing other home chores such as digging.

Researchers also revealed that some TV and radio lessons were interrupted by adverts, poor sound and picture quality.

Dr Kitooke added that 70 per cent of local leaders, teachers and parents reported that the materials were inadequate and not supplied on time. Dr Kitooke added that some village leaders gave the study materials to their supporters and some sold them.

They, however, said the work helped to keep some learners busy under the supervision of their parents.

Mr Louis Kakinda, one of the researchers, said most parents and learners recommended that second phase of the study materials should be delivered to nearby schools for the parents to pick.

Mr Claophas Mugenyi, the commissioner for Basic Education in the Ministry of Education, acknowledged some of the challenges, and said the government will put them into consideration when they distribute the second phase of the study materials.

“These materials were produced at a time when we did not know what the future was. We used trial and error method but we shall improve,” Mr Mugenyi said.

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