Those who went through the British education system know this well.
Primary school (elementary school) know that after 7yrs of primary school, one is forced to sit for national exams. You fail, you are tossed out of the population for having failed.
Then after that, we sit for O’level exams.
Then after that, we sit for A’levels.
So which genius came up with the idea that cramming for exams after 7yrs of primary school determines who you are as a person?
Then after 4 years of O’level, you sit for those exams to judge you if you can proceed in education!
Then after O’level, you study for another 2 years and sit for A’level exams to get into University!
The education system in Uganda needs to be revamped. I was lucky to half slept through it but kids are killing themselves and someone ought to know that there is something wrong.
For my PLE, I got 97% in all the subjects. I was bell curved because it was abnormal. Ended up being put at 92%. I did not even try because education and me is like oil and water.
For my O’level, I was also sandwiched. Could not make up my mind so instead of taking the best 6 subjects, I took 10. The devil always has work for idle hands so keeping busy has saved me from becoming a criminal.
Uganda is not paying attention. National exams have caused many kids in Asia to commit suicide to save their family names. Read up on Hong Kong, China and Japan.
Why do you put so much pressure on young kids? If you cannot work out something to grow them into future leaders, then do not test them for the future.
Some European countries make kids determine their careers at a tender age of 12yrs. What a catastrophe. At age 12, I could not comb my own hair. At age 16, I still could not. Then you people say kids must choose their future based on this impressionable age group. What are you thinking?
At university, in Uganda, most everyone must choose their major. Imagine that. In Canada and USA, you apply into an arts program or a science program. You get in. You take the 3 mandatory courses for the department but you are allowed 2 electives. So using these electives, you can maybe find out that History is not your best food. Very much like I found out that Organizational Theory was not really my cup of tea. Computers came by accident and turned out to be my true love.
When the president of a country richly funded like Uganda goes into media saying he does not want anyone to take humanities, he makes a very big mistake because humanities are us. We are human first. If you even think about it, I was forced to take PCB/M only to later switch to HEL. Did not go down well with the school or mzee.
Fast forward, I did humanities and ended up in IT. Please think before you force kids into things they might not be interested in.
How many of you remember Ugandan kids committing suicide for having failed national exams? Precisely why we need to do away with national exams.
Let me tell you about Canada (are you sick of it yet?). The assignments and projects that kids do (on their own time) are judged towards their own marks. Then we have assessment exams for which they prepare very hard. The assessment exams are rather interesting for Uganda though. They evaluate the students and the teachers. Since beating up kids here is illegal, the teacher has an obligation to ensure that the students learn what is expected and if the students fail or do poorly, it is the teacher’s fault.
Okay, at least our teachers are paid well and on time but their performance is always on the line. Believe me, the teachers work very hard to help their students do well on the provincial curriculum and also help them to be prepared for life. Meanwhile in Uganda, you cane kids daily as if a stick could infuse intelligence into a young brain! Shaaaaaa! READ up on suicide rates in the countries which use National exams as the only measure of intelligence.
GET RID OF THOSE RIDICULOUS NATIONAL EXAMS WHICH CAUSE KIDS TO COMMIT SUICIDE!
Information you could use.
Martha Leah Nangalama
I have an IT and business background and most of my education was done in Canada.