June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.76.1 - 10.76.9
A proposal for partnership with Makerere University towards addressing fading interest in science education in rural western Uganda
Peter Idowu, Frank Duda, Douglas Lauffer
Penn State University – Harrisburg/ Grove City College/ Community College of Beaver County
Abstract – In the summer of 2004 three electrical engineering faculty members from Pennsylvania went on a study tour of western Uganda in response to an invitation from community leaders in the Bunyoro-Kitara region. The goal of the visit was to assess needs and challenges in science education. The team visited secondary schools, elementary schools and two universities, and identified a significant number of impediments to the advancement of science education. Follow-up visits and dialogues with Makerere University faculty lead to exploration of strategies for addressing the challenges, as well as initiation of a number of action plans. This paper discusses the challenges identified and the action plans proposed to bring about improvements in the current situation.
Index Terms – International collaboration, partnership, Uganda, science education.
1.1 Prior initiatives and results
The demand for education in Uganda surged through the 1990s 1. Education is viewed by parents as the most probable avenue for empowerment and advancement. It has been the source of great burden for parents who provide a very significant portion of school finances owing to the government’s lack of resources for investment in schools as well as in their operation.
Changes in the way science is taught in Africa have been noted as far back as the1960s. This may have been influenced by ‘curriculum development of the 1950s and 1960s concentrated in the industrial nations’ 2. The expectation was that teacher behavior (in conduct of classes) and classroom emphasis would be on inquiry rather than memorization, thereby leading to changes in how students view science.
In the mid 1970s the government abandoned the use of the British curriculum3 and implemented a local curriculum. It published most school textbooks locally, thereby making the purchase of books more affordable. The transition was met with large enrollment
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Lauffer, D., & Duda, F., & Idowu, P. (2005, June), A Proposal For Partnership With Makerere University Towards Addressing Fading Interest In Science Subjects In Rural Southwestern Uganda Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14400
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