Asee peer logo

A Proposal For Partnership With Makerere University Towards Addressing Fading Interest In Science Subjects In Rural Southwestern Uganda

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

International Engineering Education I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.76.1 - 10.76.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Doug Lauffer

author page

Frank Duda

author page

Peter Idowu

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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. Introduction

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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015