Teaching and Learning Sciences for Development: A Matter of Teacher Competence? A Case Study of Uganda

Joyce A Asiimwe


At both international and national levels, there is growing recognition that future economic prosperity and social development depends on scientific progress and adaptability in the fields of science and technology. As a result, many countries have now adopted the ‘science for all’ policy in their education systems, albeit at various levels. In the case of Uganda, the basic sciences—i.e., biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics—have been made compulsory in the secondary school curriculum. It is, however, important to recognize that to achieve the much needed economic prosperity and social development, the process of teaching and learning these sciences must be able to generate critical knowledge and equip students with the necessary skills. However, studies have shown that the current process of teaching and learning sciences in Ugandan educational institutions, especially at secondary and post secondary levels, is still largely memory based and geared towards passing examinations rather than towards understanding, with a view of solving practical problems in life (development). This can be attributed to various reasons, notable among them are lack of adequate instructional facilities for teaching and learning sciences, teacher personality, and above all, poor teaching-learning strategies employed by science teachers. This article argues that if science is to facilitate socio-economic development, then there is an urgent need to re-construct the teaching and learning of sciences in our schools.


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