Aligning the System to Improve Children’s Opportunities to Learn: Curriculum Studies in Tanzania and Uganda
This article examines the challenges faced during the implementation of the thematic curriculum in lower primary schools in Uganda. The 2007-2010 curriculum reform aimed to develop basic literacy, numeracy, and life skills during the first three years of primary school by reorganizing content into themes relevant to children's lives. However, the curriculum remained content-heavy and fast-paced, imposing unrealistic demands on teachers. Additionally, the adoption of child-centered instruction and continuous assessment pedagogies faced difficulties due to overcrowded classrooms and shortages of instructional materials. The transition from local language to English instruction in Grade 4 also presented challenges, especially in multilingual districts. These issues hindered the effectiveness of the thematic curriculum in improving foundational learning for most children.