Role of non-examinable subjects in the acquisition of productive skills among primary school pupils in Soroti District
Ongorok, Ruth Margaret
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The study investigated the role of non-examinable subjects in the acquisition of productive skills among primary school pupils in Soroti district. For a long time, Uganda’s education system has prized theoretical and academic performance at the expense of non-examinable subjects that equip learners with workable skills. Yet a graduate from primary school would be self-reliant and productive if they were equipped/ provided with adequate practical skills. Three research questions guided the study. Adequacy of facilities and resources for teaching non-examinable subjects, contributions of non-examinable subjects to the acquisition of life skills and constraints in the acquisition of productive skills among pupils were examined. The research design employed was cross-sectional survey. The research was carried out in ten randomly selected primary schools, upper primary pupils, heads of department (HODs) and subject teachers responded to questionnaires. Observation of facilities and resources was done and document sources were also used. Data were analysed quantitatively and according to themes. Findings showed that facilities and resources for teaching and learning nonexaminable subjects were inadequate, non-examinable subjects contributed to the acquisition of productive skills among primary school pupils. Shortages of instructional materials, inadequate funds and qualified teaching personnel, few contact hours and lack of storage and maintenance facilities for non-examinable subjects among others were the constraints cited. It was concluded that skills from non-examinable subjects contributed to the acquisition of life skills. Scarce facilities and resources affected the acquisition of life skills, hence acting as barriers in the acquisition of productive skills. Therefore, it was recommended that in-service/refresher courses be offered to teachers of nonexaminable subjects. Primary school curriculum should be diversified and democratized. There is need for primary schools to organize themselves and persuade government to revisit its stand on PTA as it had managed to sustain education sector throughout the most difficult times of economic and social upheavals in this country.