Adoption of informal education practices in management of formal education in Central Uganda
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The study sought to examine the level at which informal education practices were used in the management of formal education in Central Uganda with a view of proposing strategies for addressing the failure of Central Uganda ’s formal education to develop relevant competencies. This was occasioned by the need to establish the validity of a largely pronounced concern that formal education in Central Uganda develops competencies that are irrelevant to addressing the needs of the country. The study was conducted as descriptive cross-sectional survey. Its objectives were to examine the level at which the problem-solving; activity-based; product-based; and value-based informal education practices were used in the management of formal education in Central Uganda. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules, and interview guides administered to students, trainers in formal educational institutions, and heads of households, informal trainers and trainees, and out-of-school youths selected using stratified and judgmental random sampling techniques, respectively. Data was analyzed using qualitative techniques as well as quantitative methods which included: descriptive, Chi Square and ANOVA methods of SPSS programme. The Excel programme was used to enhance the quality of data presentation using pie charts and graphs. Results indicate that the use of all informal education practices in the management of formal education in Central Uganda was at a negligible level. Indeed, 87.4% of the respondents showed that the free-range problem-solving practices were not used. Students were not figuring out their own solutions to given problems; they did not experiment their own ideas, their enterprising abilities were not being stimulated and the activation of their personal initiative was trivial. Students were hence graduating having not developed original, inventive, innovative, ingenious and entrepreneurial competencies. In addition, 88.3% of the respondents showed that all the activity-based practices involving students’ proactive participation and use of practical examples were not used. The only used activity-based practices were teacher-based. They thus included teachers selecting learning activities and controlling the performance of the activities. Further, 84.7% of the respondents showed that the product-based practice that was highly used in the management of formal education in Central Uganda involved developing curriculum content containing the desired behavioural values. However, only 12.4% of the respondents showed that the values were inculcated, suggesting that the level of instilling the standards was negligible. Furthermore, 65.1% of the respondents showed that the value-based practice of proposing values was used but only 30.8% reported the inculcation of the values. Moreover, emphasis on using these two practices thinned out to negligible levels as students moved up the formal education ladder. In addition, most of the taught values were not selected from the ideals cherished by local communities and families in Central Uganda. They therefore did not reflect much of the ideals, especially the economic ideals, cherished by the Central Uganda n society. In the light of the foregoing findings, the study concluded by emphasizing the need to improve the use of informal education practices in the management of formal education in Central Uganda . It hence recommended that the use of the problem-solving, activity-based, product-based and value-based practices should be promoted to complement and reinforce formal education at all levels from primary through secondary to tertiary and university levels. Further research was also recommended into the various educative problems, activities and values that could be included while designing the subsequently needed curriculum.