Canada’s 12 year-old, Diki Suryaabnadja, was last year admitted to Waterloo University in Ontario, to study for a Bachelor of Science degree. This is unusual for a child of that age, because he had just finished seventh grade. It is roughly an equivalent to Primary 7 in Uganda.
Not in Canada. Suryaabnadja was able to do this because of the non-gradable curriculum system obtaining there. It has a non-graded curriculum of education as opposed to Uganda’s graded one. Indeed, Canada has eight curricula of education.
This system assesses learners by one subject; and they can continue with the one subject up to PhD level. In Suryaabnadja’s case, his assessment is on Mathematics, but he will also study Physics, Chemistry and Economics.
This is a revelation of visiting Canadian academic, Prof. Simon Peter Kasirye Kabala. Originally a Ugandan, and now a dual citizen, Kabala is the Chancellor of Academics and Multi-level Strategies at the International Curriculum Development Centre (ICDC) in Toronto.
Kabala is in Uganda as a representative of the Canadian Inter-province Curriculum Development Center (CICDC), to explore academic, professional and career linkages with Uganda’s Primary, Secondary, College and University institutions.
He says that the advantage of the non-graded system is, “It does not lock the learners’ intelligence quotient (IQ). A learner cannot be discontinued with their studies because of failing one subject; and it does not impinge on the pride of the learner. The learner continues in the subject and the other areas in which she/he excels.
“Take the case of a Primary One pupil in a non-graded curriculum. The pupil might want to be a lawyer, and will be admitted to university for it. In the process he/she may also learn four or seven other subjects as he/she advances, but in the process he/she might also become a medical doctor. This is a versatile system of education. No system should have an instance for elimination,” he adds.
Uganda’s curriculum is unable to accord this versatility to learners. By last year, Canadian universities were pioneering in admitting 10 year-olds, he says.
According to Kabala, also last year, ICDC established a new technology: the Educational Biometrics. In this the examinations do not test for IQ, but only test for mastery of a subject. “A county that does not provide for this will only end in rubble”.
He says that Biometrics provides a learner with a “computerized concept to, for instance, identify ten related ideas that tell a person’s IQ, like naming the type of cars one is familiar with. This is an area of specialized educational learning.”
Kabala subsequently wrote to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to start running the programme in Canadian schools or in a conducive African country. Trudeau’s reply was that, “Be assured that your comments have been carefully reviewed.” Trudeau’s answer was also that he had forwarded Kabala’s concepts to his two ministers: that of Families, Children and Social Development and of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, “to make them also aware”.
It is this awareness that made the CICDC to send Kabala to Uganda to establish the academic linkages with the various institutions. So far there are more than 120 Primary, Secondary schools and Colleges that have come forward. Kabala is requested to report back before the end of the year and to confirm their affiliation status.
He says that, “we respect any academic curricula, like Uganda’s, but we talk to them to allow this curriculum to be practiced in their schools and be given the Canadian grading.” This is the first time this kind of system has come to Africa.
Kabala says that each of the 14 Canadian provinces has structures for courses in its own field of excellence, like say, in Agriculture, Car Assembly or Electronics. The schools are near their learners’ Board of Education responsible for education in that specific ward for that area of concentration. These boards also act at an international level.
These councils of education also run academic courses and have linkages to industry.
Canadian companies give out shares to give equity to individuals, and to offer investment potential.
A number of companies have commissioned Kabala to this to make these linkages here and to get their businesses registered. Among them: Asia and Fortune Gift Stores from Windsor, Ontario that deals with Chinese stuff; Mike of Italy, involved in clothing industry, especially men’s suits; Jelly Fish Enterprises from Brampton; House of Leopold for floral clothing designs.
The concept of Canadian industry is to look after the individual from conception until death. As such Kabala says that the education curriculum is geared to provide avenues for all ages. So, all investments should have a broad international curriculum programme.
He says that by opening up industrial shareholdings to individuals, the companies “give equity to people who are not equitable”. It will remove the limits that presentlyUganda commercial banks refer to their customers as insolvent or bankrupt, in the Ugandan experience, he says.
That is the thinking behind the Global Occupancy Guild (GOG), Kabala says. It is in tandem with the World Trade Facility (WTF) of Toronto. GOG is an academic institution that identifies investment opportunities in each economy and refers people to them. It is registered with the Prospectors Developers Association of Canada.
WTF invites 50,000 prospective investors from around the world and assembles them in the Toronto Canadian Center (TCC), twice a year. TCC has 17 institutes of the categories of industry from among which one can choose. They look at any investment proposal to gauge its viability so as to put their money into, Kabala says.
Who is Prof. Dr. Simon Kabala?
Simon Peter Kasirye Kabala left Masaka, Uganda, for Canada in 2003. He had been a tutor in Misanvu Teacher’s Training College in Masaka.
The International League for People with Intellectual Exceptionality, based in Brussels, Belgium was interested in running discussion works in York University in Toronto, Canada, on aspects of integrated curricula. They wanted dissertations from around the world on this and Kabala wrote a dissertation on: “How Integration of Education should be in Developing Countries”.
There were more than 1,000 applicants for a scholarship to go to address the weekly conference on the presenting of an advocacy for group teaching methods. The address was to be over five sessions and it attracted a number of universities: Toronto, York, Waterloo and Brock in Canada; and Fort Jones and Kennedy from the US.
Kabala was one of the five people selected, and after his presentation, was offered a one-year lectureship in these universities. In 2006, he applied for a $4,000 Immigration Loan for a work-permit, air-ticket, resident status and other personal utilities. On payment of the loan, he was granted Canadian citizenship.
He became a citizen in 2008, got a doctorate at Fort Jones in Curriculum Development and another PhD at Kennedy University in Education Administration. His intention was to get into the North American system of Education and to be an academician. He is now Prof. Dr, Kabala and Chancellor of ICDC in Toronto, Canada.