By Conan Businge Newvision THE Government plans a massive reform of the secondary education curriculum in an attempt to make the education system more relevant.This will be phase two of the curriculum reform. In the first phase, earlier this year, the number of subjects at Olevel was reduced from 42 to 18. The new reforms will include changing the students national examination system, reducing further the number of subjects, re-writing the learning materials, and lowering the age at which students choose careers. Angela Kyagaba of the National Curriculum Development Centre announced the move yesterday at the private USE schools conference in Kampala. The curriculum reform process, scheduled to start early next year, will not only alter what is being taught but also how and why the subjects are taught. Kyagaba explained that students joining Senior Three will opt for subject combinations that are broadly career-linked. This will change the current situation where students chose career-linked subjects at Senior Four. The current curriculum was inherited from the British. Since independence, it has never been fundamentally reformed. Education experts argue that the rapid changes in society and the needs of the labour market require a radical rethink of Ugandas education system. Connie Kateeba of the National Curriculum Development Centre said the compulsory subjects in Senior One and Two may reduce to 10. By Senior Three, students should chose subjects according to their intended career path. Kateeba also explained that the current examination system discriminates against a number of students who have other skills such as farming or carpentry. This will be replaced by a system that can accommodate a wide range of skills and abilities. The number of examinable subjects may reduce but more periodic examinations might be held for science subjects. The experts also propose that a science subject be added to any combination chosen at Alevel. The educationists found that current textbooks in schools were designed to support subjects that are primarily academic. This literature, they said, is generally content-heavy and written for learners with high reading levels. The Government, instead, plans to publish new easy-to-read textbooks with a wider range of content coverage. Not only the text will be simplified but the layout and graphics, Kyagaba said. The policy on special needs children will also be redrafted in response to the demands of free secondary education. The new curriculum is expected to be used in Senior One first and be rolled out gradually to other classes.