Sunday March 16 2014

Four schools closed over poor enrolment


Authorities in Namayingo District have closed four government-aided primary schools on Sigulu Islands over poor enrolment levels.

Mr Mpimbaza Hashaka, the Namayingo RDC, said four primary schools, including Wayasi, Bisa, Siro and Bugoma, were closed after a survey revealed that the number of teachers in the affected schools was much bigger than that of pupils.

While the schools, all with classes right from Primary 1 to Primary 7 had a total number of 70 teachers manning them, the total pupil population in the four facilities came down to 68.

Addressing a gathering that turned up at Buduma Primary School in Sigulu Islands last week for celebrations of the International Women’s Day, Mr Hashaka said Wayasi had 12 pupils, Siro 15 pupils, Bisa 30 pupils and Bugoma Primary School 11 pupils.

The affected teachers, he said, would be transferred to schools on the mainland to boost numbers and improve academic standards.
Mr Hashaka blamed the low enrolment level in the schools on the nature of economic activities on the islands, especially fishing and smuggling of goods from Kenya and Tanzania as well as irresponsible parenting.
“We have done our part as government, but parents are frustrating our programme to fight illiteracy,” he said.

Mr Hashaka said district authorities would soon arrest parents who fail to send their children to school.

However, the Sigulu Islands chairman, Mr James Obwora, blamed the low number of pupils on poor standards in UPE schools, saying some people on the islands send their children to schools in Western Kenya where standards are better.
Low Enrolment
The four schools that were closed had a population of 70 teachers compared to a combined population 68 pupils.