Schools lower Senior Five cut-off points
Posted Friday, February 15 2013 at 02:17
Schools across the country have lowered their Senior Five cut-off points after the Uganda National Examinations Board reported a decline in last year’s performance.
Traditional academic giants like Gayaza High School relaxed their cut-off from last year’s Aggregate 13 in the best eight subjects to 15 this year while Maryhill High School will admit girls with Aggregate 23 instead of 21.
At King’s College Budo, only boys with Aggregate 11 and girls with 13 can gain admission to the school this year compared to last year’s Aggregate 10. During yesterday’s selection in Kampala, Mr Francis Agula, the Ministry of Education assistant commissioner, attributed the relaxed cutoff points to poor performance and cautioned administrators against admitting candidates who lack the minimum requirements. He also added that admission depends on individual applicants in the school against the available resources.
At least a candidate must have obtained a minimum of credit six in all the three subjects which form a combination for a course in S5. “We must address quality. We can’t lower the grades to accommodate everyone. Otherwise, the system will be watered down,” Mr Agula told the more than 500 head teachers.
However, some schools complained of having been given more students than they can handle with limited facilities like classrooms and teachers.
For instance, 940 candidates applied at Namilyango College. However, the government only allocated them 120 students. But, Mr Barnabas Langoya, the deputy head teacher, said the school can only accommodate 90 students because of the limited facilities.
“We shall see what we can do but we have limited space and we have to ensure quality,” Mr Langoya said. This was re-echoed at Maryhill High School where the government allocated 110 students but the administrators insist they have an 80-student capacity.
But Mr Agula defended government, saying: “We did a school head count last year and captured each school’s enrollment. What has been allocated to them is proportionate to what information we collected. They are lying and have hidden agenda.”
Ms Elizabeth Gabona, the director Higher, Technical, Vocational Education and Training, warned that head teachers risk losing their jobs if they do not perform.
She explained that government was considering introducing performance contracts which will help the ministry curb down non-performing individuals.
According to Ms Gabona, once the proposal is adopted as a policy, head teachers and teachers will be evaluated after every five years before their contracts are renewed.
“If you are a head teacher, we want to start looking at your performance in the last five years before you can continue. This thing that you are permanent and pensionable must stop.”
165, 499 students will be admitted in schools by the end of the exercise today.