Friday February 1 2013

Top schools raise Senior One cutoff points


Top schools Friday moved to stiffen competition as they announced cut-off points that will leave many pupils who wanted to join them in the cold.

St. Mary’s Kisubi, King’s College Budo, Gayaza High School, Mt. St Mary’s Namagunga will break many hearts after their head teachers said they would not take anyone who scored above aggregate 4 and five for boys and girls respectively.
Last year, some of these accepted students with aggregate Six. Other top performing schools like, Kibuli SS, Nabisunsa Girls, Trinity College Nabbingo, Ntare School, Kibuli SS, Seeta High School and Uganda Martyrs Namugongo restricted their admission to pupils with only aggregate six and seven.

Other competitive schools include, Namilyango College, Maryhill High School, St. Henry College Kitovu, , Teso College, Gombe SS, and Makerere College.

About 2,000 head teachers are meeting at the Wonder World Amusement Park near Kampala for the two-day selection exercise that ends today.

Officials say although the number of candidates who scored better grades had gone up, most top schools had only 100 vacancies but received close to 1,000 first choices.

Many school head teachers blamed the cut-down on limited facilities and the need to improve the learning environment for those who would be admitted to Senior One.

“As Budo we considered only those (students) we think can post better grades,” said Mr Erisam Kanyerezi , the director of studies at Kings College Budo.

Of the over 2,000 Primary Seven leavers who put their first choices at Budo , only 100 were admitted. Out of the 543,071 pupils who sat for the 2012 PLE exams, a total of 480, 067 pupils passed the examinations, representing 88.4 per cent compared to 86.4 per cent in 2011.This implies that there was an improvement of 2 percent in performance .

Under the selection criteria, a candidate who misses the first choice automatically goes to the second choice. Priority is given to candidates who chose particular school as their first choice.

Mr Twino Buhungiro, the Kigezi High School head teacher, said: “We wish we could take more students but due to space limitations, this is what we can absorb.” The school only admitted 180 students out of 480 who applied.
But the assistant Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mr Francis Agula, speaking at the opening of the exercise Thursday, said some private school would come in handy. “There are so many private schools that have not attended the selections; these might take on the remaining students.”

He warned school heads against being influenced by parents to take students who performed poorly. “We are receiving reports that even before this exercise began, parents were already knocking at your doors. Please admit within the set guidelines,” he said.
However, he said all students who scored up to aggregate 28 in PLE were eligible to join Senior One , especially under the Universal Secondary Education scheme .

Senior one students report to school on February 18.

By Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa , Abdu Kiyaga, Patience Ahimbisibwe &Angella Nalwanga