PLE: A lot more needs to be done
Posted Tuesday, January 22 2013 at 02:00
Unlike 2011, where girls performed better than boys, the story in 2012 went back to the old tale—girls trailing. Most girls dominated in Division Three and Four while the boys shone in Division One
As you have seen on other pages in this newspaper, the 2012 Primary Leaving Examinations results are out. Released yesterday by the Education minister, Ms Jessica Alupo, the results indicated a slightly better performance with 88.4 per cent of the pupils passing compared to the 86.4 who passed in 2011.
As expected, the minister preferred to look at the brighter side of the results. She hailed the slightly better performance, commended districts with improved grades like Amolatar and Budaka, and said growth in UPE figures is not an accident by a result of government’s deliberate efforts.
But beyond glossing about the positives, we ask the minister to deeply reflect on the following: Less than 15 per cent of the total number of 565,663 registered candidates passed in Division One and Two.
The government policy is that pupils who score up to Division Four are categorised as having passed but its common knowledge that a pupil who scores Division Three and beyond are generally weak. Many parents would ask their children to repeat the class.
The urban-rural divide remains prominent in the results. A few upcountry districts have reduced their failure rate but their results remain worrying. A lot of this has been attributed to absenteeism and it is important that the ministry places focus on not only ensuring that teachers are available but that they are doing what is expected of them.
Uneb chairman Fagil Mandy also made a key observation—the tendency by schools, especially in urban areas—to simply focus on academics and ignoring co-curricular activities. We laud his move to make Physical Education compulsory but also add that enforcement will not come easy.
Unlike 2011, where girls performed better than boys, the story in 2012 went back to the old tale—girls trailing. Most girls dominated in Division Three and Four while the boys shone in Division One. Issues of girl-child support have been enumerated before, we ask those responsible to ensure everything is done to help girls stay in school and do well.
Finally is the matter of withheld results. We ask that Uneb investigations are done quickly and whoever was behind this is reprimanded. Pupils should not pay for sins of schools and parents.