Repackage UPE for better results
Posted Thursday, January 24 2013 at 18:47
According to the government, the small improvements in the positioning of Universal Primary Education schools as weighed against private schools is vindication enough that universal education is being conducted in the right manner.
After the release of the 2012 Primary Leaving Examination results early this week, there has been a heightened interest in the performance of primary schools in the country. The old questions about the performance of the universal education programmes still came up.
According to the government, the small improvements in the positioning of Universal Primary Education schools as weighed against private schools is vindication enough that universal education is being conducted in the right manner. According to the results, overall, there was an improvement with 88.4 per cent passing in 2012 compared to the 86.4 who passed in 2011.
There is no doubt that universal education is a good thing; no one can dispute that.
The disturbing question, however, is increasingly to do with the quality of the education that the pupils on the programme are getting.
According to the government, the exact figures explaining how many pupils pass every year on the UPE programme are not conclusive. This year too, these figures did not come out. It is then left to private institutions to decipher the question.
In an environment where public officers are not keen on divulging information like this; information that should be public for stakeholders to make informed decisions, it then becomes frustrating for players who would seek solutions to the problems in UPE concerning academic excellence.
After 16 years, the UPE programme needs to be viewed critically. The excuses about it being on a learning curve have long lost their validity. The first batch of UPE products will soon enter the job market. Uganda needs to consider the prospects of handing over the responsibility of transforming the economy to a generation of Ugandans who have come through a suspect system – one which is shrouded in half truths.
Uneb chairman Fagil Mandy has his work cut out for him. Viewed as a progressive voice, he is expected to spearhead the transformation that is needed to deliver quality education for Uganda’s learners.