Identify causes of poor performance in examinations in up-country schools
Posted Tuesday, February 12 2013 at 02:00
School fees per term for a student in that school is approximately Shs350,000. If you multiply by three terms in a year, times four years, you get Shs4.2 million.
The return on investment for parents and schools is pegged on the performance of students.
Take a look at the list published on six-and-half pages of the Daily Monitor of February 8. It details the schools, scores, total number of students and the percentage of candidates in Division One. A quick glance at the statistics revealed that only one-and-a-quarter pages of the list of all schools have over 10 per cent in Division One!
The rest of the five pages of the list have below 10 per cent in division one! Is that really a good return on investment! From a business sense, if your investment for four years yields a paltry 10 per cent profit, then the business is not in good shape.
Let us take Sir Samuel Baker School in Gulu as an example with only three per cent in division one.
Is this performance worth the media visibility accorded to the top officials in Uneb, Ministry of Education and Sports etc? Will the headmaster, the District Education Officer, district school inspectors and, of course, students of that school be proud?
School fees per term for a student in that school is approximately Shs350,000. If you multiply by three terms in a year, times four years, you get Shs4.2 million. Would you not rather buy cows instead of paying fees?
And if the ultimate goal was to secure Division One, then the return on investment for the 97 per cent of students in Sam Baker is nil! What misery for the parents who sold sacks upon sacks of sim-sim, lapena and maize, to send their children to school. Where is the motivation to invest in education for students whose success you can’t celebrate?
It is a norm that schools, public or private along the commercial and industrial belt in the central region, are the ones whose students perform well. The miracles are more in Mukono, Kampala, Mpigi and Wakiso schools. That is where the concentration of education “pastors” are, endowed with resources to anoint students to pass well!
When will the ministry, education officers and school inspectors ordain more teachers with skills to perform miracles, so that in future, Uneb can release UCE results with Sir Samuel Baker, Moyo SSS, Kabalega College, Kigezi College Butobere and Kako SSS as the top performing schools?
Instead of Uneb and other officials posing for photos while releasing bad results for most students, they should outline the reasons for massive failure, draw work plans, identify key result areas and implement them so that children of the peasantry also pass in division one. Please don’t say love affairs are the reasons for failure! There must be more serious reasons affecting performance generally.