Poor PLE performance in Busoga is partly due to low parents income
Posted Wednesday, January 30 2013 at 02:00
We have finally emerged from that season when Uneb announces PLE results and parents jump sky-high, roll in the mud, burst into rich and throaty laughter, pose for photographs before journalists and attempt to explain to the world why their child scored distinctions in all subjects.
However, while there have been all kinds of dances to celebrate good performance, the story has been disappointingly different for Busoga. We have experienced a perfect illustration of the Basoga’s own saying: Kumbaga tikubula musiiwufu, loosely translated as: There will always be a misfit at a party.
While pupils in other regions performed in such a way that would prompt Uneb’s Matthew Bukenya’s statisticians to notice a national general improvement, all the 10 districts that make up Busoga, going by press reports, could only be listed among the districts with the highest percentage of failures.
Our tragedy did not end with poor performance. Seven out of the 43 schools suspected to have cheated in the same examinations and whose results are still being investigated by Uneb, are in Busoga. Busoga’s education problems are not inexplicable.
The head teachers wherever they are, must now be sweating to give explanations to parents as regards their children’s poor performance. Many of those explanations are either complete lies or half truths. They are designed to exonerate the teachers and shift the blame to another party, most likely the parents.
The region is not only different as regards educational performance. We also stand out as the producer of the largest quantity of sugar in the country, considering the six sugar factories we have so far.
The rich farmers whose children do not go to UPE schools hire our land cheaply to grow sugarcane. In many places an acre of land is hired at Shs500,000 and occupied for a period of four-and-a-half years.
We are expected to survive on that rent of Shs500,000 in the four-and-a-half years to clothe ourselves, pay our medical bills, buy scholastic materials for children and importantly, feed on the same because after all, we hire out all our arable land to the cane growers.
Our children inevitably miss school for lack of requirements and end up in the very plantations to cut the canes and load them on lorries.
Unless our local politicians address this matter, fighting against ignorance in Busoga will remain a hopeless endeavour.