Government rankings shock best schools

Pupils of Vanguard Primary School in Gulu District during a revision discussion at the school yesterday. PHOTO BY JOHN OKOT

Countrywide- Some of the 200 schools ranked best in the country yesterday, reacted to the news with shock and awe, with some head teachers admitting that the government recognition was unprecedented, while others attributed the ranking to the cooperation, their school administrations have with parents.

Mr Justine William Agaba, the head teacher Madibira Primary School in Busia Municipality said: “The truth is that the news shocked us… the grading is a result of teamwork among teaching staff, devoted parents who have always supported school initiatives that aim at addressing barriers that hinder performance of learners.”

Mr Rajab Nsubuga, the head teacher of Hope Boarding Secondary School Lutembe, off Entebbe Road, the best Secondary School in the country, also said the ranking shocked him, adding that the school works on a philosophy that every student is a learner only that they accommodate slow, average and fast learners at their school.

“We had a boy, Tariq Kyansanku, who joined in Senior One with Division Four from PLE but passed the 2015 O-level exams with a First Grade,” Mr Nsubuga said, adding: “What is amazing is that children who come with bad marks turn out to be the best in exams,”

On Tuesday, an assessment of last year’s Primary Seven and Senior Four results, done by Ark, a UK consultancy firm on behalf of government, ranked the little known countryside schools higher than traditional urban schools.

For Mr Moses Teko, the head teacher of Chepyakaniet Primary School in Sebei, they have had to work hard to overcome a community setting which “is unfriendly to learning and it is characteristic of child labour which leads to absenteeism”.

The head teacher of Mama Kevina Comprehensive SS in Tororo Municipality, the Rev Sr Clare Busingye, said the school admits low-grade children who have been rejected by traditional giants but they set out to mentor them to good performers.

Mr Justine William Agaba, the head teacher Madibira Primary School in Busia Municipality, said the grading was a result of teamwork among teaching staff and devoted parents, who support school initiatives that aim at addressing barriers that hinder performance of learners.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Mr John Bagonza, the head teacher Njara Hill Primary School in Fort Portal.

Mr Robert Jackson Wangwe, the head teacher of Nabuyonga Primary School in Mbale, said the school had created rapport with parents where slow learners would be, through a mutual agreement between the school and parents, be allowed to repeat even with the policy of automatic promotion under UPE.

Ms Beatrice Katami, the headmistress of Nabumali Boarding School, attributed the school’s success to a deliberate mentorship programme where children are assisted to decide “what they want”.

The Rev Fr Jude Senngendo, the director St John the Baptist Ndibata SS in Kyankwanzi, said the school’s success primarily lay in keeping up with their mission to “provide quality education in order to produce an integral person who is knowledgeable, self-reliant and disciplined.”

Ms Eunice Mutoro Sunday, the head teacher of St Peter’s Primary School, Nyakasanga in Kasese District, said the school takes a holistic approach of “the whole child, the brain and the skills” when helping their students to succeed.

Reported by Felix Basiime, Joseph Kiggundu, Joyce Chemitai, Denis Mukungu & Joseph Omollo