100 Busia candidates miss PLE over cross-border trade

Candidates at Busia Border Primary School sit their final exams on November 9, 2022. PHOTO/DAVID AWORI

What you need to know:

  • The boys are engaged in petty trade while the girls work as maids in Kenya.

As pupils in Busia District were sitting their Primary Leaving Examinations, others were away in the gold mines hoping to make a quick buck.
 “My priorities are not to be in school and ‘waste time’ doing examinations, but to search for gold and make my life better,”  a 14-year-old former pupil said on Wednesday.
 The teenager is one of the 10 candidates who had registered at Tiira Primary School, but did not turn up, according to Ms Florence Nyaketcho, the head teacher.

“Ten candidates, including six boys and four girls, kept away from the examinations. The boys are in the gold mines since this school is in the mining area, while the girls got married,” Ms Nyaketcho said yesterday.
Other schools in the district also had missing candidates, with the worst being in Tiira, Buteba, Busia Town and Masaba areas.
Mr Gabriel Barasa Makanga, the district education officer, said more than 100 candidates did not sit the exams.

“The absentees include Tiira Primary School (10), Busia Border (eight), Mayombe (seven), Mawero East (six), Amonikakinei (six), and Busia Integrated (five),” Mr Makanga said.
Mr Makanga said they have recruited an education officer in-charge of guidance and counselling, to sensitise parents and pupils about the value of education.
The education department is also compiling a list of candidates who missed PLE, which will be sent to Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) and the Ministry of Education.

While the boys in Busia Town are engaged in petty trade across the border, the girls work as maids in Kenya.
Ms Rose Muniala, the head teacher of Busia Border Primary School, said some of her pupils were married off after getting pregnant and their parents frustrated the efforts to trace them.
It was established that the majority of the candidates who missed the examinations at Mawero East Primary School were in Kenya.


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