Inadequate facilities hamper performance in Seed schools

Ngwedo Seed Secondary School in Buliisa District. Many Seed schools in the country did not perform well in the recent Uganda Certificate of Education examinations. PHOTO/ANDREW MUGATI  

Of the 65 candidates who sat for their 2022 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) at Budongo Seed Secondary School in Masindi District, only two passed in Division One, seven in Division Two, 17 in Division Three and 49 in Division Four.

The head teacher, Mr Allan Tusiime, said the school performed poorly because the candidates lacked some of the apparatuses in their laboratory to use in practical exams.

“During practicals in the examinations, we used borrowed apparatus from other schools after the district failed to give us our own apparatus to use,” he told Monitor early this week.

In 2019, the government of Uganda earmarked Shs2.1b for the construction of a fully-fledged Budongo Seed school but upon its completion in 2022, the ICT equipment worth Shs210m was not procured by the officers responsible.

The Masindi District chairperson, Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga, said Shs210m intended for ICT and other equipment was diverted to other activities at the budgeting stage by the education department, contrary to the provided indicative planning figures and guidance from the Ministry of Education.

In Buliisa District, Butiaba Seed Secondary School in Butiaba Sub-county, registered 57 candidates for the 2022 UCE and only four passed in Division One, 15 in Division Two, 13 in Division Three, 20 in Division Four and five failed.

The four students who passed in Division One scored Aggregate 21, 25, 31 and 26 respectively.
The school deputy head teacher, Mr Willington Muhindi, said although the school is faced with several challenges, the teachers worked with commitment.

“We don’t have reliable power supply and we have been sharing one computer. The government has just provided us with more computers,” he said.

“We try to motivate our teachers by giving them a little money for extra lessons and for any distinction in a subject, we give a teacher Shs20,000,” he said.

In Kabarole District, St Paul Nyabweya Seed Secondary School registered 31 candidates but the students could not access the results online.

The school head teacher, Mr Godfrey Businge, said they made arrangements with the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) not to upload the results on their website until the student clear their school dues, saying students will only access physical copies of the results at the school.

In Kagadi District, Mpeefu Seed Secondary School in Mpeefu Town Council, had 93 candidates register for the 2022 UCE. Of these, only four passed in Division One, 15 in Division Two, 18 in Division Three, 50 in Division Four and six failed.

The school head teacher, Mr Moses Sseruwada, said the school enrollment was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic from 750 students pre-Covid-19 to 690 students after reopening the school.
He said some of the students come from landing sites on Lake Albert in Ndiga Sub-county.

“Our school is not a boarding school and it’s one of the reasons our population does not pick up like others. Many students from the lakeside have to walk to the school and the distance is too long. Others, especially the girls, drop out. We usually begin with enrollment of about 300 students in Senior One but only about 100 complete Senior Four,” he said.

He said the school is also grappling with understaffing, where the school has only seven teachers appointed by the government.

“I have 28 teachers but only seven are appointed by the government. The rest are paid by the school through contributions made by the parents,” he said.

He said the government supplies laboratory apparatus but some are inadequate.
Ms Gorret Nshemirirwe, the head teacher of Kisiita Seed School in Kakumiro District, said the school is understaffed, with only 14 teachers for both A and O-Level.
“In fact, A-Level has no teacher on the government payroll,” she said.

Last year, the school had 700 students. However, on Wednesday last week, the enrollment was at 205.

In Bundibugyo District, Kabango Seed Secondary School, out of the 75 candidates who registered for 2022 UCE, only three passed in Division One. 

At Bubukwanga Seed Secondary School, only one candidate passed in Division One out of the 60 who registered for the final O-Level exams at the school. 

Seed schools

Last year, Education minister Janet Museveni, said government plans to construct 259 seed secondary schools as part of its efforts to ensure that all sub-counties across the country have a seed school. Ms Museveni said the government will implement this through the Inter-Governmental, Fiscal Transfers (UgIFT) programme, which is funded by the World Bank.

She said the construction of the schools under UgIFT programme is being handled in three phases.
A total of 117 schools will be built in the first phase, 115 schools in the second, and 27 in the third one.

By Alex Ashaba, Longino Muhindo, Alex Tumuhimbise & Andrew Mugati