The education standards in the district face a number of challenges which should be a responsibility of all stakeholders to work together to attain the common objective. Our schools have poor infrastructure, high dropout rate, human resource challenges, lack of parents support, etc which affects the performance of these schools. These and more were said by Mr. Mutalesa Joseph a lecturer at Uganda Pentecostal University when he was hosted alongside Trevor Nyemera the vice chairperson Kiguma parish & Enock Byakagaba a councilor representing Bazaar ward, South division in Fort Portal municipality to analyze the recently released Universal Primary Results (UPE).
The panelists were hosted on 22nd January,2017 during the ToroDev supported weekly radio program ‘Listeners’ forum’ that is aired live every Sunday 8:00pm-10:00pm on Jubilee radio in Fort portal.
‘’Our leaders, parents, teachers, school management committees and all other stakeholders need to work together if we are to improve our education standards in the district’’, said Mr. Mutalesa Joseph.
‘The poor performance in schools especially government aided school cannot be blamed on government alone, however pupils walk long distances to access schools and also attitude of parents towards education. We need to look into all other factors contributing to poor performance and then get a lasting solution to the problem’’, said Enock Byakagaba the councilor representing Bazaar parish in Fort Portal Municipality
Mr Nyemera Trevor the vice chairperson Kiguma parish said; there are many challenges leading to poor performance of our pupils for example parents who are not supporting their children by availing scholastic materials, non performing SMCs, mentality of parents and guardians who say education is free, absenteeism of teachers, inadequate human resource, un favorable government policies, etc all have affected the education sector. We need to lobby all the stakeholders to work as a team to look into the issues of education and then get a lasting solution.
The number of pupils in a classroom may demotivate teachers
We call upon government & other stakeholders especially SMCs to intensify monitoring & supervision in schools, motivation of teachers especially reducing the number of pupils in a class to at least 60 which is also against the minimum standards of education which requires a teacher pupils ratio of 1:45, unfavorable government policies of automatic promotions, etc which have all compromised the standards of education in schools.
Callers got chance to participate live to the discussion and these are some of their comments; ‘’our teachers in government aided schools are not well motivated, they get little pay on top of working under harsh conditions compared to private schools, something needs to be done by the government to avert this’’, said Benon Makanika a caller from Hakibaale in Kabarole district, ‘’government should look at the aspect of motivating teachers alongside paying them well, this will improve the standards because teachers will be committed to work hard’’, said Patrick Amanyire a caller from Ruteete in Kabarole district, ‘’parents need to change their attitude to support their children in accessing education if we are to take a step in as far as education sector is concerned’’, said Annet a caller from Kyenjojo, ‘’school management committees & PTA members need to be vibrant in doing their roles & responsibilities, this will intensify supervision on school heads& teachers hence improving performance’’, said Good Life a caller from Bunyangabu County in Kabarole district
We take the pleasure to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support to run these programs.