West Buganda Diocese is considering withdrawing all church of Uganda founded schools from the Universal Secondary Education [USE] program as a result of declining standards.
West Buganda diocese covers the districts of Masaka, Sembabule, Rakai and Lyantonde. The diocese has already stopped all schools under its supervision from registering under the Universal Secondary Education program.
20 secondary schools under West Buganda diocese are registered under USE. Some of the church founded schools include Matale SS, Katelero SS, Kiziiba SS, Kabale Sanje SS, Kabwoko SS, Mawanda Girls SS, Kakoma SS, Buwenda SS, and Kawenda Secondary school amongst others.
Rev. Benon Tebasoboke, the West Buganda diocesan education secretary says the diocese has decided to stop enrolling more secondary schools under USE to save them from declining standards.
Rev. Tebasoboke, who has been inspecting church founded schools in West Buganda diocese, says that the standards of all the 34 church of Uganda founded schools under USE have drastically declined from 70 to 30 percent.
He says that before registering for the USE program church of Uganda schools were producing up to 250 children in Division one but last year only 100 students passed their O'Level exams in first division.
Sarah Ndagire the West Buganda Diocesan schools inspector says that, female students from some of the schools have dropped out opting to get married because they are not taught at school.
Ndagire lists some of the affected schools as Kawanda and Buwenda Secondary in Sembabule district and Kabale Sanje and Kiziiba secondary schools in Rakai district.
Ndagire accuses the district Inspectors of schools of sitting in their offices instead of monitoring how students and teachers in universal secondary schools are performing.
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Jackson Ssengendo, the head master of Kabale Sanje SS one of the church of Uganda founded schools admits there are challenges in implanting the USE program.
He however attributes the declining standards in his school to shortage of teachers and lack of parent's involvements in activities of the school.
Ssengendo says Kabale Sanje SS, which has more than 120 students in each stream can not perform well unless the teacher shortage is addressed.
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Namagembe Kawonawo, the Masaka district inspector of schools who is being accused of failure to perform has declined to comment. Kawonawo says that she can not poke her nose into the affairs of a religious education secretariat.
The Universal Secondary Education Program was introduced three years ago by the government to take on pupils from the Universal primary education.
Records at Masaka district education department show that over 20.000 students are under Universal Secondary Education. Government spends 45,000 shillings per term on each of the students under the USE program.
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