Bundibugyo Parents Want Teachers Sacked Over Declining Education Standards

2445 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda

In short
Gerald Kaija, a parent says that the declining standards of education at secondary schools have reached alarming levels and the authorities have done nothing to address the matter.

Parents in Bundibugyo want incompetent teachers sacked following the poor performance in last year's Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE exams.  Bundibugyo was listed amongst the worst performing districts in last year's primary leaving examinations, according to results released by Uganda National Examination Board-UNEB.
 
This morning, more than 500 parents marched to the district headquarters in Bundibugyo town and delivered a petition to the district service commission and district education officer. They are particularly concerned that for four years in a row, the district has been performing dismally in local and national examinations.


Gerald Kaija, a parent says that the declining standards of education at secondary schools have reached alarming levels and the authorities have done nothing to address the matter. Kaija says the poor performance can be attributed to the consistent absenteeism of teachers and failure by district authorities to take action.
 


He says that many teachers turn up for work very late; they leave very early and rarely complete the curriculum.  Kaija says that in some schools, the students aren't taught for a whole term, but teachers continue receiving their salary. 

Beatrice Bbira, a parent says that some of the schools employ unqualified teachers who are related to head teachers. She also says teachers lack concentration because they teach in more than five schools in a day.

However Andrew Azoli, a teacher at Nyahuka secondary school says parents should understand the conditions teachers work in. Azoli says teachers aren't provided with accommodation, and as a result, they are forced to sleep more than 10 kilometers away from the school and report late at school.
 
Francis Mugisa, the Bundibugyo District Education Officer says that all secondary school head teachers have been summoned to explain the cause of poor performance at their respective schools. He however, blames some parents who give consent to their children to work in cocoa plantations during the season, which causes absenteeism.  

Bundibugyo is among the districts with the highest number of school dropouts in Uganda. The poor performance is attributed to early marriages and cocoa farming which breeds teacher and student absenteeism.
During the cocoa harvesting seasons in March, April, July and October to December, school children are employed to work in cocoa plantations, while some teachers who are cocoa farmers look for market for their cocoa.