Most PTA, SMCs In Karamoja Non Functional

1813 Views Napak, Uganda

In short
Paul Oputa, the Moroto DEO says only SMCs are trying to do their work in schools. He observed that some PTA executive members are ignorant of their roles, something that has affected their performance.

The non-functionality of some Parents Teacher's Associations- PTA and School Management Committees-SMCs across Karamoja sub region has affected performance, according to education officials.



Parent Teacher Association is a body that brings parents and teachers together to encourage closer links between home and school. PTAs are best known for their fundraising work. However, they also have a useful social function that enhances and improves the children's learning experience.

 
In most cases, PTA members meet annually, depending on the needs of the school. On the other hand, the School Management Committees play oversight role on the management of the school. However, in Karamoja sub region most of the SMCs are inefficient and have failed to play their role of coordinating school programs and giving policy direction to management. 




In some schools especially in rural area, PTA meetings are never held throughout the whole year. The recent strike by students at St. Daniel Comboni in Napak that led to the closure of the school was blamed on poor management on the part of the school authorities.
 
 

Daniel Sagal, the head boy of the school told both parents and district officials that student complaints were never addressed by the school authorities.


"Students resorted to strike because there was no one to address their problems. Our parents have never been involved in any meetings and they rely on us to know what transpires at school," he said.


John Bosco Lobong, a parent at St. Daniel Comboni told URN that he has never attended any PTA meeting at the school. 



"My child has been here since last year but I have never attended any PTA meeting. I didn't even know that there are supposed to be PTA meetings in this school. All I receive is fees increment notices but how it is arrived, am not involved", he said.



Joyce Nakoya, the Napak District Education Officer, contends that while PTA meetings are called, parents ignore them. She notes that the burden of PTA has been left to the executive members, whom she observed have abandoned all their responsibilities to the chairperson.



// cue in "it is supposed…
Cue out…all the parents?"//


Paul Oputa, the Moroto DEO says only SMCs are trying to do their work in schools. He observed that some PTA executive members are ignorant of their roles, something that has affected their performance. 




Oputa also notes that high illiteracy levels among parents have affected performance of both PTA and SMC in schools.


// cue in "it has affected…
Cue out…their role"//


At Kosiroi Primary in Tapac Sub County, the school authorities told URN that PTA meetings are only held when there's evidence of food for parents at school. 


"Even after resolving on some issues during such meetings, they only remain on paper. It's worse if some resolutions have an element of money attached. Parents including their executives go silent and some transfer their children to other schools," the head teacher Moses Okae said.
 
 

In Nadunget Secondary School in Moroto District, the school authorities now use report cards to influence the attendance of PTA meetings. The school withholds student's report cards and issues them out during PTA meetings, which compels parents to show up.