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Uganda: Unlicensed schools won’t be allowed to open – Janet

Kampala. The Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Museveni, has said all unlicensed schools will not be allowed to open for the 2019 academic year which kicks off on February 4.

“We have already issued a reminder to all relevant authorities to the effect that no private school will be allowed to operate during the 2019 School Year without a valid licence issued by the ministry,’’ Ms Museveni said.

“|I appeal, very strongly, to the leaders to support my ministry in enforcing minimum standards and ensuring that such schools, once closed, must only reopen when facilities meet the minimum requirements,” she added

Ms Museveni was speaking during the release of the 2018 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results at the Office of the President in Kampala yesterday.

Unregistered schools
The warning came after the chairperson of the Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb), Prof Mary Okwakol, reported that some unregistered schools have continued operating and duping parents and learners that they have been licensed whereas not.

Prof Okwakol revealed that pupils from Bahrain Nursery and Primary School in Iganga District, Busenga Junior School and St Peter’s Primary School in Butambala District discovered late that they had not been registered for the exams and missed sitting PLE.

She said the schools are not registered, and therefore, not known by the ministry.

Ms Museveni noted that much as the ministry is trying its best to eliminate unlicensed schools, it is also the role of parents to check the status of the schools they want to enroll their children in.

“I encourage parents to always ensure that they check the status of the schools to which they enroll their children or even on whether their children have been registered before closure of the registration process by Uneb in order to avoid this problem,” Ms Museveni advised.

“We have encouraged Uneb to institute an online mechanism for verifying the registration status of candidates or examination centres in good time.

This should probably be done a month to the end of the registration process to enable corrective action to be taken and mitigate the suffering experienced by innocent children and parents,” she added.

The First Lady also added that the ministry cannot allow supplementary examinations for pupils in unregistered schools who miss exams.

She said parents can verify with the local governments or the ministry of education on whether the schools where they want to take their children are registered.

Lack of meals
Ms Museveni said the continuous poor performance of children, most especially from rural areas, is caused by lack of meals at school.

“I have emphasised the problem of lack of meals because of the impact this has on a child’s ability to concentrate and learn effectively.

‘‘We are undertaking targeted interventions in some of these districts to try and improve learning conditions and outcomes,” Ms Museveni said.

She also expressed worry as to why a big number of candidates cannot adequately answer questions with practical applications.

She said the teachers should change their teaching methods from theory to practical lessons.

She warned against cheating examinations and said the perpetrators who include some teachers and head teachers, will be severely punished.

“On our part, the ministry will vigorously pursue all reported cases of head-teachers or teachers who are responsible for all forms of fraud associated with

examinations, including non-registration of eligible candidates or other forms of malpractice.

These will be subjected to the disciplinary process by the ministry’s rewards and sanctions Committee,” she added.

By Daily Monitor

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