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Uganda: Government blames poor UPE grades on drunk teachers

The government has blamed drunken teachers for the poor performance of schools implementing the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme.

An analysis of last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) shows that although UPE schools contributed more candidates who sat the examinations, their pass rate in Division One was far lower than of their counterparts in private institutions.

Data from Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) indicate that of 671,923 candidates who registered for 2018 PLE, 476,130 were UPE candidates, representing a 70.9 per cent of the candidates.

But only 38,148 of the UPE pupils (6.6 per cent) passed in Division One, compared to 37,934 pupils (42.8 per cent) who sat for the same exams and scored the same grade from private schools.

The Minister of State for Sports, Mr Charles Bakkabulindi, told head teachers who had come for the Senior One selection that ended in Kampala on Friday that the increasing poor performance in UPE schools was due to absenteeism and drunken teachers.

He asked head teachers as the first inspectors to ensure they monitor the attendance of their teachers.

“We have been touring schools, but can you imagine finding a teacher drunk in the morning? I want to encourage teachers to lead by example.

The biggest problem among some of these schools remains absenteeism of teachers. The head teachers have since stopped the habit after several warnings but now the teachers need to be dealt with. Heads of schools remain very strict on arrival and departure,” Mr Bakkabulindi said.

“Some teachers have a tendency of walking in at any time, sign the arrival book and go into their own businesses.

I hear others have even started riding boda bodas [motorcycle taxis], can these teachers be disciplined? They are dealing with the future leaders and the biggest stakeholders of this nation; they should be helped to achieve that dream,” he added.

Mr Sam Kuloba, the commissioner in-charge of secondary education, said the errant teachers should be punished.

“Punishing teachers who absent themselves from work should be taken seriously. Recommendation to the ministry for transfer of such teachers should not be because of indiscipline and absenteeism, it should be dealt with there and then,” Mr Kuloba said.

By Daily Monitor

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