Entry points to s1 in traditional schools across the country have remained competitive with majority of the schools setting high cut-off points.
Like last year, king’s college Buddo maintained the high aggregate 4 cut-off points for boys and aggregate 5 for girls who will join the school located in wakiso district
Gayaza high school, Namilyango College and Mt st Mary’s Namagunga will all take students with aggregate 5 while Ndejje ss and Trinity College Nabbingo have each maintained aggregate 6.
Ms. Chotilda Nakatte Kikomeka, the Nabbingo head teacher, who doubles as secondary school teachers’ association chair person, said the cut off points were pegged on the pupils’ performance in last years’ PLE and the choices of schools the candidates made
‘’ we have maintained our cut off points because those who gave us their choice performed almost like last year,’’ Ms. Kikomeko said.
However, ministry of education officials expressed worry that some pupils will not be selected even when they have performed well because the made poor choices
They blamed it on parents who insist on their children picking their four choices of schools ranked at almost the same level.
Mr Henry Ssemakula the career guidance and counselling officer at the education ministry, said majority of the parents insist that their children must study around Kampala and Wakiso despising up country schools, which perform even much better
‘’ parents should learn to classify schools. There are always those which are competitive. Ensure you tone down the choices from the highly competitive to the less competitive. If you pick Gayaza, Namagunga and Nabbingo as your choices in that order, you will end up unselected because the schools are at the same level,’’ said Mr. Ssemakula
‘’ you tell parents to try schools outside Kampala and Wakiso but they don’t want. They end up making these schools unnecessarily competitive yet we have the Ntare, Mbale ss and Ombaci doing good work in the countryside,’’ he added.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day exercise yesterday, the primary education state minister, Ms. Rose Sseninde, told head teachers that the ministry would intensify inspection to monitor teacher absenteeism and warned that those who will not have records on their staff attendance will attract sanctions, including demotion and dismissal
‘’ I have noted with concern that teachers are failing to do their roles. Many of them part-time in other schools at the expense of children in government-aided schools. The rate of absenteeism is high. Staff appraisal is mandatory and school heads will be required to have records on teachers’ presence in the school,’’ Ms. Sseninde said yesterday.
She also appeal to participants to protect the environment as the country has started to experience climate changes.
She said the future of food security was unpredictable if the current trends continue.
The minister said many countries were going hungry for days because their crops dried up in the gardens due to the scorching heat.
Advice on feeding
This, Ms. Sseninde added will affect the performance of schools as learners can’t concentrate on empty stomachs.
‘’ food prices are going up. This doesn’t mean you send your children to school with empty stomachs. Feeding your children is not government business. It is entirely the responsibility of the parents. The government is doing its work of paying teachers and has put in place the infrastructures,’’ Ms. Sseninde said.
We are the ones to blame for this climate change. We have cut down the trees and reclaimed the wetlands. The weather is now hurting everyone. There will be no food for our children if we don’t protect the environment. Plant at least a tree for the future,’’ she added
Mr. Benson Kule, the education ministry chairperson selection committee, said they are planning to advance the current manual to electronic selection where names of pupils will be posted to their respective schools to make it cheaper for them.
Releasing the PLE results this month, UNEB executive secretary, Mr. Daniel Odongo, said 541,089 candidates had passed last years’ PLE compared to 517,889 candidates in the previous year.
Mr. Kule yesterday said the selection exercise must find placement for all candidates who qualified for any post- primary institution