Twenty headteachers in Nakaseke District are at risk of being demoted due to the poor performance of schools in last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
As per a recent resolution by the district council, these headteachers have been summoned to present their case next month before a decision is made to demote them to classroom teachers due to their incompetence.
The examination results revealed that out of the total candidates, 604 (12.9%) achieved a first division, 2,706 (57.9%) attained a second division, 728 (15.6%) secured a third division, and 361 (7.7%) were placed in Division four.
The results indicate that 276 candidates (5.6%) failed and 138 candidates (2.9%) of 4813 candidates that registered didn’t sit the examinations.
Ignatius Koomu the LCV Chairperson of Nakaseke explains that there was a slight increase of candidates that failed PLE from 4% in 2022 to 5.6% in 2023 which is against the district’s target.
Koomu explains that they have analyzed the results and found that in 20 schools, over 10% of candidates failed PLE which is against the district target for the year.
Koomu listed the schools as Kagando Mixed Primary School where 59% of candidates failed, Kikamulo C/U where 50% failed, Timuna P/S where 45% of registered candidates failed and St Steven Standard P/S where they registered 38% failed.
Others are Wakayamba P/S where 35% of the candidates, Butikwa project P/S where 33% failed and Joshua Zaake P/S where 24% of candidates failed among others.
Koomu says that as per the district council resolution, the headteachers of 20 schools have been summoned to defend themselves before a decision to demote them to classroom teachers is taken over incompetence.
Koomu adds that after the Ministry of Education blocked his proposal to administer PLE to classroom teachers, he has resolved to pile pressure on headteachers who have failed to monitor them.
Ritah Nakitanda the District Inspector of Schools says that the headteachers and other education stakeholders will be invited to the meeting on 15th March this year to review their performance.
Nakitanda adds that they will also task the School Management Committees to explain the causes of poor performance and how to overcome them in this year.
She also noted that the schools with the best performance in the district will also be rewarded with certificates to encourage them to maintain it.
But Emmanuel Kizza, the Chairperson of Uganda National Teachers Union, Nakaseke branch says that it’s unfair to always demote headteachers over poor performance without addressing causes that include understaffing and automatic promotion of weak students among others.
“You find a school with only four teachers including the headteacher. The headteacher spends most teaching rather than supervising others to deliver the results. We need to increase staffing to the recommended ceiling and give time to headteachers to supervise the schools to perform to the expectations’’ Kizza said.
Since the Nakaseke district council passed the resolution to demote headteachers over poor PLE results in 2017, over 40 headteachers have been demoted to classrooms but later re-instated after showing commitment to work and improving performance.