Busoga, according to Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) statistics, has recorded the highest number of zero scores in the PLE and UCE over the last four years.
UNEB analysis indicated that primary schools in six of the 10 districts in Busoga sub-region have been failing miserably. The districts of Namutumba, Iganga, Kaliro, Mayuge, Luuka, Bugiri, Kamuli and Buyende among others have been listed among the worst performing districts in the entire country for close to half a decade.
However, just like in many other places the education sector in Busoga faces several challenges. Inadequate infrastructure makes it difficult for students and pupils, especially those in the rural parts to access schools. The lucky ones reach late, the unfortunate ones fail to make it there. Those that make it will then face the stark reality of lack classrooms, libraries, and laboratories.
When the weather is good, the trees serve as classrooms. Efforts should be made towards the construction of school buildings and facilities to create a conducive learning environment.
Meals is the other very important factor that many school going children in Busoga do not get both at home and at school. It is scientifically proven that in order for the brain to function perfectly, it has to be supplied with good nutrients. A hungry child cannot study well. When students are hungry, it becomes difficult for them to concentrate and engage in their studies effectively. As a result, their academic performance may drop.
Implementing meal programs, either through government subsidies or community driven initiative can help alleviate the problem. Also, raising awareness about the importance of nutrition and advocating for policy changes can bring positive change to the education sector in the Busoga region.
Then comes the problem of insufficient learning materials. Without enough learning materials, students struggle to develop their reading and comprehension skills. This impedes their overall academic progress and hinders their ability to understand and apply concepts effectively. In the same vein, inadequate access to technology and digital resources can hinder students’ ability to develop necessary skills.
To mitigate these adverse effects, there needs to be an intentional investment in the education sector that would enable schools to afford what they lack. If that is sorted, even the teacher shortage would be addressed.
Currently, with fewer teachers available, schools are struggling to provide quality education to their students. This shortage creates a burden on the existing teachers, as they are required to handle more responsibilities and workload. It is therefore crucial for authorities to address this issue and find ways to attract and retain teachers in the region.
The region has to sort the mess in the education sector if it is to stand a chance and consistent development. All the concerned should stand up and put everything in place to better the education sector in Busoga region
.The writer(Charity Kirunda) is the Chairperson of the Young Busoga Conference 2023 set to take place in December