At the end of each academic year and beginning of the year, teachers converge at various selected schools designated as marking Centers to mark the PLE, UCE and UACE exams. The candidates’ results determine the progress of the student to another academic level.
The teachers who must be active in teaching apply to the UNEB secretariat and those who are short listed are invited for training where the successful candidates are invited as UNEB examiners to mark UNEB in the subject they trained in.
During marking the teachers are involved in deep discussions about the subject paper and this, coupled with the training acquired, enrich the teachers on subject and consequently provide them with skills to prepare learners on how to best understand the subject, equipping them with better skills & knowledge of answering questions in UNEB and consequently passing with better grades.
Busoga region for a long time has been recording a very low percentage passes at all levels of learning compared to the other areas in the country.
Traditional and once academic giants like Busoga College Mwiri, Wanyange Girls, Tororo Girls School are no more among the country’s cream, meanwhile their contemporaries on the western axis of the River Nile Kings College Buddo, St. Mary’s College, Kisubi, Gayaza High School keep on shinning.
Where is the leakage?
Could this be attributed to shortage of teachers; capable and knowledgeable teachers poor administration or student’s lack of motivation?
Despite the region producing very many teachers, a good number of teachers from the region prefer working from central region to teaching in the schools back home. There are better benefits teaching in central than back home. Higher allowances for example.
Ignoring the teacher brain drain is like ignoring a hole in the bucket as you eagerly want to fill it with water. The ‘big school syndrome’ has greatly shifted the paradigm in performance. It is common for good performing school in central to for example source for long serving hardworking teachers in Eastern region and influence their transfer to central with promises of a better life.
The teacher weighs the benefits in the big town school compared with motherland school and decides to relocate. The transfer of such teachers without equivalent replacement have shifted the paradigm of performance in the most of the upcountry schools.
Mr. Gwoita Yonahasi a senior teacher in Luuka district believes teachers play their role diligently and those who leave for city schools don’t have major effect of low region performance. He however blames the low performances on what he terms “great laxity of parents on the academic progress of their children yet a learner’s performance must be keenly and regularly checked by both the parents and teachers.”
He points out the nature of role models the students are exposed to do not add enough value to push them concentration more in academics. For example, boys idolize becoming lorry sugarcane drivers. This creates low or no competition in class work.
Further still, in Busoga, there’s a worrying low turn up and interest of boys in schools in Busoga School as they desire to make quick money in sugarcane.
Therefore, whereas there is teacher drain, the quality of community inspiration in especially Busoga region is also negative. RDCs, political leaders and opinion leaders should handle the situation with urgency as it might create a wide deficient of competent and literate men in the region years later.
What needs to be done
Government policy of teacher transfer should be free and fair, and an ultimate need to be put on big schools which influence the transfer of the capable knowledge team from rural areas to town with obvious better meeting.
Head teachers should encourage the teachers to get involved in item writing (setting UNEB questions) book writing so as to get more exposed and refreshed in the subjects they teach.
There is need for strict and consistent supervision and follow up on the teaching and learning by the DEOS, ministry inspectors; inspectors in schools and internally by the teachers, DOS and other school administrator.
Schools in the region need to hold annual evaluation workshop where teachers account for the learner’s performance mainly in candidate classes which gives the teacher an insight on how best to continue with the teaching and learning.