In Summary

  • I am not disputing measures for realisation of quality standards, however it would be better if the ministry of Education designed a national programme targeting school administrators and proprietors to be sensitised on the importance of standards, and also scale up routine field inspections of schools to ensure adherence to the standards.
  • Closing schools during the academic term negatively impacts primarily on the pupils’ performance.

I wish to appreciate measures taken by the Ministry of Education and Sports in ensuring that schools in the country adhere to quality standards of education. Thanks to Universal Primary Education programme and the efforts of government and parents, many commendable gains have been won in this initiative for both girls as well as boys, for children in rural as well as urban areas. That is why primary school enrolment rates have risen well above 94 per cent since the introduction of UPE in 1997 and it is impressive to note that the number of children enrolling in primary school has tripled.

There is, however a need to address the problem of dropout rates, because national statistics show that many who enrol don’t complete their primary education.
Pupil retention measures must be designed so that children stay in school. It is, however, paradoxical that instead of encouraging school retention, the education sector has of late embarked on impromptu closure of schools which are said not be matching the expected quality standards.

Recently, ministry officials ordered the closure of several schools that did not meet the required standards.
This has caused more harm than good – the affected pupils get stranded in the process of re-locating to alternative schools, and we should also put in mind that the affected children need time to catch up with their colleagues in the new school setting; the parents of the affected children will also need to mobilise additional resources for new school requirements, such as school uniforms, books, fees, as the children relocate to other schools. They are meanwhile missing classes!

I am not disputing measures for realisation of quality standards, however it would be better if the ministry of Education designed a national programme targeting school administrators and proprietors to be sensitised on the importance of standards, and also scale up routine field inspections of schools to ensure adherence to the standards. Closing schools during the academic term negatively impacts primarily on the pupils’ performance
Martin Kiiza,
National Children Authority