Teachers Protest Move to Compel Them to Sit PLE

2607 Views Nakaseke, Uganda

In short
According to Koomu, they intend to select past PLE papers and administer them to teachers before the end of April this year.

Teachers in Nakaseke district are opposed to a proposal to compel them to sit Primary Leaving Examinations-PLE to establish their competency to teach. 

It follows a recent resolution by the district council to administer PLE to teachers especially in upper classes to establish whether they understand what they teach and are competent enough to help their learners to pass the exams.

The Nakaseke LC V Chairman, Ignatius Koomu says all teachers who fail the exams will be deemed unfit to teach and will have to face the District Service Commission to defend themselves why they shouldn't be sacked.
Koomu says the exams will help them to identify teachers who are lazy, weak, incompetent, possess fake academic documents and take appropriate action to save the education standards in the district.

According to Koomu, they intend to select past PLE papers and administer them to teachers before the end of April this year.

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Stephen Batanudde, the Nakaseke District Education Officer was unavailable to comment on the directive.  He was however earlier on quoted, saying that he had no problem to implementing a lawful council resolution that aims at uplifting education standards.
However, teachers have opposed the move, saying the decision to compel them to sit PLE is disrespectful. They instead want the district to address the issues affecting their performance.

Our reporter interviewed teachers at City of Faiths Primary School, Magoma Roman Catholic P/S and Butiikwa Project Primary school and among other government schools who said the resolution will only create panic.
The teachers told URN on condition of anonymity that the district should focus on mobilizing parents to pay lunch fees, stop absenteism and provide learners with scholastic materials.

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Emmanuel Kizza, the Chairperson Uganda National Teachers Union Nakaseke branch, says they have brought the challenges affecting learning in district to the attention of the authorities but nothing has been done.
However, some of the parents interviewed by URN have welcomed the move to examine the teachers. Ronald Ssebuyungo, a resident of Kikamulo Sub County, saying examining the teachers will help the district to identify and kick out those recruited based on other considerations as opposed to merit.

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The district has also directed head teachers to ensure that not more than 10 percent of their candidates fail PLE or else they will be demoted to classroom teachers. At least seven teachers were demoted to classroom teachers this year for registering 20 percent failure in last year's PLE.

Only 364 candidates out of the 4538 candidates who registered for PLE in Nakaseke passed in division one, 2226 division two, 852 division three and 657 division four.  About 284 pupils failed the exams while 155 didn't turn up for the exams.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.