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Missing exams puts students at risk

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th September 2009 03:00 AM

SECONDARY and primary schools in Bundibugyo have not done this year’s mock examinations. According to the district education officer, this is because the contracts committee did not organise the exams and the Government had not disbursed money to the ed

SECONDARY and primary schools in Bundibugyo have not done this year’s mock examinations. According to the district education officer, this is because the contracts committee did not organise the exams and the Government had not disbursed money to the education department.

The chief administrative officer (CAO), however, blames the education department for not preparing the exams. He also accuses the education administration in Bundibugyo as being “too slow, corrupt and lazy” to implement a national exercise.

There is no doubt that under such circumstances, academic performance in the district will suffer. There are many problems in schools under the universal primary and secondary education programmes. The sheer number of students poses great challenges to teachers, head teachers and the education ministry.

But the Government should not play into the hands of critics and opposition politicians who rubbish universal education as a failure. It should disburse the funds timely. For too long, head teachers have cited delayed funds as a major obstacle to service delivery.

But the districts should also assume responsibility. The CAO was sincere enough to attribute the poor performance to poor management. But who is responsible for that? The CAO, as the overall supervisor of the district administration, shares the blame too. And what is the work of education commissioners if they fail to organise examinations?

The blame game must stop. The future of the young generation is being jeopardised. While the Government has a duty to disburse the funds in time, district officials, particularly the district education officer, have a duty to monitor that the funds disbursed are used for the purpose they were meant for.

Both the education ministry and the district have to establish what exactly happened, who was responsible and what sanctions will be taken. The Bundibugyo case is a precedent. If it is not addressed, it will mark a further decline of our education standards.

Missing exams puts students at risk

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