UPC tips govt on girl-child education

By Nelson Kiva

Added 17th January 2018 07:33 PM

Osinde urged community leaders to protect young girls from sex predators.

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Osinde urged community leaders to protect young girls from sex predators.

UPC spokesperson Michael Odinde says little is being done to ensure good academic performance


KAMPALA - The Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) has commended the slight improvement in the last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).

However, the party spokesperson, Michael Osinde, said the poor performance in English and Mathematics indicated that more needs to be done.

He made the remarks during the part-weekly press conference at the party headquarters in Kampala on Wednesday.

During the release of the exams last week, the Uganda National Examinations Board executive secretary, Dan Nkorach Odongo, reported an improvement in performance last year compared to 2016.

He said about 90.9% of the candidates had qualified to join secondary and other post-primary education institutions compared to 87% in 2016.

A total of 646,190 candidates sat exams last year, with 57,198 passing in first grade, 293,977 in second and 128,573 in third. About 91,504 candidates passed in fourth grade, while 57,354 failed the exams.

However, the number of candidates that passed in first grade declined from 63,400 in 2016 to 57,198 in 2017.

Boys perform better than girls

Male candidates performed better than their female counterparts despite the fact that there were more female candidates registered for PLE.

Social studies was the best-performed subject, followed by integrated science and mathematics, while performance in the English language declined.

As it has been the trend of the boys performing better than the girls in the past few years, Osinde said: “UPC suggests that the Government checks on early marriages, defilement and social cultures that hinder girl-child education.”

Last year, there was an increase in the number of girls who sat PLE (51%) compared to the 48.7% male counterparts. Despite this, boys still performed better.

“UPC, therefore, applauds the Government for trying to promote girl-child education. However, little is being done to ensure good performance. The party calls upon the Government, through the education ministry, to come up with the criteria to help improve the academic performance of the girl-child at whatever level of education. This will strike a balance in both the job market and academic performance,” Osinde said.

He disclosed with concern the high cases of teenage pregnancies, especially in northern Uganda.

“A July, 2016 survey that intended to address cases of teenage pregnancies in Northern Uganda, discovered that Omoro was the worst hit district in the sub-region. It is worrying that girls of aged 10 to 19 are victims of this kind of abuse,” Osinde said.

According to Robert Ongom, the Omoro district health officer, this was also far above the case prevalence of the entire region.

Osinde urged community leaders to take charge and protect young girls from sex predators.

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