TOP
Saturday,October 31,2020 10:39 AM
  • Home
  • Health
  • How do you tell the right school for your child?

How do you tell the right school for your child?

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th January 2009 03:00 AM

It is that time of the year again. The Primary Leaving Examinations results are finally out and now the question on every parent’s lips is: Which school should I take my child to if he is not admitted to a government school?

It is that time of the year again. The Primary Leaving Examinations results are finally out and now the question on every parent’s lips is: Which school should I take my child to if he is not admitted to a government school?

By Stephen Ssenkaaba

It is that time of the year again. The Primary Leaving Examinations results are finally out and now the question on every parent’s lips is: Which school should I take my child to if he is not admitted to a government school?

According to the education sector fact file for 2007, there are 911 government schools out of 4,446 secondary schools countrywide. This implies that some students may have to join private schools. Moses Otyek, the outgoing director of the Directorate of Education Standards, advises parents on what to consider when selecting schools for their children.

Status of the school
l“Seek to know what kind of school you want to enroll your child. This can be done by ascertaining whether a school is registered or licensed by the Ministry of Education and Sports. A registered school should have a registration certificate as authorisation from the ministry to operate. “We have asked the schools to display registration certificates in the headteacher’s office,” says Otyek. In case the certificate is not displayed, he says, parents should ask the headteacher to provide it for their verification. A registered school should also have the Uganda National Examination Board centre number.

lA registered school is one that is recognised by the ministry as having fulfilled the minimum requirements for operating. The most crucial of these is being under clear ownership. The school’s owners should be clearly known individuals.

lThe school should also have been proven to have enough funds to pay teachers’ salaries for at least six months. Such a school is also proved to own the necessary infrastructure. These include classrooms (at least one room per class, enough to accommodate 40 students) and toilet facilities. The school should also have three laboratories for the three science subjects; physics, chemistry and biology, each with a capacity to accommodate 40 students.

lA registered school should also have a well-stocked library, reliable source of water, dining hall and boarding facilities (for boarding schools), a playground and enough land for expansion, agricultural and other activities. Rural schools should have 10 acres of such land.

Qualified staff
lAlfred Kyaka, the principal education officer at the education ministry, says a good school should have at least 14 qualified teachers. “These should cover the 14 recommended subjects. This includes the seven compulsory subjects (Maths, English, History, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geography) and other seven optional ones,” he says. Kyaka says teachers in a good school should have a minimum qualification of a Grade Five certificate.

lSchools are supposed to display a list of all the teachers that they have and their qualifications on the notice board so that parents can look at them.

According to the education ministry guidelines, a secondary school headteacher must be a graduate with at least five years’ experience. “Teachers are the major instructors of pupils. Having the right qualifications puts them in a better position to teach and inspire students,” says Fagil Mandy, an education consultant.

lA good school must have a land title. “This is a sign that the school is permanent and will not be displaced in future,” says Otyek. He, however, adds that if a school is housed in rented premises, the school administration should have a tenants agreement between the landlord and the school showing an understanding of occupancy for at least five years. He warns parents against taking their children to schools that do not have permanent premises.

Safety of the school
lA good school should have safety measures to protect students and guard against disasters. These include fire extinguishers, lightning conductors and proper fencing and security guards. It should also have building structures certified by the ministry of works. Yusuf Nsubuga, the commissioner for secondary education, says safety standards in schools will be a priority and school inspection will be stepped up.

lLook out for the location of the school, its disciplinary record and availability of sports and other extracurricular activities.

lOtyek says parents should guard against schools that operate in semi-permanent structures and those that charge very low fees.

How do you tell the right school for your child?

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author