Education minister, Jessica Alupo, has described as alarming an incident last year that saw 19,614 pupils register for Primary Leaving Exams [PLE] only to miss them.
“19,614 pupils who registered for PLE 2015 didn’t turn up. This is alarming,” she said while releasing 2015 PLE examination results at Twed Towers in Kampala.
Minister Alupo cited early marriages and pregnancy as leading reasons behind increase in school dropout rates.
She appealed to parents who wrongfully keep their children home to babysit, fish et al to send them to school.
She said government was also giving special attention to special needs education by making provision of material and teachers priorities.
She said early childhood development policy will reviewed and that Shs3.18bn was set aside for special needs education.
“Shs3.6bn has been earmarked for special needs education next year,” Alupo noted, adding that this was in addition to a special budget allocated for special needs education.
She revealed that government plans to have a pre-school class for all primary schools in the country.
Fort Portal, Entebbe, Mukono and Kabale towns are among areas where lowest failure rate was registered.
On teacher and student absenteeism, Minister Alupo said they will improve teachers’ welfare, recruit more and step up inspection.
“The Ministry has received disturbing reports that UPE pupils are being asked to pay money. This undermines government efforts.”
She urged UNEB to work harder to have PLE without a single case of malpractice.
“I commend those districts without such cases.”
She said examiners have noted that quality of learners’ work and hand writing have improved.
“More learners registered for PLE and this has been consistent.”
Meanwhile, selection of Senior One students will take place between January 28 and 29, 2016 and report for Term 1 on February 22.