By: STEVEN ARIONG
MOROTO: Karamoja which used to be the worst performing region in the country in Primary Leaving Examinations has tried to improve in 2013, education officials have said.
Speaking to the Daily Monitor in separate interviews, the officials led by Moroto district education officer Paul Abul Siloi said there was an improvement of performance compared to the previous years. He attributed this to the current peace that Karamoja sub-region has experienced after decades of cattle conflicts which he said was jeopardising the education sector and other government programmes in the region.
“We were expecting to perform better than this because the region is now peaceful and we can now do routine school supervision unlike those days when guns were many in Karamoja, teachers, pupils, parents had a poor environment for learning,” he said.
The Daily Monitor learnt that Karamoja sub-region is not on the list of poor performing regions in the country.
However, despite the regions improved performance, this newspaper has learnt that many of the Karimojong children who have performed better in PLE may not join secondary schools due to the increase in school fees.
Moroto High School, the most popular school in Karamoja region, with over 2,000 students, has increased its fees to Shs305,000 from Shs255,000 for students under Universal Secondary education while students who are not in Universal Secondary Education will now have to pay Shs350,000 up from Shs294,000.
The headteacher of Moroto High School, Fr John Bosco Kutegana, who is also the chairperson of Karamoja secondary headteachers, said most of the secondary schools in the region have increased fees for purposes of feeding students and paying teachers who are not on the government payroll. He said the secondary schools had earlier lowered fees because WFP was supporting schools with food but now that it has pulled out, schools are struggling to feed students.
“Government has not recruited enough teachers for Karamoja secondary schools and most of the teachers that we have especially science teachers hired and have to be paid and to feed students,” he said. The Moroto district education officer, Mr Paul Abul Siloi, confirmed most school have increased fees.
The best performing school in Kotido District, St Daniel Comboni PS had 12 pupils out of 45 in Division One making it 27 per cent. Kasimeri Primary School in Moroto District had Seven pupils out of 45 in Divion One making it 16 per cent. Lolachat Primary School in Nakapiripirit District had 4 pupils out of 61 in Division One making it seven per cent and Kalotom Primary School in Napak had nine pupils out of 55 in Division one making it 16 per cent.