By Dorren Grace Acipa
Lira—18, December 2020: A total of 6,149 pupils have registered for Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) at the 110 centers in both government and private headed primary schools in Lira district.
4,755 pupils hail from Universal Primary Education schools where 2,525 are boys and 2,230 are girls.
In private schools, 714 are boys while 680 are girls, bringing the total to 1,394 pupils.
These are part of the 6,994 pupils who had registered in P7 at the beginning of the year before Covid-19 pandemic emerged leading to closure of schools countrywide.
“845 pupils who had reported in P7 during the first term have not returned after schools re (opened) for candidate classes,” TND News’ Doreen Acipa reports.
Mr Patrick Ogwang Olwit, the Lira District Inspector of Schools, attributed the high number of school dropouts to child marriages and lockdown which found people in different parts of the district.
Lira district has a total of 109 schools that are supposed to present candidates for final exams, but only 107 have presented their candidates.
The other two schools are St Francis Abonyo-otingere; a private school and Okio Primary School, a UPE school in Adekokwok in Aromo sub-counties, respectively.
This, the inspector says, is due to poor infrastructure, a few number of candidates and financial constraints on the side of the private school.
“Other than that, UNEB rule is that for a school to register candidates at their center it must have candidates ranging from 15 onwards. Less than 15, that center will be advised to offer its candidates to another center basically for sitting even if you taught them there you shift them to the next school,” district school inspector explains.
“This also is in line with what the SOPs for opening the schools prescribed for that; that places that cannot accommodate the children for whatever reason they can be moved to the next school, and that is what we have done with that school,” Mr Olwit added.
With already high number of school dropouts, Mr Ogwang says there is need to devise means of ensuring that the pupils especially the girls who have so far reported to school stays in school until they sit for their final examination.
As pupils prepare to sit for Primary Leaving Examination scheduled for 2021, Mr Ogwang called upon teachers, pupils and parents to join hands together to ensure the pupils excel amidst the challenges brought in by Covid-19.