Soroti district has resorted to community engagement to boost pupils’ performance in Primary Leaving Examinations –UPE.
The district has for the past ten years been ranked among the worst performing districts in PLE.
Under the community engagement campaign, each parent is expected to ensure that learners have gone to school in time and not held at home to do domestic work. School governing bodies including Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) and School Management Committees are expected to conduct regular participatory schools supervision to ensure teachers perform their expected duties.
Everest Okello, the District Education Officer, blamed the continued poor performance in UPE schools on unqualified teachers whom he says are the majority personnel in the area.
Okello says that the schools absorbed many teachers without proper qualifications during the time of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency in 2003.
He says many of these teachers were recruited by the Ministry of Education with the hope that they would be trained under the in-service continuous professional development but the program did not do much.
Calvin Elenyu, the district secretary for Education decried negative attitude among both parents and teaching personnel saying key education stakeholders are relaxed.
Elenyu says engaging the community, local leaders and school management committees is one sure way to ensuring higher enrolment in schools quality education.
He says the engagement is aimed at boosting support supervision among stakeholders.
Thomas Ogwang, 50, a parent of Adacara Primary School in Soroti district says that unless children start going to school and teachers recommit, good performance in the district especially in UPE schools will never be realised.
Charles Osegel, a resident of Asuret Sub County in Soroti district demanded for routine supervision to crackdown on what he called lazy and non-performing teachers.
He welcomed the community engagement strategy but claimed many teachers in rural areas only concentrate on their personal businesses.
In 2015, Soroti district with a total of 79 UPE schools got only 88 pupils passing in Division one. This, according to DEO Okello, is still below the national target.