Rural Schools React: Our Science Teachers are Incompetent

Ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has Friday received a candle of peace from the Uganda Women Network (UWONET) in an initiative championed by the organization to call for a peaceful election period.

The candle was received by the party’s Deputy Secretary General Richard Todwong at the party secretariat in Kyadondo on behalf of the party’s presidential candidate, order Yoweri Museveni.

UWONET Executive Director, Ritah Aciro noted that the NRM party has received the fourth candle of the eight.

“In our campaign for peaceful elections, we have so far given out four candles to Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Gen. David Biraro, Maureen Kyalya and now to NRM,” Aciro said.

“We call upon all political actors including candidates to use their voice to call for peace and unity ahead of the elections; we as well call upon supporters of political parties and candidates to refrain from any processes that breed intolerance and violent conflict,” Aciro noted.

On his part, the NRM Deputy Secretary General Todwong noted that the party is committed to maintaining the peace it fought for and will do whatever it takes to ensure that peace prevails after the elections.

“We appreciate this initiative as NRM since we are an organization that stands for peace; this explains why we are not running a violent campaign. We call upon all our friends on the opposition side to do the same because this Uganda that we are competing for is bigger than all of us,” Todwongo said.

“Uganda has many players that are not members of any political parties, so the small interests of political organisations should not put Uganda on flames,” Todwongo added.


“We assure you that as a party, we are going to do our best to maintain peace and stability and more so the party in government, we have to make sure that Uganda is peaceful and accommodating to everybody.”
The just released Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) results for 2015 show a continued downward trend in the performance of Science subjects by majority of candidates.

According to the results, advice 3.0 percent got Distinction in Maths while 32 percent, adiposity 82 percent got Credits and Pass respectively.

In Physics, this site 0.5 percent got a Distinction, 15.4percent a Credit and 41.7 percent a Pass.
Biology had 1.3 percent of the candidates getting a Distinction, 13 percent a Credit and 40.7 percent a Pass whereas only 1.3 percent got a Distinction in Chemistry.

UNEB attributes the bad performance to shortage of science teachers especially in rural schools. Uganda is short of 4,000 science teachers according to Minister of Education, Hon. Jessica Alupo.

Most candidates found problems in handling of apparatus during practical tests as well as recording observations, tabulation and interpretation of results.

Chimpreports interviewed some of the head teachers present during the release of the results to assess the problem especially in rural schools.

Ojok Delalson, a Deputy headteacher of Amolatar S.S observes that sciences are very demanding in addition to inadequate staffing. In many cases, he says a school has one Chemistry teacher for 4 different classes.

“Chemicals used in practicals are also expensive for rural schools that pay school fees as little as 180,000. Government should provide such materials after the first consignment runs out,” he says.

Another head teacher, Gladys Kunihira from Rwemikoma Sec School in Kiruhura blames the problem on incompetent science teachers who are employed in rural schools.

“The teachers themselves don’t understand the content they teach. We are employing S6 vacists to teach our students because the competent ones want to teach in urban areas,” says Mrs. Kunihira.

In her opinion, government needs to embark on refresher courses for science teachers especially following the recent changes made by UNEB in setting exams.

She adds; “Naturally, science subjects are so abstract and for rural students whose literacy levels are low, it’s hard to understand the complex concepts.”

Muhwezi Ben Katsinzi who heads Kaaro High School argues that government miscalculated in rushing to make sciences compulsory before increasing capacity. In addition he cites the vulnerability of USE
(Universal Secondary Education) schools which lose their best performers to private schools that want to gain popularity.

“Private schools are always scouting for good performers (who also do well in sciences) wooing them with scholarships. Eventually, the rural schools remain with the mediocre students due to lack of incentives,”he says.


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