MOYO. The school administrators and managers in Moyo district have voiced opposition towards the policy of automatic promotion under universal primary education (UPE) as a mechanism to improve the performance of the learners.

Speaking in a meeting at Moyo people’s hall on Thursday, they vowed not to promote poor-performing pupils to the next class as the case has been in the past years.

One of the policy objectives of UPE is to establish, provide and maintain quality education as the base to promote human resource development and to transform society in a fundamental and positive way.

However, the policy also allows children with competence in numeracy and literacy to be promoted to the next class even if they score below the average pass mark.

According to the administrators and managers that automatic promotion has impacted negatively on the pupils as evidenced in the primary leaving examination results which yearly increases the number of failures in the district.

Last year the district registered only 36 first grades out of over 1,000 candidates, though that number includes the South Sudan refugees in Palorinya settlement.

Mr Stephen Oduti, a teacher at Panyanga primary school in Laropi Sub County asserted that automatic promotion has created laxity among the teachers instead of concentrating on teaching the learners.

He added that some of the teachers are not bothered by the quality of pupils to be raised since at the end of the year the learners are promoted to the next class regardless of their performance.

Mr Ben Idro, the center coordinating tutor (CCT) for Obongi zone said that the issues of automatic promotion must be put to rest in the district with immediate effect.

According to Idro, a good number of teachers in the district are not teachers by practice but rather translators because they are confused by the meaning of thematic curriculum which is the mode of teaching.

He called for a change of attitude among teachers so as to improve the quality of education in the district.

He also encouraged the administrators to engage local communities in promoting education other than leaving it in the hands of school head teachers.

He was backed by Mr Alex Chilimu, the Moyo district chief administrative officer who derided automatic promotion as something that creates laziness among the pupils.

Chilimu said pupils who fail should not be promoted but rather supported with the necessary ideas to pass their examinations.

“Do not promote children based on their age, friendship or being related to their parents,” he said.