NEBBI. Hundreds of school age going children in Nebbi district have reportedly missed second term examinations after failing to clear a fee of three thousand Ugandan shilling.
The decision to send children home over the examination fee has left most parents grappling as the term is slated to come to an end on Friday August 24, 2018.
Ms Caroline Anyayo, one of the aggrieved parents said her daughter, a primary one pupil of Nyacara primary school (PS) in Nebbi municipal council was not allowed to sit for her end of term examination after she (Anyayo) failed to pay the shs3000 examination fee.
“I can’t afford the shs3000 examination fee being charged in universal primary education (UPE) schools and I have nothing to do at the moment apart from keeping my daughter at home,” said Anyayo.
Anyayo who claims her husband equally has no job said they only struggle to look for food without any opportunity to save for their children’s education.
Mr Patrick Oluba, a parent of a primary three pupil of Nebbi PS also noted that if only examination fee is levied on pupils from primary four and above, it would give them an ample time to plan for its payment.
He alleged that teachers are trying to exploit parents since most of their children in lower primary school classes are hardly used to typed examinations.
However, Mr Nestro Onen another parent of a primary three pupil of Nebbi PS argued that most parents don't want to take up their responsibility of paying for their children’s education but instead blame teachers for their own weaknesses.
He accused some politicians of misleading parents that government schools are for free, an excuse many people have taken advantage of.
But Mr Patrick Angala, the Nebbi municipal education officer said the shs3000 charge is to handle additional costs incurred by schools during examination period.
“These costs are set by parents and teachers during their meetings and if any of them is complaining, it means they were not part of the meetings and needed to be informed by the school management committee members,” Angala advised.
Meanwhile Mr Geofrey Kumakech, the Nebbi PS headmaster said assessment is always important in any process of learning, adding that schools can’t examine pupils without the support of parents, a reason they are charged some money to aid the examination process.
He said the most unfortunate thing is that some parents believe it not necessary to assess pupils in lower classes yet that helps in determining their level of understanding.
Reports indicate that Nebbi district still has a high school dropout out rate which stands at 49 percent with lack of parental support as the main leading factor.