MASSIVE ILLEGAL EVICTIONS POSES A BIG THREAT TO ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN MUBENDE:
The poor performance in most primary schools in Mubende is attributed to increasing land evictions across the district, according to report released by the district education department. The report indicates that most of the sub counties where illegal evictions featured last year were greatly affected and the district registered many pupils in grade U in those sub counties at Primary level. While releasing the findings at Mubende district headquarters, the district education officer Kayiwa Benson said that sub counties like Kitumbi, Butoloogo, Madudu, Kiganda and Mannyogasseka were greatly affected. Last year a total of 9,169 pupils registered for primary leaving examinations, and only 364 passed in 1st grades and 3,095 in 2nd grades and 1,838 ungraded which constitutes to a percentage of 75.4%. The report however, indicates that 452 pupils didn’t turn up for exams of which the biggest number was from land eviction affected sub counties as mentioned above. “Many parents have faced evictions and they are forced to seek resettlement in distant areas causing many registered pupils failing to sit for the exams in the centres where they were registered to sit for these exams”. Kayiwa said. The worst performing sub county was Kitumbi were over 2000 residents were evicted by Misanga Farm Supplies, the sole proprietorship of Moses Kalangwa. This alone left the sub county with a deduction on school enrollment hence a decline in performance of schools in Kitumbi. The D.E.O Kayiwa Benson said the economic welfare of the parents has also been affected, hence the high rate of school dropout. Speaking to one of Mubende based land activists, Mr. Kayiira Peter Baleke, one of the victims who was evicted from the land on which Kaweeri Coffee Plantation is situated lamented that unless the government wakes up and puts up an injuction on illegal land evictions in Mubende, the academic performance in the district is still a mere talk. He said Madudu alone has most of the villages evictions citing Kitemba Primary School which had 600 pupils who were affected when the eviction took place.
Government aided schools in the district have received little funds from the centre despite the increasing enrollment which has caused the teacher to pupil ratio also to shoot up now standing at 2:70 for urban schools and 1:90 for rural schools. Much as teachers have devoted much of their time to teaching as a result of increased inspection by the district education inspectorate, the enrollment is quiet alarming creating a gap of increasing manpower in each class for effectiveness. Among the existing gaps in the education sector in the district is the negligence of parents who subject their children to child labour, not responding to giving them lunch and other scholastic materials, failure to contribute towards school programmes and inadequate structures in schools such as classrooms and toilets. The report further more indicates law capacity of teachers’ knowledge and skills which requires for performance improvement fellowships, teachers and head teachers absenteeism from work and need to intensifies inspection and monitoring at all levels.