scandal in uganda

New Vision, a Ugandan newspaper, reports that over a thousand Primary Leaving Exams scores are being withheld from students and parents. They suspect “malpractice” by teachers or administrators.  A part of the article discusses the cheating  problem in rural schools of Uganda.

In 2010, still 1,450 results were withheld from 73 schools and only three of these were urban schools.  Prof. Bbosa Lutalo, an educationist, attributes this trend to high rates of teacher absenteeism in rural schools. He argues that the upcountry teachers use exam malpractice as a short cut to good grades because they do not teach.

“There is a lot of absenteeism in upcountry schools because teachers are trying to make ends meet by engaging in other activities such as farm work. When the exams come, they want to produce results because they know they have not been teaching,” Lutalo explains.

Lutalo notes that the children are the victims who are dragged into the whole mess. He argues that it is the teachers and invigilators who involve the children yet it is the future of the children which is put into jeopardy.

Lutalo says there is a need for the Government to monitor schools through the district inspector of schools.

“The Government should increase vigilance on inspection of upcountry schools,” Lutalo says.

Should I be feeling consoled that rampant cheating in schools is not just America’s problem?  In this case, “misery loves company” is not really helping.

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