TORORO – Across section of public schools in Tororo district on Monday, May 27 registered low turn of learners as the second term officially opened even after teachers called off their planned industrial action.
Majority of schools that our reporters visited recorded not even a third of its population while others, especially in the rural areas, hardly recorded any learners.
According to the district education officer Albert Odoi, teachers attendance was 100 percent but their commitment were turned down by the failure of learners to turn up.
He said across the entire, most schools failed to register an enrollment exceeding 30 pupils mainly for government-aided schools quoting Mogodes primary school that had only 18 pupils out of the total enrolment of over 750.
Mr. Odoi attributed low turn to earlier threats by teachers to hold an industrial action protesting government’s delay to fulfil the collective bargaining agreement it had made with the teachers where the government had committed to enhance teachers’ salaries by 100%.
He blamed parents for depending on unfounded rumours adding that the rumour also backed up a routine practice of some parents who are fond of sending their children at school two weeks after the opening dates.
He faulted the practice being one of the factors responsible for poor performance in most schools because failing to turn up makes it difficult for them to critically follow the syllabus.
He appealed to local leaders to help remind parents to ensure that they send their children to school other than retaining them at home.
In a school, most schools teachers were seen seated under trees after leaners failed to turn up and others threatened to condition pupils to bring their parents in case they absent themselves for three days conservatively to explain why they were absent.
One of the head teachers who spoke in anonymity, said they are going to do that because parents always blame them for poor performance even when they know that they contributed towards the same poor performance.