Ugandan children are just learning to pass exams: Report

The Association of School Inspectors has reported that a significant proportion of Ugandan primary school children are not genuinely learning but are trained only to pass exams.

The finding revealed during a three-day meeting of school inspectors comes from a recent evaluation of school performance, which highlights a critical issue within the country’s education system.

Mary Frances Atima, head of the Directorate of Educational Standards at the Ministry of Education and Sports, said the study assessed the quality of teaching and learning, management, teacher preparation and other areas in the school environment.

“What has become very clear is that learning remains very low. Some of the elements leading to low learning have also become clear, including the quality of teaching, and the preparation of teachers is also problematic. If There is no proper teaching in the classroom and there is no learning, so a good learning outcome is not expected,” Atima said.

The report shows that 64 out of every 100 primary school students are taught to take exams instead of understanding and interacting with educational material.

Patrick Olwit, Lira district schools inspector, who also acts as general secretary of the association of school inspectors, says that despite significant investments in the education sector, this approach has led to a stagnation of genuine learning outcomes, putting learning performance at a dismal 36 per cent.

Poor learning outcomes have been attributed to competition for better grades and performance, along with the growing number of private schools seeking to attract more students.