They are doing whatever it takes to improve the academic standards of the school.

By Our Reporter

MASINDI: Old students of St. Paul’s Secondary School in Mirya Sub County, Buruli Constituency, Masindi District, under their umbrella, the St. Paul’s Secondary School Old Students Association, are in a drive to improve the academic standards in the school.

The association chairperson, Mr. Abitekaniza Johnson, says that the purpose of the association is to improve academic performance by lobbying for funds to support the school, imparting discipline among the students and teachers, and encouraging the students to concentrate on their studies.

He was speaking on Wednesday at the awarding of students and teachers who performed well in last year’s national examination results in both the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and the Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE).

Students who got into the first grade received 120,000 shillings, while teachers were awarded according to the distinctions their students earned in the national examinations.

Mr. Abitekaniza said that the initiative aims at motivating students to work hard and teachers to be committed to teaching, something he said will create competition among the students and teachers and thus improve the performance of students in the school.

“A few years ago, we donated text books for both 0’ and A’ levels since the school didn’t have adequate books, and we are still procuring more. We want the school to have enough textbooks, which will boost the academic performance,’’ he said.

The old student, however, said that they still have a challenge with science teachers, especially at A-level, and added that this has forced students who complete O’ level at the school to seek education in other schools.

He blamed salary increases for science teachers since the school can’t afford to pay them. ‘’When we request science teachers, the district leaders say that they don’t have enough money to pay them since the government increased their salary, and this is affecting us,’’ he said.

Mr. Abitekaniza asked the government to consider employing science teachers in government schools, more so in rural areas since students face difficulties after completing O’level.

He also called upon the foundation body and the ministry of education and sports to help streamline the school’s leadership, commending them for what has been done so far in the school.

Ms. Kabasindi Scovia, an old girl, asked students to concentrate on their academics, be disciplined, God-fearing, and avoid coupling and bad peer groups in order to improve their academic performance. 

According to her, they are doing whatever it takes to improve the academic standards of the school. She also asked parents to support their children with scholastic materials, counsel them against bad peer groups, and always supervise their movements since the school has no boarding section.

Mr. Tende Mathias, an old boy who also doubles as the district councillor representing Pakanyi Sub County, said that the district, through the ministry of education and sports, has secured two billion shillings for the construction of fully fledged structures at the school.

‘’The district has secured two billion shillings for the construction of fully fledged structures at the school, and we hope the construction will kick off soon,’’ he assured the school administration. 

Ms. Katusabe Scovia, whose son was awarded 120,000 shillings for scoring first grade in the 2022 national examinations, commended the old student’s association for the initiative, saying it will improve the academic performance of the students.

‘’I’m extremely happy my son, Kajura Christopher, has been awarded for scoring first grade; he went through a lot during his studies. I thank the old students for the initiative, and this will improve the performance of our children,’’ she said.

Mr. Byarugaba Barnabasi, the school head teacher, disclosed that there has been improvement in the academic performance since the old students donated textbooks.

He went on to say that since academics have improved, there has been an increase in student enrollment at the school. ‘’Right now, the desks we have are not enough due to the increase in students. We recently had our PTA meeting and decided to get more desks,” he added.

Mr. Byarugaba commended the old students for their support and said this will enable them to compete with other schools in urban areas. He also asked parents to counsel their children against immoral acts like homosexuality and lesbianism.

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