By David Awori
As schools reopened for term one on Monday, pupils at Bulekei Primary School in Lunyo sub-county, Busia District, missed lessons after parents staged a protest over “poor academic performance”.
The 2023 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) results were released last month; however, the parents say out of 38 candidates at the government-aided school, the best got aggregate 28, while the rest scored Division U (ungraded).
Subsequently, the angry parents, armed with sticks and brandishing placards, on Monday stormed the school demanding for immediate transfer of the head teacher, Mr Tadeo Odula.
Mr Andrew Juma, one of the parents, said: “Since Mr Odula’s deployment in 2019, the performance of PLE has deteriorated and we can’t allow this to continue.”
Mr Humphrey Makokha, another parent, said instead of organising teachers to help learners improve on their academic performance, the headmaster had reportedly devoted most of his time taking the learners to his garden, hence the poor results.
The Bulekei village LC1 chairman, Mr Patrick Makokha, under whose jurisdiction the school falls, accused Mr Odula of “presiding over poor results since 2019”, yet the school had previously been one of the “best-performing” in the district.
Dennis Musisi, a secondary school teacher and former student, said during his time, the school excelled at PLE, but it appears there is no teaching going on. “You cannot register 38 candidates and have the best candidate in Division Three and the rest aggregate 36.”
Mr Patrick Munyaho, a member of the school management committee, said he was “surprised” that Mr Odula had kept away from the school on the first day of the calendar academic year.
Mr Munyaho added that Mr Odula was yet to pick last year’s PLE results from the district and avail them to the school authorities. “We asked the headmaster to provide us with the (PLE) results, but nothing has happened to-date,” he said.
The Busia District inspector of schools, Mr Kennedy Menya, however, said that Mr Odula had just been at his office to pick the PLE results and that this week, they are expected to meet all the head teachers of government-aided schools that performed poorly.
The Lunyo sub-county LC3 chairman, Mr Bonex Taabu, says Mr Odula should instead be transferred to another station, adding that it will be difficult for him to work with parents who want him out.