By Ijoo Bosco
March 4, 2014 (TORIT) – South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state has launched an investigation over the poor performance of several primary and secondary schools in last year’s examinations.
- Pupils attend the inauguration of Owinykibul central primary school in Eastern Equatoria state, on 20 July 2012 (ST)
State governor Louis Lobong Lojore called on the investigatory committee to carry out their task in a transparent and objective manner.
Lobong also reiterated calls for poor performing teachers and school principals to be dismissed and replaced with administrators able to deliver positive results.
“The children are failing in huge numbers … we have to do something about this, unproductive ones (teachers) should be dismissed immediately or demoted,” Lobong said.
He said the state government would continue to support the promotion of quality education in all counties, saying there remained a need for greater investment in the employment of qualified teachers.
Meanwhile, the director-general in the ministry of education, Adelino Ojina Quintos, said that at least five schools in the state withheld their examination results due to issues of malpractice during over last year’s exam sittings.
Ojina said the committee would visit the schools in question, which are located in Abara, Owiny-kibul and Nyachigak all in Magwi county, as well as Lorema in Budi county.
The committee is expected to complete their investigation and submit their report by 14 March.
Eastern Equatoria was once among the best performing states in the national exams, but results have since slipped to inadequate levels.
Ojina said the state would continue to take punitive action against head teachers who fail to perform as expected.
“We are going to increase supervision and inspection of schools to revive the district’s good performance,” he said.
However, some demoted head teachers, who spoke on condition of anonymity amid fears of being victimised, said they were not solely to blame for the poor performance of students.
“They should ask themselves whether parents, pupils, the government and other stakeholders are playing their roles,” one head teacher said.