The National Examination and School Inspection Authority (NESA) says a total of 9,900 students did not report to school since the start of academic year 2021/22 which commenced on October 11.
Explaining the possible causes of mass absenteeism, NESA officials said that some students who graduated from the Primary and Ordinary levels did not accept the schools where they were placed and have decided to apply elsewhere.
The number of absenteeism was also indicated by the online student school’s placement portal, where a total of 9,900 students appealed for the replacement that was done through NESA, according to Dr. Alphonse Sebaganwa, the Head of Basic Education & TVET Examination Department in the National Examination and School Inspection Authority (NESA).
“We have about 9,900 students who have appealed for the school replacement, we are not sure if all of them are still in their homes or not. But we think some went back to school, though they requested for replacement to be done,” Dr. Sebaganwa said.
“We shall see the schools they appealed to join and their reasons, the information will be publicly announced this week, on 24 October, so that they can also go back to school next week, the names of schools and students will be released again online. The replacement will depend on the student’s national examination results and reasons for replacement request,” Dr. Sebaganwa added.
The student replacement results will be announced on 24 October, so that students who appealed for the change of the schools can report to school between 25 and 26 October 2021.
However, on October 6, the Ministry of education said that student dropout is possible this academic year because of many students who failed the national examinations in Primary and Ordinary level.
“The dropout is possible, but we shall work hard and collaborate with local authorities to make sure that we know students who have dropped out and take them back,” The Minister of Education, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya said.
Early this month, the Ministry of education announced that 44,176 candidates who sat the National Examinations for 2021 failed and will not be promoted, among them 21,743 were girls and 22,433 were boys. The general fail rate in the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) stands at 17.50%.
In the Ordinary level, 16,466 failed after they grouped in the ‘unclassified Division’. The general fail rate in Ordinary level is 13.60%. Among them, 9,727 are girls and 6,739 are boys.
Dr. Uwamariya said that some students could be frustrated and attempt to dropout, but local authorities will need to conduct campaigns aiming at taking them back to schools.
She added that this year, like the previous one registered poor academic performance, but the difference is that students who failed in this year’s national exams and onward will not be promoted because the automatic promotion was stopped.