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Gov’t Changes Post-Primary, Senior Five Selection Process

Headteachers during a past selection and placement exercise

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The Ministry of Education and Sports has made major changes in the post-primary and Senior five selection and placement processes.  

Previously, all education institutions above a given level would come together to carry out the selection and placement of students depending on performance in the previous national examinations. For instance, after Primary Leaving Examinations-PLE, secondary schools, and other post-primary institutions including farm schools, skilling centres, polytechnic institutions among others sit to determine who is admitted.

In the same development, placement for senior four leavers could attract A-level schools, Primary Teacher’s Colleges, Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health institutions, and Business, Technical Vocational Education and Training –BTVET institutions.

Now, Dr Denis Mugimba, the Ministry of Education spokesperson, says this process has been having a lot of challenges as several students placed in BTVET institutions rarely showed up thus rendering the time taken during selection nearly useless. Mugimba says that secondary school will continue with the current arrangement as the ministry looks for better means for the said institutions.

“The selection that will lead to admission into Senior One and Senior Five will go on. But, we are still looking for better ways through which the other institution will be handling the matter,” he said, adding the ministry is likely to come up with a solution in a month.

With the new changes effected, the Ministry of Education and sports has at last set dates for selection and placement exercise for Senior One and Senior Five students.  Ever since the examination results were released, students and parents have been impatiently waiting for the selection process so that they will be admitted to schools of their choice. However, the education ministry had delayed the process to streamline the academic calendar which has been grossly affected by COVID-19 induced school closures.

Now, Dr Mugimba, says the exercise will take place from October 25 to 29 covering an entire week, and will be hosted at Kololo ceremonial grounds. According to the data from the Ministry of Education, there are over 200,000 schools, mostly public, that will participate in this year’s selection.

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Benson Kule Babitazare, the Chairperson of the Selection Committee, says this time around the selection process for both classes will happen at the same time. Previously the Senior One and Senior Five selections have been conducted separately.

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Babitazare, who is also the Commissioner for Secondary Education Standards, says that to prevent crowding on the venue, they have opted to have a maximum of 400 schools conduct selection each day with each of the pre-selected schools sending only one representative.

Besides having a limited number of participants per day, Babitazare adds that those who will take part must undergo a mandatory covid19 test which will be carried out at Kololo secondary school two days before their predetermined shift.

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The selection comes at a time when many public schools had resorted to receiving applications for both S1 and S5 students online using what they termed as the compassionate admission window. 

Babitazare notes that the ministry is aware that many schools promised admission to many parents and students through this arrangement. He, however, notes that the ministry is keeping a close eye to punish whoever will reject students placed at their schools.  

“We have data showing schools and the available space. The standard is; each classroom must have six students. This means if a school has four senior classrooms, the ministry is going to place 240 students in that school,” he stressed. 

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