The cost of transport from Busi Island dashed the hope of six pupils who had registered to sit for Primary Leaving Examinations at St Mark Primary School in Bussi Islands.
The island, located about 10 kilometres from Nakiwogo, in Wakiso District is one of the most inaccessible islands on Lake Victoria, because of the absence of transport means. The Island, which is home to a population of 30,000 people, can only be accessed by boat.
Uganda Radio Network reports that that six out of the 123 pupils who had registered to sit for their PLE at one of the two schools on the Island never turned up between November 2, the day of the briefing and November 6, when the final examination was held.
Michael Wataka, the Head Teacher of St Mark Primary School says that the six pupils were all from Bishop Kawuma Primary School, Zzinga, whose parents failed to raise transport fares for the children to cross from the island to the examination centre. The other candidates at the centre came from the areas of Kavenyanja, Gulwe and Balabala.
He says that pupils from the most distant islands needed at least 60,000 Shillings to hire a boat.
Scovia Kayanja, the head teacher of Busi Junior School says that poor transport has been a major challenge for pupils over the years. She adds that this year, schools had planned to have the pupils at the centre early enough, which, however, didn’t work.
The teachers are suggesting that UNEB accredits three more centres in the area to ensure that learners do not have to travel long distances to find a registered school.