KAMPALA —Top schools including King’s College Budo, Gayaza High School, Trinity College Nabingo, Mbarara High School, Namiryango College, St Mary’s College Namagunga, Uganda Martyrs Namugongo among others have started advertising for Senior One admissions before the national selection and placement process.
Some of the traditional schools have launched online admission portals that parents or learners must fill while a few like Ndejje SS require the applicants to submit hand-filled applications.
The schools have already set their cut-off point at seven and eight aggregates.
While releasing Primary Leaving Examinations, education minister Janet Kataha Museveni noted that the ministry was to set a selection exercise soon when the cabinet has given guidance on the plan to reopen education institutes.
Whereas admission in private schools is largely controlled by school owners, government schools are mandated to go through a national selection process that was put in place to ensure that students join government schools on merit based on their performance and choices.
Ministry of Education rules on senior oje admission bar schools from admitting students out of the selection process to fill unfilled vacancies of students who fail to turn up.
This is done after consulting the ministry and can only happen after two weeks when schools have opened.
Headteachers deny wrongdoing
Several teachers have denied the activity is not intended to undermine the national selection process as students that we will pass through the selection process will be given priority at the time of admission.
Constantine Mpuuga Sajjabi, Headmaster of Namilyago College in a communication to parents said the online application call is specifically for compassionate admissions targeting students that scored aggregate eight and below and those that gave the college first choice.
“Filling the form is not a guarantee for a vacancy and therefore, applicants are advised to try other alternatives,” Mr. Mpuuga said in a communication to parents.
Patrick Male Bakka, headteacher King’s College Budo, also notes that besides learners who get through the selection process, the school also has two other categories of students who are admitted.
“The opened online admission call is targeting two categories; There are people who would like to join the prestigious schools but their students didn’t give us the first choice. And students who are recommended because of the status of their families or our long-time benefactors,” says Bakka.
Bakka notes although the school has set its cut-off point at seven aggregates, applicants from royal families in different kingdoms and chiefdom and others recommended by benefactors and other highly placed officials are reserved placement regardless of their performance.
Minister supports the initiative
State minister for higher education, John Chrysestom Muyingo is among the proponents of the online admission process
Muyingo, however, adds that schools should charge parents for the same and no learners should be given placement before the selection process is completed.
But, many schools have also set a nonrefundable amount of money that is paid by applicants. For instance, St Mary’s College Namagunga has set an application fee of UGX. 50,000.
“As a recommendation from the board of governors, each applicant is required to pay a non-refundable fee of UGX. 50000,” the online advert reads in part.