Mayuge's Best PLE Student can't Afford to Join S1

Audio 1

A boy from Mayuge who obtained the best Primary Leaving Examination results in his district may not enroll for secondary school next week. His parents say they are too poor to afford to pay for his education.

William Nsiyona was a pupil of Ntinkalu Primary School. Although his family lives in poverty in a small grass thatched mud-and-wattle hut in Kinyala, just outside Mayuge town, William's teachers were optimistic about his performance.

William says his former headmaster, Patrick Bampalana, so believed in him that he offered to pay for his school fees. He says Bampalana's scholarship came just in time to save him from dropping out of primary school for lack of fees. In the end, their trust in him was awarded with a 5-point aggregate in PLE.

Now without a new scholarship, William Nsiyona has no future. He says that although his parents wish him well, they cannot afford to keep him in school.

William had hoped to join one of the schools that are participating in the Universal Secondary Education program. Although tuition fees in those schools is paid for by the government, students are required to meet other costs like the purchase of school uniforms, scholastic materials and sometimes, meals.

William Nsiyona is not the only bright student in Mayuge who will not continue his education because of a lack of school fees.

Viola Munabwa, Wahab Kigenyi, Zulaika Kagoya and Beatrice Nabachwa, all who obtained first grade passes in PLE, say they too have no hope of further education – at least for a while.

William says that although he's disappointed that he won't join high school next week, he is optimistic that one day he will achieve his dream of becoming a doctor.

Wahabu Kigenyi says he has not given up hope. He works on a building site as a brick maker to earn a little money to buy books and a school uniform in order to enable him to join S1 this term.