The Fort Portal Municipality MP Alex Ruhunda has launched the Fort Portal Municipality Secondary school Headteachers Association (Fomusha) that is aimed at among, other things, ending drug abuse among students and poor academic performance.
Speaking to the schools' headteachers at Daj guest house in Fort Portal town on Monday, last week, Ruhunda said schools in his jurisdiction were not performing to his expectations because of lack of unity among the schools and their heads, something that undermines togetherness that would ensure even the least performing start getting good grades.
"We now need to see how to ensure discipline in these schools as some of their students have been engaging in violent strikes which has affected their performance.
"The other common issue across the board is drug abuse like alcohol, marijuana and others. These together with bad parenting where students have been abandoned by their parents as they don't give them parental guidance, has killed many of these schools," said Ruhunda, who was reelected for second term after beating Steven Kaliba, a former Prime Minister in Tooro Kingdom.
According to Ruhunda the association is made up of headteachers from the targeted schools which include Kyebambe Girls' Secondary, Fort Portal S.S, St Maria Goretti Girls' S.S, King of Kings College, Kabarole Hillside High school, Kamengo S.S, Tooro High School, Kabarole Adventist.
The others are Kahinju Secondary, Mpanga, St John Mary Vianney and Kagote Seed.
The headteacher Kyebambe Girls', Joy Mpairwe Karungi was elected to head Fomusha. Karungi promised to work with all the other headteachers who are, by default, all members of the association by sharing knowledge, engaging in seminars - as her school was the best at both O and A - level in the district last year.
According to the examinations body, Uneb rankings, it's only in 2013 that Fort Portal, in Kabarole District using the then results of Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), featured in the 10 best Performing districts. None of these secondary schools has ever performed that best, as they are always ranked in the worst performers.
In the meeting, it was resolved that the formed forum should be effectively used by the schools heads as a channel of bringing forth all the other issues that could hinder academic performance in their respective institutions so that the matters are tackled as a team.
Ruhunda also promised the headteachers to tackle their issue of accommodation for and even their teachers.
Headteachers said this was one of the ways to avoid staff absenteeism which when goes unabated also hinders the drive for better grades in their schools.