What students should prioritize in term three 

(Last Updated On: 24 September 2023)

Lira I School term three opened officially on September 18 and will run until December 01, 2023. Unlike terms one and two, which consisted of 89 days each, term three is usually the shortest, made up of only 75 days. 

For the vast majority of our children pursuing a secondary education pathway, school term three is very significant in many ways, most especially to those in so-called candidate classes. In this article, I will provide some of the most urgent issues that students, especially in S.3, S.4, S.5, and S.6 must prioritize. 

PUJAB Forms: For those in S.6, remember that your parents have been paying your school fees for about 16 years (nursery – 3 years, primary-7 years, and secondary 6 years). It is only right and fair that you try to pursue scholarships to lessen their burden. 

In that regard, one of the most important things you have to do after writing your UACE exams in November is fill out and submit PUJAB forms. As you may be aware, the government sponsors 4,000 students to study in public universities each year, 3,000 under the national merit scheme, and the remaining 1,000 under the district quota, sports, and disability scheme. However, it is only those who have duly filled out and submitted PUJAB forms who are eligible for these scholarships. 

Also read: Angoda: Simplify PUJAB form procedures for students 

Subject Combinations: This is for those students who are currently in S.5. As you have already seen, A-level is very short. One year is almost gone, and next year you will be a candidate. So, you must settle well into your chosen subject combination. But, if by this time you have not liked your subject combination, this is the term you should make that change, again. 

It is good to do the subject changes in S.5 because you have the time to copy notes and catch up early. A good subject combination is one in which you select only subjects in which you obtained a credit pass or better in UCE (D1-C6). In addition to that, a good subject combination is one that will take you to your preferred course/career at university. Don’t just select subjects, because your friends are doing the same, or because you like their teachers. 

In S.6, your subject combination becomes permanent, after registration with UNEB in term one. Any other attempt to change subjects when you have only a few months before the UACE exams often ends in disaster. 

Elective Subjects in O-level: For those in S.3, under the new lower secondary curriculum, I believe by now you have selected your elective or optional subjects. Like those in S.5, make sure you settle this issue in S.3, because next year, you have to register with UNEB.

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For this pioneer cohort under the new competence-based curriculum (CBC), in S.3 and S.4, you are supposed to do seven compulsory subjects (English Language, Mathematics, History & Political Education, Geography, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry), and three elective subjects selected from three subject categories. 

These include practical/vocational electives (Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, Art and Design, ICT, Nutrition & Food Technology, Performing Arts, Physical Education, Technology and Design); language electives (Foreign Languages-French, German, Latin, Arabic, Chinese) Kiswahili, Literature in English, Local Languages); and religious education electives; Christian Religious Education (CRE) and Islamic Religious Education (IRE). Please take note that the subject you chose now has a great impact on your future subject combination or career in life. So, choose likely. 

Focus on UNEB exams: UCE today is the foundation on which all your future education will rest. In simple terms, UCE is the foundation of your future career & work. So, those who are S.4 should put in extra effort, and study hard to get good results. 

Similarly, UACE is the final of secondary school education. You have been through a lot since you started your education journey.  Now, focus on finishing well. People will forget all the termly results you’ve been getting, but will always remember how you performed in the finals-UACE. 

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Behave well and stay safe: Now this last piece is for all students. Whichever class and school you are in, remember that parents sacrifice a lot to have you in school. So, it helps a lot that you remain respectful and behave well while in or out of school. Finishing S.4, S.6 or any other class doesn’t mean you should give your parents/guardians a hard time. 

For as long as you are still staying under someone’s care & support, you are a dependant and have to behave well. Most importantly, keep yourself in good health, and stay away from things that could lead you into trouble (crime), or developing health issues (for example – HIV or accidents). It is only those who are alive and healthy who enjoy the fruits of their studies and hard work. 

Finally, I would like to wish all candidates – in P.7, S.4, and S.6 the best in their upcoming national exams. Remember, a good education changes everything! 

Emmanuel Angoda is the founder of Triskelion Education and Skills Initiative (TESI), and a teacher (ICT) at Lira Town College

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