The Ministry of Education is taking steps to regulate mock graduation ceremonies conducted by nursery schools across in the country. The mock graduation is held at the end of the kindergarten cycle of education.
Often, children who are completing top class are dressed in gowns, before they receive their completion certificates. But the ceremonies are now heavily commercialized and equally criticized by educationists. Schools in urban districts; Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono, charge up to 150,000 Shillings to cover ‘graduation’ costs for each child.
Justine Nakayiza, a resident of Nabweru in Nansana Municipality, wants the mock graduations banned on condition that parents struggle to raise school fees and should not be subjected to insignificant payments.
Now, Elizabeth Kisakye, a Senior Education Officer in charge of Early Childhood Development says that the Ministry of Education is reviewing all activities which happen in the pre-school to regulate how each should be handled, graduation ceremonies inclusive.
She observes that although the ministry has over the years been discouraging the said mock graduation due to exorbitant fees and related requirements, they accept the fact that it has some psychological importance to the learners. She says that if the practice is to remain, it must have clear guidelines and standards which could be followed rather than each school coming up with its own style.
Kisakye, who is also a child psychologist stresses that the practice, if well-handled, can be used as a motivation tool to keep the child in school with an aspiration completing school.
Isaac Mugenyi, the head teacher of good care infant school Nabweru, says the move for the ministry to regulate is good other than banning the practice as had been earlier suggested. He, however, defends the fees which they ask saying that in most cases the rates depending on the value of items to be used which is also agreed upon by parents through the parent-teacher association-PTA