When results of last year's Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) were released last month, parents in Kiyumba sector, Muhanga district, were left with bitter tastes.
Only two pupils out of the 550 candidates from nine schools across the sector passed. The rest will either join the Nine-Year Basic Education programme or enrol in private schools.
Parents in the area accuse teachers of lacking appropriate qualifications.
Many parents who spoke to The New Times claimed the new system, whereby teachers shift from one class to the other, is to blame.
Onesphore Nzeyimana, a father of three, said the system does not allow teachers to take enough time teaching school children, which, he says, results into low comprehension of their lessons.
"The system does not allow students to spend enough time with teachers, to ask questions for further explanations," Nzeyimana said.
Gaudiose Uwamwezi, a parent whose child is set to sit the national exams this year, told The New Times that she is pessimistic.
"My child is in P6 and he has always been top in his class with only about 55 per cent. But in his class, no other pupil scores more than 50 per cent in examinations. With such performance, I wonder how they will fare in national exams," she said.
However, Theodomir Niyigena, the officer in-charge of education in Kiyumba sector, said they still use the old curricula in teaching rather than the up-to-date version.
But he also blamed the teaching system for the poor performance.
"It is a big challenge for us and for our pupils, but we can do nothing about the system. We hope when the pupils get used to the system, their performance will improve," Niyigena said.
Muhanga district mayor Yvonne Mutakwasuku said the system is not limited to the district, but rather applied countrywide.
She said the problem lies in how parents, teachers and the sector leaders make efforts to offer quality education to the children.
"We need parents and teachers who make efforts to follow up with their pupils' academic progress," Mutakwasuku said.
"Authorities should be vigilant to ensure pupils get quality education," the mayor added.