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Can Hillside, Hormisdallen Gayaza retain top spots?

To avoid an overflow crowd at its offices on Thursday, the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) has urged head teachers to pick primary leaving examination results from their school portals.

The 2018 PLE results will be released at 11am on Thursday at the Office of the President conference hall in Kampala. When results are released, head teachers mob the Uneb offices at Kyambogo looking for hard copies of the result scripts. Some proprietors show up as early as 7am in branded school vans to follow the day’s press briefing on TV screens and queue up to pick results first.

Endless calls for school heads to pick results from their portals have fallen on deaf ears in the past. Four years ago, Uneb introduced an e-registration system that allows schools to register candidates, receive timetables and results promptly.

Uneb ICT manager Dr Peter Wakabi-Waiswa has encouraged schools to receive their results electronically tomorrow. This process, he said, will save them time and money. “The problem we have is that people are still locked in looking at the printed Uneb hard copy. Personally, I have never understood why people want to come to Kampala yet results in hard or soft form remain the same,” Wakabi-Waiswa said.

He said Uneb takes less than 30 seconds to upload the results as soon as the minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, officially releases them.

“The format in which we upload the results cannot be tampered with. Schools can also go ahead and print them from their offices or internet cafes and share as widely as they wish with other stakeholders,” he said. 

About 671,923 candidates registered to write PLE from 13,072 centres across the country in 2018 compared to the 646,041 who registered from 12, 751 centres in 2017. This represents an increase of 25, 882 (3.9 per cent).

At least 476,131 candidates are from Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools and 195,792 private. This is the fourth year Uneb is registering more female candidates (346,963) compared to 324,960 males.

This is the first time P7 candidates wrote the Education Management Information System (EMIS) numbers on their exam scripts instead of school names. EMIS is a six-digit code allocated to each school to counter examination malpractice. Uneb introduced the system to deter examiners from looking out for certain school names during the marking process.

“When the school name is written, it is very easy to trace. So, we tried to disguise it with EMIS codes that candidates write on their scripts,” Uneb executive secretary Dan Odongo told The Observer then. At S4, Uneb generates a random number per paper each day. This year, Uneb also promised to publish names of exam cheats.


According to Wakabi, all PLE candidates will get their results via SMS platforms whether they paid or did not pay their full school fees because the board did not receive any school applications to block results.

Schools that did not complete Uneb registration fees will not get their results. Asked whether a school can apply to block results between today and tomorrow, Wakabi said: “It cannot be possible in these last days because these are thousands of schools and sieving will take us a lot of time.”

Meanwhile, at O and A level, the executive secretary has authorized withholding of the 2018 results for school fees defaulters. School heads have until January 18, 2019 to submit names and index numbers of defaulting candidates so that their results are blocked on release day.

“Even when we block the results on sms, we shall go ahead and upload the results on the school portal. In case one completes fees, the school can release the candidate’s results.”


The fight for the top spots remains fierce. Most parents and school heads are so fascinated with aggregate four, the highest score in four subjects and division one at PLE.

In 2017, Hillside Primary School Naalya for the first time surprised many when it topped the pack of schools with 65 of its candidates posting aggregate four. Out of a total of 316 candidates, 308 made the first division. In 2016, Hillside had only 11 candidates with aggregate four.

In tomorrow’s results, we expect a much tighter race from schools such as Hormisdallen Gayaza, which came second in 2017 with 25 4s, Hormisdallen Day School (24), Nkokonjeru PS Mbale (17) and Greenhill Academy Kampala (13). At first grade level, Mbarara Municipal School has remained among the top five. Will they reclaim the top spot won by Hillside last year?

City Parents, Kampala Parents, Uganda Martyrs PS, Mother Manjeri, Global Junior Mukono that feature among the top ten will be closely monitored in our analysis. At regional level, the Eastern and Northern regions have continually posted the worst results. While interventions such as tracking teacher and learner absenteeism, provision of infrastructure have been made, we are yet to see the impact.


In our next edition of January 23, we shall bring you a comprehensive analysis of the 2018 PLE results and celebrations from candidates countrywide.

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