More than 90 per cent of the candidates who sat for last year’s Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) passed to qualify to join post primary institutions.
599,593 (91.4%) candidates scored divisional grades of 1,2,3 or 4 according to the Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) executive secretary Dan Odongo.
Social Studies (with religious education) was the most passed subject, with 95.5% of candidates who sat for the exams passing. In the Science subject, 92.3% of the candidates passed while 87.7% passed English. Mathematics had the least number of candidates passing - with just 77%.
“I can say the performance was good generally, even English subject that was performed poorly in 2017, this time it was done well; the performance of Mathematics improved at distinction level but showed a decline at credit and overall pass level,” Odongo said.
Additionally, Uneb registered an increase in candidature of 3.9 per cent from 0.8 per cent in 2017 and Odongo said this could be an indication that districts heeded to the call by ministry when it advised schools not to subject learners to pre-registration tests.
346,963 (51.6%) girls registered for the exams against 324,963 (48.3%) boys. Janet Museveni, the minister for Education and Sports applauded parents for heeding to her call of taking the girl child to school.
“This is laudable because of the obvious positive impact on development caused by educating women,” she said. But Mrs Museveni was worried about the new trend where more girls have been registered for the examinations than boys; she said the gap has been widening in the last four years.
“I should wonder what is happening to the boy-child; is he dropping out of school? Is it the population demographics at play, we need to find out the factors responsible; they should be identified and addressed,” she said.
She further said, forcing those who have failed the exams to repeat classes, will lead to more dropouts and frustrate government’s efforts of providing universal education. 1,128 candidates with special needs (blind, deaf, physically handicapped etc) were registered for last year's PLE.
Results for over 3500 students’ results have been withheld over suspected examinations malpractice. According to Uneb, the most common cases of malpractice were that of external assistance within the examinations rooms. In Bundibugyo district, for example, parents were asked to pay Shs 50,000 per candidate to 'facilitate' teachers to write for the candidates answers on chalkboards.
Teachers in 8 schools including; Bundimulinga primary school, Bupandi primary school, Clevers Origin primary school and Bundikahungu primary school in Bwamba county, Izahura sitting centre which hosted Bupomboli primary school, Kihoko primary school and Green Cycle primary school in Bughendera county - all in Bundibugyo district were caught by the security operatives writing answers for candidates to copy.
Mrs Museveni, said it is a "shame" that teachers are getting involved in examination malpractice and added that all teachers who were involved will be dealt with by the awards and sanctions department.
Mrs Museveni also announced that senior one selection exercise will take place between January 24-25 at UMA show grounds –Lugogo while reporting to school where they will be admitted will be on February 18.