Performance drops but Wakiso, Mukono, Kampala emerge top

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Performance drops but Wakiso, Mukono, Kampala emerge top!

Schools from Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala districts continued to dominate the O-Level results with at least half of their candidates passing in Division One even as Uganda National Examinations Board (Uneb) reported a general decline in performance in the 2018 examinations.

An analysis of the results Uneb released yesterday shows that 20 schools from Wakiso at least had 50 per cent of their candidate passing in Division One, Mukono came second with 14 schools while Kampala took third position.

Only Light Academy and Lubiri Secondary School had all their candidates pass in Division One.

Although Uneb recorded more candidates (288,387) passing the 2018 UCE examinations compared to 287,350 in 2017, the pass rate declined from 91 per cent in 2017 to 87.2 per cent last year.

However, Mr Dan Odongo, Uneb executive secretary, noted an overall improvement in English Language, Islamic Religious Education and Physics. Mathematics and Biology improved at distinction level while performance in Christian Religious Education, History, Geography, Agriculture and Chemistry declined.

“There is still a challenge in overall pass levels for science subjects where nearly half of the candidates have not achieved the minimum pass 8 level.

Chemistry was the worst done subject,” Mr Odongo said while presenting the results to the Minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni.


Uneb explained that the science examinations tested candidates’ ability to manipulate science apparatus while carrying out experiments and use it to solve problems in their environment.

However these skills, according to Mr Odongo, continued to lack in most candidates who appeared in the lower grades.

Although English language improved, speech writing remained problematic for majority of the candidates.

“The problems have remained the same as in recent years.

Candidates experienced problems in handling of apparatus during the practical tests… Examiners reported that the cause of the inadequacies lies in the fact that teachers do not integrate the teaching of the theory and practical lessons.

One of the biggest problems in Chemistry is failure of candidates to write balanced equations,” he added.

For example, Mr Odongo said there is evidence that the syllabus was not completed for many candidates and that some set their own questions, which arose from speculating what Uneb would ask, which is commonly known as “spotting.”

Incidents of malpractice reduced from 5,000 in 2017 to 1,825 last year and Uneb said if court processes were expedited, it would enable them eliminate the vice.

Prof Mary Okwakol, the Uneb chairperson, said: “What is frustrating to the Board is the slow speed with which the cases are handled in the courts of law.

This does not only make it expensive for Uneb but it also affects those involved. The justice delayed is justice denied.”

Although government said they are almost achieving
the gender parity now at 49.6 per cent for the females who sat the examinations, the girls still trailed in the first best grades compared to their male counterparts.

A total of 335,435 registered for 2018 UCE exams compared to 326,212 who sat in 2017, showing an increase of 9,223 candidates (3.3 per cent).

However, 330,721 candidates showed up to sit the papers. According to Uneb, absenteeism dropped from 6,093 (1.9 per cent) in 2017 to 4,721 (1.4 per cent).

Special needs students were 358 while Luzira Prisons presented 43 candidates for the examinations.

Uneb records show that more candidates failed the exams.

For instance, 42,334 (12.8 per cent) were graded in Division 9, which is considered by Uneb as a failure, compared to 27,955 candidates (8.9 per cent) who failed in 2017 exams.

State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo warned the public against the perception that good grades are a preserve for town schools, insisting that it all comes from hard work.

Ms Museveni attributed the low performance in sciences to poor teaching methods and lack of practical skills.

She promosed to work with her permanent secretary to ensure the schools, which are frustrating the Secondary School Science and Mathematics (SESEMAT) project are held accountable for the poor results.

The programme is supposed to retrain science teachers on how to teach science subjects.

She called upon parents to get involved in the education of their children.

Senior Five selection will be on February 14 and February 15 and the students report for school on February 25. Ms Museveni asked those who failed not to give up but try again.

In Summary

Comparison. Although more candidates passed the examinations compared to 2017, the pass rate
declined from 91 per cent in 2017 to 87.2 per cent last year.

Mathematics and Biology improved at distinction level while performance in Christian Religious Education,

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