By Patrick Jaramogi
KAMPALA, Uganda: Moments of ‘heavy’ breathing among the 71,923 candidates who sat the 2018 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) from 13,072 centers ceased when the results were released by First Lady and Education Minister Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni on Thursday. The Boys outshone girls with Social Studies and Science subjects recorded as best done.
Statistics Of Performance
A total of 41,604 (13.1%) boys passed in Division One compared to 35,529 (10.5%) girls who passed in same division. While releasing the results at the Office of Prime Minister, UNEB Executive Secretary, Mr. Daniel Odongo said a total of 135,554 boys representing (42.7%) passed in Division II, while 137, 307 girls (40.6%) passed in Division II. Odongo explained that difficulties were seen when marking composition questions. He said the PLE 2018 results showed that a total of 64,911 boys representing (20.4%) passed in Division III, while a total of 77,290 (25.5%) passed in same division. Boys again beat the girls in Division IV when, 51,177 candidates representing (16.5%), emerged above out of the 56,221 (16.6%) girls.
The earlier days, those who failed to make it to secondary school were considered as failures, but according to the UNEB chief, these are now categorized as ‘ungraded’. For the year 2018, a total of 24, 350 boys (7.7%) were ungraded while 31,558 girls (9.4%) will be expected to repeat primary seven.
8 Bundibugyo Schools Nabbed Cheating
The teachers who were nabbed by UNEB security agents reading answers for the candidates in eight examination centers in Bundibugyo will be prosecuted. Though Daniel Odongo, the UNEB Executive Secretary said the parents were fined shs50,000, the First Lady and Education Minister Janet Kataha Museveni said they will face the ‘music’. At least over 2500 candidates have had their results withheld for alleged examinations malpractice. These will wait for the outcome of the UNEB investigations team before they can know their fate.
First lady Janet Kataha Warns On Exam Malpractice
Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni said: “I am very happy to note that after my appeal to districts last year, against having pre-entry exams to candidates, they heeded and we have seen an increase in number of registered candidates and those who have passed.” He urged the local Governments to ensure that Headteacher absenteeism is reduced. “When head teachers are out of school, the teachers will again resort to being absent. I reiterate that the Headteacher supervise the teaching and learning process in the school on a daily basis, because we have said at the Ministry that the Headteacher is the first inspector,” said Janet. She said her ministry doesn’t just close schools to make life for parents and students hard. “Help us to address this issue of low quality schools. We don’t want people to have schools in residential premises.” “we are re-echoing our appeal that no school will be opened in 2019 without a valid registration license issued by the Ministry of Education. She appealed to leaders and MPS to mobilized the parents in the community that it is important for parents to know what type of schools their children are studying from. She ruled out the supplementary examinations for those who miss PLE. “We can only think of this when perhaps a natural disaster occurs and affects a huge number of pupils. Setting supplementary exams only abuses the set up examination principles and only opens up avenue for unscrupulous school owners to continue with their habits,” she said. She said continued exam malpractice is a threat to national security, adding: “Government is committed to ensuring that this habit stops. The ministry will pursue all Headteachers of schools that didn’t register students and yet got money from them. They will appear before the disciplinary committee.”
State Minister for Primary Education Speaks Out
State Minister for Primary Education Hon. Rosemary Sseninde thanked the First Lady, and Education Minister, as well as the Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry and Police for ensuring malpractice is reduced. She thanked the candidates and those who didn’t make it not to lose hope but keep focused. Seninde urged parents to consider taking their students in technical schools, saying it is not for failures.
UNEB Chairperson Okwakols’ Remarks
The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) Chairperson Prof. Mary Okwakol said with the heightened vigilance and heavily security deployment, reports of exam malpractice had drastically reduced. She once again urged the public that UNEB doesn’t use social media to release any results. “The social media was awash with results of 2015 purporting to be of 2018. UNEB doesn’t use social media to release any information, always disregard such communications,” she said. She thanked the Ministry of Education for releasing funds in time that has enabled examiners do their work diligently and get paid well in time.