By Francis Kagolo
KAMPALA - A total of 52,864 students who sat for Senior Six (S6) exams last year have missed out on joining university through the direct entry scheme.
This translates into 46.2% of the 114,343 candidates who sat for the examinations and got back their results today (Thursday).
The affected students failed to score two principal passes, which is the minimum pass level considered for admission to universities.
The results were released by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) at a function held at the President’s office building in Kampala on Thursday.
However, UNEB executive secretary Matthew Bukenya explained that missing out on university admission was not the end of the struggle for any focused student.
He said those who got one principal pass and two subsidiaries can join tertiary institutions like national teachers’ colleges for diploma courses.
These can later upgrade to universities for bachelor’s degree courses after getting diplomas.
The overall performance of the candidates in the 2013 examinations show that a high percentage of candidates (97.3%) qualified for the award of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) which is almost the same percentage as that of 2012.
A total of 61,479 candidates (53.8%) qualified for university admission. However, if other tertiary institutions are considered where one principal pass and two subsidiary passes are considered for admission, 88,975 (77.8%) candidates will qualify for admission compared to 65,417 (64%) candidates in 2012.
The minister for education and sports Jessica Alupo urged those who did not qualify for university admission not to undermine Business, Technical and Vocational Education (BTVET).
She explained that students who start with a diploma in technical or vocational courses have equal opportunity to progress to bachelor’s degrees and PhDs in their specialties.
“BTVET has received due attention from the Government. Learners who fail to join universities should therefore not worry,” Alupo noted.
“Our learners should look for areas where there are opportunities to get jobs quickly but also progress academically and this is BTVET.”
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52,800 students miss joining university