Cases of exam malpratice were reported, with the results of as many as 1,512 candidates withheld, as investigations continue. Scores of suspects have since been arrested and charged.
2019 PRIMARY LEAVING EXAMINATIONS RESULTS
KAMPALA - The results from last year's Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) were released Friday, indicating improved general performance, and with boys beating girls.
Particularly, there was improved perfomance in English and Social Studies (SST) at distinction level.
In contrast, Mathematics and Science were poorly done at the same level.
Cases of exam malpratice were reported, with the results of as many as 1,512 candidates withheld, as investigations continue.
"Schools whose results are withheld will be notified through their district inspectors of schools," said Dan Odongo, the executive secretary of national exams body UNEB.
In his delivery of the statement of release, he said that a total of 695,804 candidates from 13,475 centres registered for last year's exam.
Of this statistic, 473,893 candidates (68.2%) were Universal Primary Education (UPE) beneficiaries, and 221,912 from private schools.
UNEB chairperson Mary Okwakol presented the thick booklet containing the results to First Lady and education minister Janet Museveni shortly after midday.
The minister later officially released the results to the public after her speech inside the main hall of Kampala Parents' School.
UNEB chair Okwakol said more learners will continue to join post-primary institutions and that examiners had reported that "literacy has generally imrpoved".
She said they registered no case of tampering of exams at storage installations.
In fact, at one exam centre in Mpigi, a scout reported back with sh500,000 is said to have received as bribe to engage in exam malpratice, according to Okwakol.
She also clarified on a Wednesday, January 15 story that reported of leaked exam papers failing PLE pupils.
"The correct position is that no papers leaked," she clarified. "The papers which were circulated were fake. I appeal to the media to always report corretly."
'Pre-registration examinations must stop'
In her delivery, Mrs Museveni said she was pleased that "as a country, we are continuing to register increased literacy levels", and that it is "a major victory for us as a population".
But, once again, she voiced her criticism over pre-registration exams, saying it is unfair.
"This practice of giving pre-registration examinations must stop!" she warned. "All children who go to school must have the opportunity to sit the final exams. Media, you can help us in this area to inform the public that this practice must stop."
Commenting further on registration, Mrs. Museveni was happy that no pupil missed exams due to non-registration, and she asked UNEB to have names of candidates registered clearly displayed at their respective schools in time before the exams.
Last year's exams were done on November 4 and 5.
Senior One selection will take place on January 23 and 24 (next week Thursday and Friday).
'This is not our examination'
Meanwhile, the minister sounded a war cry against exam malpratices, rallying all stakeholders to be involved in efforts meant to end the stain.
It was revealed that in the course of marking, examiners found disturbing expressions inside some scripts such as; 'This is not the paper we are to do' and 'This is not our examination'.
Apparently, these scripts were likely from pupils who had been issued with fake exam papers prior to the day of the exams.
It is understood that many "gullible" schools bought these papers and "used them to teach the children overnight on the eve of the examination", according to executive secretary Odongo.
Sixty-one (61) suspects have since been arrested and charged upon discovery that most of the exam malpractices were cases of external assistance given to candidates by third parties inside exam rooms. They are awaiting court action.
Calling on the media to "join hands with us" to fight the vice, Mrs. Museveni underlined that the "corrupt and fraudulent actions" of the teachers involved might have caused the affected candidates to fail.
She added that it is also a sign of "serious inadequancies in the teaching".
"UNEB wishes to warn that from now on, the perpetrators of examination malpractice will be hunted down and brought to book," warned Odongo.
A fair hearing by UNEB's examinations security committee will be accorded to all 1,512 candidates whose results have been withheld.
Those who will be cleared will have their results released.
"After the hearings are concluded, the Board will publish in the media the list of schools and districts from which results will have been cancelled," said Odongo.
Over the last five years, candidature has been increasing by an average of 2.4%, Odongo said.
Another notable trend over the same period is that more girls than boys have been registered to sit PLE. Last year, 359,764 (51.7%) girls were registered compared to 336,040 (48.3%) boys.
It means that more girls than boys have completed the primary education cycle.
Generally, 12,502 absentees were recorded last year, the same percentage as of the previous year (1.8%).
English, SST best done
In the area of subjects, performance improved in English and Social Studies (SST) at the distinction level.
"Overall pass level rose in Science although performance at the distinction level dropped sharply," reported Odongo.
"In both English and Mathematics, performance was poor in questions where candidates were required to apply knowledge in problem solving situations or express themselves freely.
"Candidates were more comfortable with questions that are direct and based on recall. This situation has persisted over the years," he added.
On the bright side, candidates were found to have improved in handwriting and presentation of their work.
The number of candidates scoring no mark at all has also "reduced greatly compared to previous years".
Generally, candidates performed better last year than in 2018 in the upper divisions 2 and 3. As many as 617,150 learners have qualified to be placed in post-primary institutions, compared to 599,593 in 2018.
Best special needs performers
Meanwhile, the best-performing blind candidate is Arthur Ainamani Rwakitara from Grand Masion Primary School, Nabbingo (Wakiso district). He scored aggregate 9 (Div 1).
The best dyslexic candidates are Rhina Ahurira Bwaise Parents Primary School (Kampala) and Gael Parwot Gadi from Victorious Primary School (Kampala). Both of them got aggregate 9.
Peace Sharon from Ojipaku Primary School, Arua is the best deaf student. She scored aggregate 13 (Div 2).
Meanwhile, inmates also sat PLE at Government Upper Prison School. Of the 62 candidates who registered, 56 candidates sat. None managed Division 1, 31 obtained Division 2, 19 Division 3, four obtained Division 4, and two were ungraded.
How to get your results
Results will be uploaded on the UNEB portal, said Odongo.
"District and municipal inspectors of school can collect hard copies of the results from UNEB offices at Ntinda beginning on January 17, at 3.00 pm.
"Parents, candidates and well-wishers are informed that the board will not issue any results at the headquarters. They are, therefore, advised to utilize SMS services on mobile networks which will post results of candidates on their mobile sets instantly," he added.
You can check your results on phone via SMS.
Go to messages, Type PLE, leave a space ( ), type the full index number and send to 6600