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Ugandan schools Cambridge exams out

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st September 2015 02:32 PM

CAMBRIDGE examinations results were recently released and candidates in schools that sit for this set of examinations can now apply to other institutions of higher learning.

Ugandan schools Cambridge exams out

Phillipa Bagonza , the best O-level student (IGCSE)] at Vienna College checking the results with her mother, Winnie Bagonza

CAMBRIDGE examinations results were recently released and candidates in schools that sit for this set of examinations can now apply to other institutions of higher learning.

By Owen Wagabaza

CAMBRIDGE examinations results were recently released and candidates in schools that sit for this set of examinations can now apply to other institutions of higher learning.

Both the International General Certificate of Secondary Education [O-levels] and the General Certificate of Education (A’level) were released.

A new term for students who are undertaking Cambridge International examinations has also kicked off in various schools in the country.

In Uganda, some of the schools which sit for the examinations include Taibah College, Vienna College-Namugongo, Galaxy International School, Hanna Mixed School-Nsangi, and Aga Khan High School.

Unlike Uganda National Examinations Board, which publicly releases examinations, in Uganda, the examinations are conducted with the help the British Council. Its main responsibility is to ensure that the examinations are done in the right environment, and do not in any way divulge details of various schools officially.

An attempt was made to reach the examinations body–Cambridge International. But by press time, there was no official position on the details of various schools.

However, schools that were contacted revealed that there was a general improvement in Cambridge results this year.
Cambridge International Examinations are done in twice a year; in October/November and then May/June.
Parents and teachers of Vienna High School and Hana Mixed Schools were last week in jubilations after some of their students excelled in Cambridge international examination.

Philip Kirabila of Vienna College Namugongo wants to do mechatonics engineering at university.

Philipa Bagonza, the best student in the IGCSE examinations at Vienna College Namugongo scored 3A*in Chemistry, Biology and Art, 3As in Economics, Physics and English, B in Mathematics, and 2Cs in Sociology and French.

 She attributed her success to hard work, prayers, self-motivation, and the constant support she received from both her teachers and parents. Her dream is to be an Aero Engineer in the future. 
Her mother Winnie Bagonza says she was not surprised by her daughter’s success. “She is very focused, knows what she wants and she thinks far beyond her age and herself. Am proud of her,” she said.

Kirabila Philip, who was the best student in the GCE exams with a score of AAA in PCM, attributed his success to prayers, hard work and the schools conducive environment. Kirabila expects to do a course in mechatronics Engineering at university.

George Musiime, the Dean of Studies in charge of Examinations says the school performed well in last year’s examinations. “Our students have passed exceptionally well and we are very proud of them,” Musiime said.

Meanwhile, at Hana Mixed School, the school enrolled 20 students for the Cambridge International Examinations and they all passed the examinations.

“We had six students for the GCE and 14 students for the IGCSE and they have all passed well,” Ssengozi Sulaiman Mbuga, the Deputy Head teacher of the school says.

Ssengozi attributed the success to hard work, well qualified teachers and the annual refresher courses that teacher take as well as the exchange programme which helps them to compare notes with other schools.

At Galaxy International School, the Principal Bilal Tekin also noted that there was improved performance this year.
Status of examinations

A number of schools in the country today, mostly international schools are doing Cambridge International Examinations with Vienna College Namugongo having the biggest number of students enrolled for the Cambridge international curriculum in the country. 

Cambridge International Examinations board is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 14 to 19 year-olds.

In Uganda, the British Council is one of the regulators, mandated to conduct these examinations. They offer CIE examination services to both independent candidates and to schools and private colleges that are registered with us as British Council CIE.

Cambridge International Examinations are recognised internationally, helping scholars access both overseas and local higher education opportunities.

The IGCSE and GSE examinations are an internationally recognized qualification for students in both O and A-level. It is similar to GCSE of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Why Cambridge

A growing number of Ugandan students especially in international schools are enrolling for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and ignoring UNEB exams as a result.  At Vienna College Namugongo for example, the school wholly offers the Cambridge Examination curriculum.

According to the school’s director of studies Mathew Okumu Ongwen, the school last had its UNEB class in 2009.
“This is because most students were opting to do Cambridge examinations other than those set by Uganda National Examinations Board. Some of its many advantages are its shortness and being learner tailored. A learner is free to do any number of courses from a wide range at any time and accumulate their points.” Okumu Ongwen says.

Moreover, when a student fails one paper, they are free to repeat that paper only. This is far more convenient than the UNEB arrangement where one has to repeat all the papers and even end up failing those they had passed previously,” said George Musiime, the Dean of Studies, Examinations at Vienna College Namugongo.
 “Phillip Kirabila, who was the best student in last years examinations says the Cambridge curriculum gives students a chance to write what they understand. “ You cannot cram and expect to pass Cambridge examinations. You must understand the concepts well,” Kirabila said.

Another student Philipa Bagonza, the best students in the IGCSE this year at Vienna College says that because Cambridge examinations are almost recognized world over, they have an advantage over UNEB. “If you do Cambridge exams, you are eligible for admission at Havard, Colombia, Cambridge and the entire best Universities world over,” she explained.

Suzan Nuwatamba, the Public Relations Officer of Vienna College says as a world leader in Education, Cambridge qualification open doors to learners as they are internationally recognised by leading universities and employers all over the world.

“The curriculum offers many benefits to learners as it is designed to make them confident, responsible, reflective, and innovative and engaged. It gives learners solid foundation for achieving high levels of academic and personal attainment,” Nuwatamba says.

The curriculum is also reviewed every two years making it more up to date with the issues of the time.

Grading in Cambridge exams

Cambridge International Examinations offers CIE Awards from Distinction; which is the top most award.  It is followed by a Merit, Pass and Ungraded. 

Scores are graded by A*:  90-100, A: 80-89, B: 70-79, C: 60-69, D: 50-59, E: 40-49, F: 30-39[IGCSE] and G: 20-39[IGCSE].


Ugandan schools Cambridge exams out

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