A total of 9,493 candidates from 65 PTCs (both public and private) were registered for the Grade III Teachers’ Certificate
Getting positive news from Karamoja sub-region is almost close to impossible.
Stories such as hunger, school dropouts, poor performance and poverty, usually come from the far eastern region.
However, in the 2019 Grade III teachers' education examinations, Karamoja sub-region emerged the best.
The best performing institution was Kotido Primary Teachers' College (PTC) in Kotido district, whereas Moroto Core PTC was 36th countrywide.
Kotido PTC attained an overall percentage pass of 90%, whereas Moroto Core PTC had 80%. These two combined made Karamoja sub-region the best in the examination.
Karamoja was followed by Buganda with Kabukunge Core PTC (Masaka), which was the second best institution in the country. The institution also attained an overall percentage pass of 90%. Kabukunge was followed by St Paul's PTC in Kayunga, Arua Core PTC (Arua) and Nakaseke Core PTC positions, respectively.
Arua Core PTC was the second institution outside Buganda to have emerged among the top five.
A total of 9,493 candidates from 65 PTCs (both public and private) were registered for the Grade III Teachers' Certificate.
The eastern region performed worst.
According to statistics, the PTCs that performed the worst are all privately owned. These include Busia PTC (Busia), Moor PTC (Iganga), Kamuli PTC (Kamuli) and Blessed Irwa PTC (Kitgum).
The results, released last Friday by Kyambogo University, were handed over to Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo, the Minister of State for Higher Education.
During the event at the Office of the Prime Minister, Muyingo said he was impressed by the performance of Kotido PTC, adding that this was a sign that there is competition in tutors institutions.
The education ministry attributes the success of Kotido PTC to tutors' dedication, new facilities such as a well-stocked library and the small number of students.
"Most of the tutors at Kotido PTC stay near Kotido town and there isn't much activity they can engage in apart from teaching. This enabled them to concentrate," said Dr Jane Egau-Okou, the acting director Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Unlike in other regions, Egau, who also doubles as the commissioner for teacher, instructor education and training at the education ministry, said it is hard for tutors in Kotido to miss classes due to other engagements.
In addition, she said the tightening of entry requirements for PTCs had attracted better-performing students compared to previous years. The small student enrolment, she said is also an advantage.
For one to join a PTC, they are required to have attained six passes, including a credit in English and mathematics and two science subjects in the categories of principles of agriculture, biological science, physics or chemistry obtained at the same sitting of Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE).
Quinto Ocheng, the deputy principal at Kotido PTC, attributed the success to the forming of students and tutor groups, dubbed ‘tutorials'.
Under tutorials, he said each group of students was assigned tutors who helped them during classwork, projects and advised them on challenges.
"In the 2018 examinations, we averagely performed. Previously, our students had challenges in Kiswahili, mathematics and English. These were our areas of focus and we are not surprised that we are doing better," he said.
Improvement in English, he said, has had an impact on the performance in the rest of the subjects.
There was a 14.97% declined in enrolment from the 11,164 who sat in 2018 to 9,493 who sat for 2019 exams.
Out of the total who sat for examinations, 5,380 (about 56.67%) candidates were females and 4,113, representing 43.33%, were male.
A total of 39 candidates registered a distinction pass compared to just 16 in the 2018 seating.
A total of 7,139 candidates, representing 75.20%, scored a credit pass. Just 213 candidates, representing a 2.24% passed with passes.
The number of students who failed and those who were ungraded have also reduced drastically in 2019 compared to the 2018 seating.
For instance, a total of 1,635 candidates failed in 2019 compared to 3,316 in 2018. Those who failed are recommended to repeat.
The ungraded candidates reduced from 544 in to 467 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.