KAMPALA – The Uganda National Examinations Board – Uneb released the 2022 Primary Leaving Examinations –PLE on Friday – with results indicating an overall improvement in performance compared to the previous two years.
“We are glad to inform the country that there was better quality performance in terms of grade,” said Prof Mary Okwakol – the Uneb Chairperson on 2022 PLE results.
Comparable pass levels of PLE results released on Friday show that at least 714,702 candidates passed the 2022 examinations as compared to the 659,910 of 2020.
“Overall, therefore, more pupils qualify to join the post-primary institutions than the previous year,” noted Uneb Executive Director – Daniel Odongo.
The Uneb boss highlighted that 832,654 pupils sat exams from 14,691 school centres in 2022 – higher than the 749,761 in 2020.
“Of this number, 583,768 (70.1%) from 11,306 centres were Universal Primary Education (UPE) beneficiaries,” he said.
“The literacy rate has improved because of UPE which was brought on board in 1997,” junior education minister Mary Kaducu noted during the release of PLE results at State House, Nakasero in Kampala.
Comparing performance by gender, Uneb disclosed that the female candidates performed better than boys in English language but male candidates surfaced above them in the other three subjects including Social Studies, Science and Mathematics.
A total of 714,702 candidates passed the PLE compared to 659,910 the previous year, meaning that overall, more pupils qualify to join the post-primary institutions than the previous year.
More than two-thirds of the candidate was from Universal Primary Education schools, according to Uneb. The total of candidates that passed in Division One was 114,617 representing 14.1 per cent compared to 11 per cent in 2020.
In Division Two, there were 357,799 candidates, the biggest, while Division Three had 146,583 candidates. 95,702 pupils passed with Division Four and those who failed or were ungraded (Division U) were 97,109.
Uned chief, Odong advised that the Ungraded shouldn’t be admitted to Senior One, but should instead repeat as they will not be eligible to register for the Uganda Certificate of Education -UCE examination later.
Days before candidates wrote their PLE, there were reports that the exams had leaked but Uneb denied this allegation, though later there are teachers who were arraigned before court for distributing examination materials using their phones. The court process is going on.
According to Section 25 (2) of the Act, a person who intentionally or negligently aids or causes any candidate to receive or gain unlawful possession of examination material is subject to a fine of up to 2000 currency points – Ugx40m or 10 years in prison.
The Chairperson, Mary Okakol, called on the judicial system to give them the due punishment if found guilty. Unlike previous years where the board has been releasing numbers of students whose results have been withheld due to malpractice, this time round, the affected candidates will be given a fair hearing before final action is taken.
Okwakol also pointed out that there were challenges caused by the Ebola Outbreak, especially in the Mubende and Kassanda districts where the candidates found it hard to move to their examination centres.
She also pointed out the Kakumiro district incident where pupils missed the first exams after the school failed to provide them with transport to the centre. She noted the special exam given to the candidate was not a precedent for future incidents.
A total of 17,253 (2.96%) UPE candidates were absent, while 3,687 (1.48 per cent) non-UPE candidates were also absent.
According to the results, Non-UPE candidates have, proportionally, performed better than the UPE candidates, and Odong attributes this difference to the commitment by teachers, the kind of preparation of the pupils and the involvement by parents in urban settings as opposed to those in rural areas.
Education Minister Janet Museveni expressed disappointment at the increase in the number of registered candidates who failed to turn up for the papers. In their statement of results, Uneb said they did not have the answer as to why the number had increased yet, from 12,819 in 2020 to 20,844 last year, representing 2 per cent of the total register.
The Minister directed the Board to find the cause and seek solutions.