UNEB has mooted a ranking system to gauge school performance, known as school effectiveness measure or value- added measure. This was revealed by the UNEB board chair person, Prof. Mary Okwakol, during the release of the 2016 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examinations results in Kampala yesterday.
‘’ This measure will take into account the PLE grades with which students were admitted in senior-one and the grades they have achieved in the UCE four years later,’’ she said.
She said the new system will capture the schools that will have added to the learners’ achievements and give a more accurate reflection of the effectiveness of each school.
“The board will also prepare school level reports to inform each school of their progress. The decisions of the board on this matter will be released to the public in due course,’’ Okwakol said.
The results released showed the number of students completing UCE (O’ level) rose by 3.2% in 2016, but the performance saw a decline.
A total of 316,624 candidates sat the examinations compared to 306,507 candidates in 2015. This means 10,105 more people were completing the level of education.
The results show that the gap between male and female candidates sitting exams had narrowed to almost an equal number- 50.9% boys and 49.1% girls.
However, the results paint a troublesome picture on the performance front, highlighting a slight decline in performance, especially in English language, mathematics and sciences.
There was improved performance in CRE, geography, Mathematics, agriculture and art, as well as in Biology, but only at credit and pass levels.
The worst performance was in physics, with at least 60% of those who sat exams failing.
Students with special needs prisoners
In 2016, the number of students with special needs who registered for UCE slightly went up to 366, from 325 the previous year
The number of candidates who sat UCE at Luzira prisons rose to 47, from 38 the previous year and four passed in division one, with the best scoring aggregate 21 in best eight subjects
During the release of results yesterday, Dan Odongo, the executive secretary of UNEB, highlighted gaps in learners’ English language proficiency.
‘’ reports from examiners indicate a real challenge in learners’ use of correct grammar, spellings, tenses and punctuation when writing compositions,’’ Odongo disclosed
He sighted an English paper where each student was required as an area LC1 (village) chairperson to their member of parliament about a factory that was discharging harmful waste,
‘’ they were stunned and performed extremely poorly,’’ Odongo stated, attributing the problem to teachers who encourage students to cram passages from story books.
This, he said was affecting the learners ability to express themselves adequately in papers that required them to offer answers in essay form.
In science subjects, most candidates performed poorly. The majority of the students could not handle the apparatus and interpret experiments during practical tests.
‘’ the lower achievers found difficulty with questions requiring explanations, description of experimental procedure, use of chemical symbols and formulae, writing of units and dealing with tasks that require practical experience,’’ the UNEB chief said.
According to the report, about 75% of all suspected cases of examination fraud were reported in the physics practical exam.
Except for Biology, the percentage pass level for all science subjects was low, with 55% of the candidates unable to exhibit the minimum competency to be graded, Odongo said
The theme for the 2016 UCE examinations was; consolidating technological innovations, security and team work for quality assessments.
UNEB chairperson Okwakol proposed that the government tackles the inherent challenges resulting in learners’ poor performance in these core subjects.
‘’the board proposes that the root causes of the poor performance in these core subjects be identified and dealt with, as these are the subjects that are necessary to drive the nation’s development agenda,’’ she said.
The 2016 UCE results are the second batch of results to be handled by the new management team at UNEB and the first lady Janet Museveni, who is the minister for education and sports
The results indicate a better overall performance by male candidates compered to female candidates. At subject level, female candidates performed better in English language.