The results for the 2014 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) have been released, with female candidates performing better than their male counterparts.
A total of 109,897candidates sat for the A’ level examinations last year, lower than the number from the previous year.
Prior to the release of the results, Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) deputy executive secretary, Dan Odong, said the assessment body was still investigating what could have caused the reduction in numbers.
While the girls performed better overall, the boys were better in science subjects. The female did better in History, Economics, Islam, Literature, General Paper and Subsidiary Mathematics.
The results were released inside the education ministry’s boardroom on Friday.
Candidates with 3 principle passes last year (36,666 — 34.2%) were more than those of the previous year (32,829 — 28.7%).
2014 also registered slightly more candidates with 2 principle passes (27,466 — 25.6%) than 2013 did 28,650 — 25.1%).
In contrast, last year saw less candidates with 1 principle pass (23,694 — 22.1%) than the previous year (27,496 — 24.0%).
To be admitted to university, a student must have a minimum 2 principle passes, meaning that for the lastest group, only 64,132 qualify.
But then, if tertiary institutions are considered, 87,826 candidates are eligible. Admission for tertiary institutions requires at least 1 principle pass and 2 subsidiary passes.
Crucially, a large number of candidates who sat for Mathematics and sciences failed to score a principal pass.
More cases of malpractice
During his address, UNEB secretary Mathew Bukenya said 98.4% were eligible for the award of the UACE certificate.
But while the number of registered candidates dropped, that of cases of malpractices increased. Bukenya said there were 173 such cases reported, up from 34.
Meanwhile, UNEB chairperson Prof. Mary Okwakol said the board is looking into the cause behind the drop in the number of candidates that registered last year.
Further speaking numbers, she underlined that students taking on science subjects has continually dropped. Last year, only 20% of the candidates opted for sciences.
On that, she said government needs to figure out a plan to tackle the issue.
The education minister Jessica Alupo talked of the reduction in the number of registered candidates, asking UNEB to probe the matter.
On the low numbers of students pursuing sciences, she tasked her technical staff to find out why. The minister feels that a student who acquires a credit at O’ level should be allowed to offer sciences at the next level.
According to UNEB, the candidates who did not do either of the two compulsory subsidiary subjects will not be graded.
Ungraded students find it difficult to enrol in tertiary institutions.
In a related development, UNEB has also clarified that only 739 candidates who sat for Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) and were involved in e-registration, experienced a hiccup in the selection process done a fortnight ago.
Saturday Vision had reported that because of UNEB’s error in the e-registration process, 8,000 students were stranded without admission to A’level.
However, UNEB has clarified that all the students who qualified for Senior Five (S.5) were subsequently admitted to the schools of their choice.
“No candidate was or is stranded because all the affected candidates who qualified were placed in the schools of their choice,” the UNEB public relations officer, Hamis Kaheru said.
The e-registration pilot study was carried out in early 2014 covering 114 UCE centres with a total of 17,667 candidates and 103 UACE centres with 11,066 candidates.
Kaheru stated that the students who experienced the hiccup were only from five centres. The problem was detected early and the students were admitted to the schools they applied to.